Universitatea „Lucian Blaga” din Sibiu, Facultatea de Litere și Arte
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10 / 2018
A Certain Mr. Piekielny or the Power of Literature
In this article we aim at problematizing the intricate relationship between reality and fiction in the French contemporary novel Un certain M. Piekielny, written in 2017 by the Goncourt Prize nominee François-Henri Désérable. We will identify the main literary techniques that the author uses in order to discover or to recreate the history of a character mentioned in passing by the reputed French novelist Romain Gary in La Promesse de l’aube (1960), writer that has a major impact on Désérable’s literary becoming. The power of literature to create reality or the illusion of reality will also be examined in the manner that François-Henri Désérable builds his characters, history and plot, on a constant dialogue between his texts and Gary’s novel, in a labyrinth of quotations, personal recollections, photographs and archive documents.
Keywords: François-Henri Désérable, Romain Gary, (self)fiction, literary biography, reality