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Abstract

This study begins by examining the very particular conception of reason underpinning the speculative rhetoric invented in Petits traités, then taken up and pursued in Dernier royaume. It then goes on to examine how this rhetoric calls into question the origins of the authority of knowledge; an authority that Quignard constantly invokes in his texts in order to reveal the irreducible degree of uncertainty that knowledge entails. This revelation is fundamental. Quignard uses it to pursue what is undoubtedly the main aim behind his rhetorical inventions: allowing thought to become individual again. Attempting to restore individualisation in this way implies a certain sovereignty of the author, whose features are sketched out in the successive authorial figures constructed and cultivated from one book to the next. The author’s sovereign authority requires an opisthotonic dimension from his readers, a point at which they agree to give themselves over to the other, in what can only be a total form of relinquishment. The speculative rhetoric creates a relationship between author and readers that, for the latter, consists less in submitting to the peremptory authority of the former, than in giving themselves over to this authority in order to better receive an individualised form of thought. In this sense, the relationship between the author and his reader entails something of the order of the masochist contract, explored by Quignard in his early work.

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Excerpt

Full text document will be published online on April 2018.

First lines

Ce dont on se souvient est une certaine forme trompeuse que prend ce dont on ne se souvient pas.

Ma vie, eût-elle dépendue du bonheur et de la reconnaissance, eût été privée des seules valeurs que je lui prêtais: l’imprévisibilité des jours, la violence de l’âme, les désirs qui se tiennent à l’écart du monde, le bondissement du langage silencieux, l’indépendance farouche, région plus jalouse, plus susceptible et plus inaccessible encore que la liberté.

Feuilles qui tombent est le titre qui a été donné à la retranscription de la rencontre entre Pascal Quignard et Jean-Claude Ameisen, laquelle eut lieu à Cerisy en juillet 2014. À la lecture de ce texte je distingue une manière de “dissonance” qui pourrait en partie expliquer la gêne ressentie alors que j’assistais à cette discussion. Mais en partie seulement, puisqu’il faudrait céder à beaucoup de naïveté pour confondre trop vite les discordances repérées dans l’écrit avec ce qui, à l’écoute, suscita le sentiment d’une gêne. Mais si éca...

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References

Bibliographical reference

Sylvain Santi, « Rhétorique souveraine », Studi Francesi, 181 (LXI | I) | 2017, 99-106.

Electronic reference

Sylvain Santi, « Rhétorique souveraine », Studi Francesi [Online], 181 (LXI | I) | 2017, Online since 01 April 2018, connection on 23 January 2018. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/studifrancesi/6731 ; DOI : 10.4000/studifrancesi.6731

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About the author

Sylvain Santi

Université de Savoie

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