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Repetition and structure : a study of William Faulkner and Claude Simon Cobley, Evelyn Margot 1979

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REPETITION AND STRUCTURE: A STUDY OF WILLIAM FAULKNER AND CLAUDE SIMON by EVELYN MARGOT COBLEY B.A., Brigham Young-University, 1972 M.A., The University of British Columbia,.1975 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Programme in Comparative Literature) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1979 (c) Evelyn Mar got Cob ley,. 1979 DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department nf Comparative L i t e r a t u r e The University of British Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Q a £ e September 7, 1979 i i ABSTRACT This study focuses on repetition as a literary device and documents i t s findings with examples from William Faulkner's Absalom, Ahsalomt and Claude Simon's La Route des Flandres. It distinguishes between the f o l -lowing kinds of repetition: 1. Immediate repetition of words where two or more identical or near-identical words succeed each other immediately. 2. Interrupted repetition of words or sentences where some material separates two or more occurrences of the same or similar words (sentences). 3. Repetitive patterns in the narrative structure which take the form of a) simple duplication of episodes, characters, narrators; b) repetition as a retardation device in the suspense structure of Absalom, Absalom!; c) repetition in the fragmented structure of La Route des Flandres; d) doubling of characters in repetitive behavioral patterns. 4. Repetition and Intertextuality where literary allusions draw at-tention to the "copy mechanism" which connects a text with a pre-coded cultural system. These divisions form the major chapters of this study; they move from the smallest to the largest units of the f i c t i o n a l text and follow an analogical rather than a causal pattern. The major purpose of repetition in Absalom, Absalom', and La Route  des Flandres is to perform such functions as ambiguities; formal transitions between episodes; the relationship between main narrative and digressions; narrative pace, temporal stratifications, narrative voices, thematic associations; the relationship between fact and f i c t i o n ; narrative progres-sion; the symmetrical arrangement of narrative fragments; the doubling of characters and narrators in structural and psychoanalytic terms; represen-tation and non-referentiality in literature. As a result, repetition in I i i Absalom, Absalom! and La Route des. Flandres,: 1. conforms to conventional usage in some instances and exploits experimental pos.s.ibalities in others.. 2. contributes both to narrative continuity and discontinuity. 3. functions as an ordering, stabilizing device but acts as a subversive agent when i t erodes the coherence i t supposedly establishes and maintains. 4. challenges literary conventions by blurring the distinctions between such categories as character and narrator, past and present, time of narration and time of the narrative, main story and narrative frame. 5. challenges assumptions about human nature by undermining the concept of the independent and isolated human individual. 6. challenges assumptions about the nature of creativity by questioning the possibility of original (ex nihilo) literary production. Most c r i t i c s discuss repetition in terms of sameness and "spatial form." Assuming that a word or phrase, when repeated, i s identical to i t s previous occurrences, they conclude that the aim of repetition i s to abolish time by space. But this study makes difference rather than sameness the main focus and accounts for the effect on repetition of intervening material. This new perspective corrects the overemphasis that the "spatial form" orthodoxy places on analogical relationships. When repetitive devices are analyzed both temporally and spatially, Faulkner and Simon are seen to go beyond spatial form to exploit repetition through breaks in the narrative sequence. Continuities and discontinuities thus complement each other i n ways that dif f e r significantly from "spatial form" interpretations. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS. A b s t r a c t p. i i T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s p. i v A Note on R e f e r e n c e s and Acknowledgments p. v i i P r e f a c e p. v i i i I n t r o d u c t i o n p. 1 C h a p t e r I : Immediate R e p e t i t i o n p. 13 1. I n t r o d u c t i o n t o immediate r e p e t i t i o n p. 13 2. Immediate R e p e t i t i o n i n f l u e n c e s r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h i n t h e t e x t p. 17 a. A f f e c t i v e i n t e n s i t y and s e m a n t i c a m b i g u i t y p. 17 b. F o r m a l t r a n s c e n d e n c e p. 21 c. C u m u l a t i v e p a t t e r n p. 23 3. Immediate R e p e t i t i o n i n f l u e n c e s t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between t e x t and r e a l i t y p. 26 4. Immediate R e p e t i t i o n and r e l a t i o n s h i p between two t y p e s o f f i c t i o n p. 29 a. S t r u c t u r a l p i v o t p. 30 b. Word games p. 36 5. C o n c l u s i o n p. 37 Ch a p t e r I I : I n t e r r u p t e d R e p e t i t i o n o f words and s e n t e n c e s p. 40 1. I n t r o d u c t i o n p. 40 2. R e p e t i t i o n i n t h e s e n t e n c e p. 42 3. R e p e t i t i o n i n t h e arrangement o f r e c u r r i n g key-words p. 46 a. Mood and atmosphere p. 46 b. C h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n p. 49 c. A s s o c i a t i o n p. 50 d. I n s t a b i l i t y p. 52 e. Pace p. 55 V 4. R e p e t i t i o n i n t h e s t r u c t u r a l o p e r a t i o n s o f r e c u r r i n g k e y -words p. 57 a. O r i e n t a t i o n among n a r r a t i v e v o i c e s and s t r a n d s p. 58 b. Temporal s t r a t i f i c a t i o n and e l l i p s e s p. 62 c. D o c u m e n t a t i o n p. 63 d. Heterogeneous c o n n e c t i o n s p. 66 e. T r a n s i t i o n s p. 69 5. C o n c l u s i o n p. 71 C h a p t e r I I I : R e p e t i t i v e P a t t e r n s i n t h e N a r r a t i v e S t r u c t u r e p. 73 1. I n t r o d u c t i o n p. 73 2. S i m p l e d u p l i c a t i o n o f e p i s o d e s , c h a r a c t e r s , n a r r a t o r s p. 75 a. J u x t a p o s i t i o n ( p a r a l l e l i s m and c o n t r a s t ) p. 76 b. S u p e r i m p o s i t i o n p. 81 c. S u b s t i t u t i o n p. 89 3. R e p e t i t i o n i n t h e O v e r a l l S t r u c t u r e p. 96 a. R e p e t i t i o n and suspense ( F a u l k n e r ) p. 98 i . The r o l e of r e p e t i t i o n i n a p r o l e p t i c o p e n i n g p. 100 i i . The r o l e of r e p e t i t i o n i n m i s l e a d i n g i n f o r m a t i o n p. 103 i i i . The r o l e o f r e p e t i t i o n i n t h e o v e r a l l n a r r a t i v e p r o -g r e s s i o n p. 105 i v . The r o l e o f r e p e t i t i o n i n p o i n t o f v i e w p. 113 v. The r o l e o f r e p e t i t i o n w i t h i n n a r r a t i v e l e v e l s p. 118 v i . The r o l e o f r e p e t i t i o n i n t h e s t r u g g l e between f a c t and f i c t i o n p. 120 v i i . C o n c l u s i o n t o r e p e t i t i o n and suspense p. 121 b. R e p e t i t i o n and f r a g m e n t a t i o n (Simon) p. 125 i . Some b a s i c o b s e r v a t i o n s about t h e n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e i n " L a R o ute" p. 126 i i . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between r e p e t i t i o n and f r a g m e n t a t i o n p. 129 i i i . Temporal s t o r y p r o g r e s s i o n p. 13Q i v . F o r m a l n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n s p. 134 v. C o n c l u s i o n t o r e p e t i t i o n and f r a g m e n t a t i o n p. 139 4. R e p e t i t i v e B e h a v i o r a l P a t t e r n s p. 142 a. D o u b l i n g as a t r a d i t i o n a l F r e u d i a n phenomenon p. 143 b. D o u b l i n g as a s y n c h r o n i c phenomenon p. 148 i . T h e o r e t i c a l b a ckground p. 149 i i . A p p l i c a t i o n t o "Absalom" p. 156 i i i . A p p l i c a t i o n t o "La R o u t e " p. 162 c. D o u b l i n g as a d i a c h r o n i c phenomenon p. 165 i . T h e o r e t i c a l background p. 166 i i . A p p l i c a t i o n t o "Absalom" p. 168 i i i . A p p l i c a t i o n t o "La R o u t e " p. 175 5. C o n c l u s i o n p. 177 Ch a p t e r IV: R e p e t i t i o n and I n t e r t e x t u a l i t y p. 180 1. I n t r o d u c t i o n p. 180 2. L i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s and c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e s p. 183 3. L i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s as i n a p p r o p r i a t e p a r a l l e l s p. 185 4. L i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s and c u l t u r a l a u t h o r i t y p. 187 5. L i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s and a r b i t r a r i n e s s p. 202 6. L i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s as s t r u c t u r a l paradigms p. 205 7. L i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s as s e l f - q u o t a t i o n s p. 208 8. L i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s t o contemporary a u t h o r s p. 210 9. C o n c l u s i o n p. 213 C o n c l u s i o n p. 217 F o o t n o t e s p. 224 S e l e c t e d B i b l i o g r a p h y p. 239 v i i A NOTE ON REFERENCES The e d i t i o n o f W i l l i a m F a u l k n e r ' s Absalom, Absalom! c i t e d t h r o u g h -ou t i s t h e Modern L i b r a r y E d i t i o n p u b l i s h e d by Random House, New Y o r k , 1936; r p t . 1964. The e d i t i o n o f C l a u d e Simon's La Route des F l a r i d r e s c i t e d t h r o u g h -out i s p u b l i s h e d by E d i t i o n s de M i n u i t , P a r i s , 1960. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I w i s h t o t h a n k P r o f e s s o r s F. G r o v e r and G. Good of t h e U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a f o r t h e i r v a l u a b l e c r i t i c i s m and a d v i c e p e r t a i n -i n g t o t h e p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s . I am g r a t e f u l t o Jo h n C o b l e y f o r h i s s u p p o r t and encouragement. I am a l s o i n d e b t e d t o t h e Canada C o u n c i l f o r i t s f i n a n c i a l s u p p o r t . v i i i PREFACE This study has arisen out of a more or less intuitive awareness that recent prose f i c t i o n makes both frequent and innovative use of repe-t i t i o n . As I turned to c r i t i c a l investigations of the theory and practice of literary repetition, I found that very l i t t l e work had been done in this area and that the existing approaches tended to be rather one-sided. Since articles and books dealing directly with my subject were relatively scarce, I had to extend my research into related fields in order to apply their methods and findings to my own study. With some diligence and some luck I stumbled on many interesting theories of language and fi c t i o n that shed considerable light on my enterprise. The main d i f f i c u l t y of my approach was that I did not know in advance what exactly I was looking for. Since I could not find a coherent and convincing theory or model for repetition, I had to formulate one with the supplementary help of literary texts. The texts did not only supply illustrations (answers) for a theory but, at the same time, they provided the questions that would have to be asked for such a theory to come into existence. This meant that I had to start my analysis from the texts without making an interpretation my main concern. My i n i t i a l intention was to consult a representative cross-section of contemporary f i c t i o n i n order to determine the role of repetition i n recent li t e r a r y developments. But, since texts had to be read very closely for the right theoretical questions to emerge, I decided to limit myself to two texts. Absalom, Absalom! and La Route des Flandres suggested themselves because they typify the " d i f f i c u l t " or experimental novel and because they include a variety of examples il l u s t r a t i n g the use of repetition. Although ix the main focus of my study is the theory and practice of repetition, the juxtaposition of Absalom and La Route occasionally threatens to take over center stage. It is unavoidable, and perhaps even desirable, that this juxtaposition initiates certain shifts in the established interpre-tations of the two novels. One of the main attractions of comparative studies i s that works illuminate each other, often highlighting aspects that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.- The early comparatists' insistence on "influence" favors the interpretation of a later work in the light of an earlier one. This insistence obscures the importance of the opposite direction in the process of continuous c r i t i c a l evalua-tion which T.S. E l i o t has formulated in "Tradition and the Individual Talent": ... what happens when a new work of art is created is something "' that happens simultaneously to a l l the works of art which preceded i t . The existing monuments form an ideal order among themselves, which is modified by the introduction of the new (the really new) work of art among them. The existing order i s complete before the new work arrives; for order to persist after the supervention of novelty, the whole existing order must be, i f ever so slightly, altered; and so the relations, proportions, values of each work of art toward the whole are readjusted; and this is conformity between the old and the new.l In certain areas, then, Simon's work modifies our attitude towards Faulkner's just as Faulkner's modifies our attitude towards Simon's. Aside from certain coincidences between Absalom and La Route, the juxta-position should bring out most clearly where Faulkner is audaciously experimental and Simon unexpectedly traditional. Confronted with an overwhelming number of literary repetitions in Absalom and La Route, I had to settle on a suitable arrangement of my material. Since I was interested in literary repetition as a manipulative X device rather than as an imitation of speech rhythms or natural phenomena, I decided to analyze repetition on different levels of textual complexity. A division suggested i t s e l f that would move from the smallest to the largest units of the text. The f i r s t chapter thus concentrates on the im-mediate repetition of words, the second on the interrupted repetition of words and sentences, the third on the repetitive patterns in narrative structure, and the fourth on the repetitive nature of intertextuality. The chapters turned out to be of rather unequal length. Although I considered dividing the long chapter on narrative structure into two smaller ones, I rejected this procedure because i t would have distorted the controlling idea behind the study's organization. Contrary to the traditional thesis format, my study i s not arranged according to causal sequence but according to analogical patterns. In defense of my analogical structure I can cite two particularly important considerations. The inductive nature of my investigation does not lend i t s e l f to the deductive form of a thesis statement that Is supported by the body of the study. And, perhaps more significantly, the structure of my study reflects the assumptions and conclusions about the nature and function of literary repetition. Since the way Faulkner and Simon use literary repetition challenges center-controlled unity and linear causality in fict i o n , I have chosen a c r i t i c a l methodology based on analogy and levels of complexity. INTRODUCTION Although practical discussions of repetition in prose f i c t i o n appear once in a while, they generally f a i l to provide a clear, under- ~"!tf standing of the theoretical assumptions on which they are based. The concept of repetition i s perhaps not as easy to pinpoint as i t may seem. Since repetition i s a fact of both l i f e and art, discoveries made in one discipline are often applied to the study of another. The result i s that different areas of inquiry are treated as i f they were the same. The mechanistic workings of repetition in the natural world often provide a metaphor for repetition in behavioral fields like psychology or l i t e r a -ture. One may object that this problem is merely a question of metaphoric distinction. But, as Jacques Derrida argues, " l a metaphore n'est jamais innocente. E l l e oriente l a recherche et fixe les resultats.-"!Choosing the right metaphor i s therefore a matter of great importance and I pro-pose to evaluate and, where necessary, replace existing metaphors for literary repetition. C r i t i c a l studies of literary repetition tend to cite Freud's Beyond 2 the Pleasure Principle as a main source for their theoretical assumptions. Let us see where Freud himself borrows his metaphor for repetition in order to decide i f literary scholars are indeed j u s t i f i e d in basing themselves on his work. Beyond the Pleasure Principle discusses the relationship between the compulsion to repeat and the death instinct. Freud distinguishes between two principles. The pleasure principle i s the "principle of con-3 stancy" which endeavors to avoid or reduce tension to an ideal state of equilibrium or inertia. The reality principle, on the other hand, arises 1 2 from external circumstances which force man to tolerate unpleasure or to postpone pleasure. With the famous Fort/Da example, Freud shows how a child transforms an unpleasant situation into a pleasant one by actively in i t i a t i n g unpleasure instead of being i t s passive victim. The compulsion to repeat i s an instinctual urge to establish or rather to return to a state of pleasurable inertia. Freud argues that an instinct does not gen-erate change but " i s an urge inherent i n organic l i f e to restore an earlier  state of things. . ."^ . An organism abandons i t s i n i t i a l inertia only under the "pressure of external disturbing forces"^ so that the "aim of a l l l i f e is 6 7 death. ..." The sex instincts,. Freud's "true l i f e instincts," only prolong the organism's road towards death. Human beings are therefore caught in a "vacillating rhythm" between the pressure towards death and the pressure towards' l i f e . In System and Structure, Anthony Wilden claims that Freud's argument is weakened by two basic errors: a) the assumption that Fechner's bio-energetic model applies to the human organism; b) the belief that Eros and Thanatos are of the same level of abstraction. Let me elaborate on these two points. As we have seen, Freud considers stasis the basis of pleasure and the goal towards which a l l l i v i n g organisms strive. Wilden argues that this is not so. Freud's models, Fechner and Helmhdlz, are discussing a mechanistic, closed system, whereas Freud is concerned with human behavior, that i s , with a system that i s open to external (social) circumstances. Freud thus f a i l s to distinguish "between closed-system or instinctual or programmed repetition and the OSCILLATION induced i n goalseeking systems, not as a result of 'causes' emanating; from their 'internal properties,' 3 but as a r e s u l t of constraints imposed on them by an environment Wilden concludes that the main error associated with t h i s confusion i s that "tension i s DEVIANT or an environmental i n t r u s i o n ; whereas i n f a c t tension i s one of the products of organization itself.""'""'" Wilden's point i s well.taken, e s p e c i a l l y when we consider that the dynamics of c o n f l i c t and contradiction as w e l l as the o s c i l l a t i o n of paradox and ambiguity are es s e n t i a l forms of human experience and behavior. The second major flaw i n Freud's model r e s u l t s from a confusion be-12 tween Eros as a " p r i n c i p l e of information" (human or s o c i a l communication) and Thanatos which "cannot be properly applied above the phys i c a l or b i o -13 chemical l e v e l . " In other words, Freud discusses the human organism as a closed system which i s divorced from any s o c i a l context. The "'desire f o r death' (Todestrieb)," then, i s "a bioenergetic explanation f o r the behavior of the goalseeking system [Freud] i s studying (and inadequate so long as i t reduces a l l goals to the b i o l o g i c a l l e v e l ) . . .""^ Repetition as a form of human behavior and human perception should not and cannot be ab-stracted from a s o c i a l and temporal context. I n e r t i a and.stasis are mani-f e s t l y dangerous and f a l s e metaphors f o r a l l r e p e t i t i o n operating i n open, behavioral systems. Since l i t e r a t u r e functions w i t h i n a s o c i a l and hence open context, these metaphors are therefore inadequate c r i t i c a l t o o l s . The s t a s i s metaphor plays a central r o l e i n another often c i t e d study on r e p e t i t i o n : Eliade's Myth of the Eternal Return. 1"^ Eliade's main point i s that archaic man, p r a c t i c i n g " r i t u a l r e p e t i t i o n , " 1 ^ i s i n " r e v o l t against concrete, h i s t o r i c a l time." 1^ This r e v o l t i s based on observations about the c y c l i c a l recurrence of the seasons and the continuous renewal of 4 organic l i f e . The attempt to abolish historical time i s influenced by the conservative tendencies of archaic man. Life for him was the constant reenactment of the cosmic Creation: 1. Every creation repeats the pre-eminent cosmogonic act, the Creation of the world. 2. Consequently, whatever is founded has i t s foundation at the center of the world (since,as we know, the Creation i t s e l f took place from a center).18 Mythical experience is thus firmly grounded in an original source and a center around which a l l subsequent manifestations of l i f e must turn. A definite beginning engenders and controls a l l later repetitions so that archaic man is always looking backwards and never towards the future. In harried modern times, we look back nostalgically toward archaic man's denial of historical time and see i t as a more healthy attitude toward ex-istence. There is no doubt something consoling in the belief that even the individual's own death represents only a step towards a new beginning. This notion of an eternal return certainly compares favorably with our own anx-iety about the destructive process of time. However, modern society can only dream of recapturing this mythical notion of abolished time. Science has shown that even the cycles of nature are developmental and that the cosmos i t s e l f i s entropic. The argument that repetition abolishes time is thus based on inadequate' knowledge about the actual world and resorts to a metaphor which is supposed to describe natural phenomena rather than social interaction or literary a r t i f i c e . Two book-length studies on repetition in prose f i c t i o n resort to a stasis metaphor in order to describe the ways in which repetition func-tions in the works of writers like Faulkner, Forster, and Proust. Bruce 5 x y Kawin's Telling It Again and Again refers to Eliade-and claims that re-20 21 petition "has the power to abolish time" and to "abolish history." 22 E.K. Brown, in his Rhythm in the Novel, reaches a similar conclusion about Proust's ambition to recapture the past. Since A1 l a recherche du 23 temps perdu is-no doubt the most often cited work in c r i t i c a l evaluations of literary repetition, Proust's theories regarding timelessness are of considerable interest. Although the c r i t i c a l consensus identifies time-lessness with stasis, Proust's aesthetic theory and'practice'do not really advocate the abolishment of time. Timelessness is an aesthetic principle that has i t s roots in relationships and analogies between different times, l o c a l i t i e s , characters^, and other entities. The common assumption that the "memoire involontaire" represents the most valuable lesson in A l a  recherche does not take into account that this experience is- only a stepping stone towards Marcel's a r t i s t i c breakthrough. As Gilles'Deleuze points out: Chez Proust, les clochers de Martinyille et l a petite phrase de Vinteuil, qui ne font intervenir aucun souvenir, aucune resurrection du passe, l'emporteront toujours sur l a madeleine et les paves de Venise, qui dependent'de l a memoire,. ^ et, a ce t i t r e , renvoient encore a une "explication materielle". The steeples.of Martinville and Vinteuil's l i t t l e phrase are superior to the madeleine and the cobblestones because they consist of pure aesthetic pattern. Deleuze discusses a hierarchical order in A l a recherche i n which art occupies the. highest position, whereas other realms, those of " l a 25 mondalite," "de l'amour," and "des impressions ou des qualites sensibles" represent imperfect stages on the road to pure aesthetic form. A l a recherche exemplifies and argues for a relational aesthetics. The emphasis is on relationships and entities are denied any essence. The-best art produces new 6 forms and rearranges, habitual perceptions in such a way that established attitudes must be redefined. E l s t i r ' s painting "le port- de Carquethuit," for instance, abolishes the normal demarcation^between land and sea by using "pour l a petite v i l l e que des termes marins, et que des termes ur-26 bains pour lamer." Similarly, Marcel attributes the originality of an unnamed writer to the fact that "les rapports entre les choses etaient 27 diff erents <de-ceux qui les l i a i e n t pour moi. . ." In spite of a strong subjective element in his aesthetic, Proust does not encourage or condone any unconstrained relativism. Art mediates between an inner and an outer reality because "toute impression est double, a demi engainee dans l'objet, prolongee en nous-meme par une autre moitieque seul nous pourrions con-28 naxtre." Even the finished work of art is not a self-contained entity. It interacts not only with i t s social referents but also with both previous and future works of art. The timelessness of art is not a question of subject matter but rather a constant struggle towards formal innovation. The creative a r t i s t must surpass and refute even those he admires because "on ne peut re-29 faire ce qu'on aime qu'en le renoncant." The individual work transcends time only insofar as i t s formal novelty provides a•new impetus for art. Proust's relational aesthetic thus works on the principle that everything is always potentially already something else, so that the novel functions as a complex.network of analogies- and relations that partially repeat each other. Repetition in the universe of A l a recherche i s more than a mnemonic device and is not tied to a center or origin. It is a formal principle which has the power to anticipate future patterns. Therefore, in the face of Proust's theory and praxis i t seems inadequate to speak of repetition i n terms of stasis and immobilization. 7 The stasis metaphor is flawed because i t implies the absolute coin-cidence of events or points in time. In the case of the "memoire involon-taire," stasis would mean that the past and the present are identical rather than just the same. However, identity could not give aesthetic pleasure because i t is undifferentiated and therefore cannot be perceived. Sameness, on the other hand, implies or subsumes difference. The same can only be perceived against a background of difference and, as Foucault, Derrida, and Deleuze argue, i t does in fact contain difference. Sameness and difference are thus as inextricably linked as presence and absence in Derrida's notion of "difference." In practical terms, i t i s important to remember that the impression l e f t by the madeleine or the cobblestones in A l a recherche is more intense when i t is recollected than i t was when f i r s t experienced. There i s therefore a qualitative difference between two experiences which conjure up sameness. If the emphasis of the "memoire involontaire" i s on the relationship between two experiences, the result is a temporal parallax or displacement. Time and history are therefore not actually abolished. The effect that is usually ascribed to arrested motion i s really an oscillation between two or more moments in time. Even Kawin and Brown, although they stress the immobilizing effect of repetition, acknowledge 30 that i t "allows for progress" and "accretes meaning from the succession 31 of contexts in which i t occurs." Moreover, the "expanding symbol," that 32 is "repetition balanced by variation," permits for Brown "a rhythmic 33 arrangement that can do more than unify and intensify" because i t is "an expression of belief in things hoped for, an index i f not an evidence 8 of things not seen."'34 Kawin also admits that "the aesthetics of repeti-35 tion cannot really be separated from the aesthetics of change" and i n -• 3 g dicates that he has simply "chosen to emphasize the former." It i s , how-ever, questionable that the two aesthetics can be separated. A more com-plete method would have to approach repetition as a process of oscillation. Oscillation is an image that conveys not only the interrelationship of repetition and change but also the relational nature of repetition on a l l levels of complexity. A comprehensive approach to repetition must take the context i n which repetitions occur into consideration. The mere reappearance of a word, phrase, character, or episode is not i n and of i t s e l f significant. It must be viewed against the background of other repetitions and/or of'the narrative context. Wilden's discussion of context assumes an unlimited f i e l d of possibilities which is gradually narrowed down by natural or a r t i f i c i a l constraints. A graphic demonstration of what he calls the "convergence of constraints" shows that the speaker of English i s quite free to choose the letters "E L E P" but, constrained by the rules of the English language, he must add the only permissible sequence of "H A N T." The advantage of Wilden's methodology is that i t respects levels of complexity. It accounts, for instance, for the relational nature of a l l context-bound systems: As i n the case of the boundary which separates "figure" and "ground" in a perception, boundaries belong neither to what is inside them, nor to what i s outside them. The figure-ground boundary is the result of introducing a d i g i t a l dis- tinction into the analog continuum of differences i n a perceptual f i e l d . 3 7 This implies that.repetition resides neither in the f i r s t appearance of an 9 element nor in i t s subsequent reappearances but in the relationship between them. Instead of a circle image, repetition should be represented as a wave oscillating through time: It should now be clear that I propose to replace the stasis metaphor with the more flexible concept of a wave. This image of repetition accom-modates both static and temporal dimensions and lends i t s e l f to an i l l u s t r a -tion based on Roman Jakobson's famous metaphor/metonymy distinction: METONYMY: Message Combination Syntagm Difference Contiguity Expansion 4-METAPHOR: Code Selection Paradigm Substitution Similarity Condensation Repetition works on the syntagmatic axis by means of contiguity which means the reappearance of the same or very similar words, phrases, episodes in linear succession. On this metonymic axis, repetition introduces dis-persion and interrupts the continuity of the text. If a continuous se-quence l i k e A B C D E F G H periodically repeats a letter, l i k e A B C A D E A F G H A, the reader experiences this violation of the sequence as 10 unsettling. On the syntagmatic axis, repetition thus disturbs or impedes the linear narrative development and introduces recursive loops that force the reader to retrace his steps. On the paradigmatic axis, on the other hand, repetition unifies the text thematically and structurally through association. The recurrence of the element A in the above example creates a vertical connection which belongs to a non-causal, analogical order. Paradigmatic patterns thus compensate for metonymic dispersion. The vertical and the horizontal axes of repetition interact in such a way that one always mediates the terms of the other. The most accurate representation of repetition i s therefore a triangle in which b i l a t e r a l relations are inevitably connected by a locus of mediation. I am using the term "mediation" in the "formalist sense" defined by Raymond Williams 38 in Keywords. Williams speaks of "mediation" as "an activity which d i -39 rectly expresses otherwise unexpressed relations" and traces this mean-ing to the notion of . . .interaction as in i t s e l f substantial, with forms of i t s own, so that i t is not the neutral process of the interaction of separate forms, but an active process i n which the form of the mediation alters the things mediated, or by i t s nature indicates their nature.40 A l l entities are thus mediated by specific relations "but cannot be re-duced to an abstraction of that relationship."^"'" If repetition could be achieved in the content of repeated events, i t would be a bil a t e r a l and time-abolishing phenomenon. But since, at the very least, time separates events, a bilateral approach obscures the real relationship between them, If A^ i s the f i r s t occurrence of an event and A 2 represents i t s recurrence, 11 t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p looks as follows: locus of mediation The message i n r e p e t i t i o n cannot be transmitted d i r e c t l y from to (dotted l i n e ) but has to be mediated by a context. The mediated r e l a t i o n -ship between events changes both of them so that each i s modified by the other. Mediation plays a p o s i t i v e r o l e i n r e p e t i t i o n and provides an energetic rather than a mechanistic approach. The text no longer appears as a c o l l e c t i o n of either l i n e a r or geometric ( s t a t i c ) r e l a t i o n s h i p s but as an energetic i n t e r p l a y of forces and processes. Structuralism i s espe-c i a l l y g u i l t y of reducing texts to binary and geometric patterns which do not take other forms of organization into account. Jacques Derrida's c r i t i q u e of s t r u c t u r a l i s m extends to Jean Rousset's phenomenological model i n which " l e geometrique ou l e morphologique n'est corrige que par une me-42 canique, jamais par une energetique. 1 1 Derrida himself favors a more process oriented model which i s able to account f o r the generative potency of l i t e r a r y texts: "La force de l'oeuvre, l a force du genie, l a force a u s s i de ce qui en-gendre en general, c'est ce qui r e s i s t e a l a metaphore geometrique, et c'est l ' o b j e t propre de l a c r i t i q u e l i t t e r a i r e . " When Derrida claims that " l e 44 t r a v a i l des forces ne se l a i s s e plus traduire dans une difference de forme," he gestures towards a r e l a t i o n a l theory which concentrates not only on d i f -ferent kinds but also on d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of r e l a t i o n . The dominance of the 12 s p a t i a l metaphor i s p a r t i c u l a r l y detrimental to c r i t i c a l discourse because i t tends to b l i n d us to other p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Liane Norman warns of t h i s danger when she points out: The c r i t i c a l habit of seeing a piece of l i t e r a t u r e as a whole design, a symmetrical object i n space, as i t were, rather than an event apprehended i n time, often obscures many of the s t r u c -t u r a l functions of p a r t i c u l a r stratagems.45 I f the dominance of the s p a t i a l metaphor f o r r e p e t i t i o n i s broken, the manipulative p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the device can move into the foreground. As an energetic rather than a s t a t i c influence, r e p e t i t i o n creates ambiguities, controls complex r e l a t i o n s h i p s between characters, nar-r a t o r s , and implied readers, a f f e c t s n a r r a t i v e pace, and i n i t i a t e s i n t e r -textual references. From the smallest l i n g u i s t i c u nits to the la r g e s t i n t e r t e x t u a l sphere, r e p e t i t i o n demonstrates the same impulse to connect what i s disparate and to separate what i s u n i f i e d . What should emerge from the present study of two examples of recent prose f i c t i o n i s the v a r i e t y and influence of r e p e t i t i o n operative on a l l l e v e l s of l i t e r a r y discourse. 13 CHAPTER I  IMMEDIATE REPETITION 1. Introduction to immediate repetition Kurtz's famous cry '"The horror! The horror!'""'" represents the climax of Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Marlow's puzzled and fascinated recounting of Kurtz's last words imparts effectively the unknowable night-mare vision of the dying man. The mystery surrounding Kurtz's figure throughout the story i s once more emphasized without being analyzed. Conrad conveys his message not only through the content of the word ut-tered but also through i t s repetition. Immediate repetition* of words or sentences i s , of course, a general linguistic habit and i t i s not surpris-ing that i t should have found i t s way into literature. However, this type of repetition i s not as innocent as i t appears. Indeed, i n novels, this device is often used to perform specific literary tasks. The t i t l e of Faulkner's novel Absalom, Absalom! i s a good case i n point. Had Faulkner chosen to c a l l his novel simply "Absalom," the reader would expect a story centering on a character of this name in the tradition of Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, Tom Jones, Lord Jim, or Mrs. Dalloway. The repetition i n the *I use the term "immediate repetition" quite loosely and include both epizeuxis (immediate recurrence of a word) and diacope (repetition of the same words with words occurring in between). It seems to me that we react to both " A l l right, a l l right" and " A l l right, he said, a l l right" in es-sentially the same way. Moreoverj I don't insist that my repetitions be absolutely identical in either form or content. Whether a statement reads "What shall I do" or "What shall we do" does not represent a significant enough difference to warrant a distinction. 14 t i t l e informs us that Absalom, Absalom! does not belong to this tradition and that the focus of the novel w i l l be on the universal implications of the circumstances associated with King David's son. As with Kurtz's words, the repetition in Faulkner's t i t l e communicates a message that goes beyond semantic significance. As a literary device,* immediate repetition implies more subtle suggestion than meets the eye. 2 Ludwig Klages exemplifies a traditional view of repetition as anachronistic vestiges of primitive thought processes. He supports his view with evidence of repetition in children's games, folklore, and music. This evidence convinces him that art forms which rely heavily on repetition (especially music) are backward examples of communication and w i l l be l e f t behind as the human mind evolves. But instead of diminishing in importance, as Klages foresaw in 1925, repetition seems to flourish i n recent art and literature. If repetition should indeed be considered the remnant of a more primitive epistemology, i t s comeback in the twentieth century would represent a nostalgia for a pre-Cartesian or the hope for a post-Cartesian form of knowledge. In either case, i t suggests a general dissatisfaction with Cartesian premises based on the following "copy model" of perception: ob j ect * sensation- » perception * interpretation An alternative to this linear causal model would have to be relational and analogical. In medieval times, argues Michel Foucault in Les mots et les *I do not wish to deny that immediate repetition is perhaps equally complex in normal speech; however, my focus i s on i t s literary use. 15 choses, such a relational approach to reality was the order of the day: Jusqu'a l a f i n du XVIe siecle, l a ressemblance a joue un role batisseur dans le savoir de l a culture occidentale. C'est e l l e qui a conduit pour une grande part l'exegese et 1'interpretation des textes: c'est elle qui a organise le jeu des symboles, permis la-connaissance des choses visibles et invisibles, guide l'art de les representer.3 The medieval world was an interrelated network of relationships, a text that was there to be interpreted: "Le monde est couvert de signes qu'il faut dechiffrer, et ces signes, qui revelent des ressemblances et des 4 affini t e s , ne sont eux-memes que des formes de l a similitude." As an endless, limitless network of relationships, " l a ressemblance ne peut etre connue par elle-meme" and therefore "les signes ne peuvent etre autre chose que des similitudes.""' In other words, similitude can only refer to i t s e l f . Among the four principal figures of resemblance that Foucault isolates are analogy and sympathy. Unlike the dualistic perception of Cartesian rationalism, analogies and sympathies cannot be true or false but only more or less true. Foucault believes that the twentieth century i s in the process of another important epistemological turning point.* If the medieval relational model i s the only known alternative to the Cartesian causal approach, a new epistemological shift would again turn towards some relational solution. Recent investigations into theories of perception support this assumption. A more accurate description of perception than the Cartesian *Foucault identifies the f i r s t important epistemological break with the emergence of rationalism. 16 copy model takes the form Ulric Neisser diagrams in Cognition and  Reality: Modifies Cognitive map of the world and i t s possibil-i t i e s Locomotion and action Directs This figure emphasizes perception as an ongoing, relational process rather than a f i n i t e movement from object to interpretation. Repetition, as a mode of communication that transcends rational limits, moves towards; a relational model of perception. Especially im-mediate repetition, being the most emotive type of repetition, offers connotative rather than denotative messages. Wilden's differentiation between analog and d i g i t a l information (terms borrowed from computer communication) permits a clear understanding of the interrelatedness and complementarity of such concepts as Frege's "Sinn" (connotation) and 17 "Bedeutung" (denotation).' The analog is for Wilden "the emotive, the phatic, the conative, and the poetic" whereas the d i g i t a l would be "the 8 cognitive and the metalingual." The;analog and the d i g i t a l relate to each other in terms of a principle of balance: The analog is pregnant with MEANING whereas the di g i t a l domain of SIGNIFICATION i s , relatively speaking, somewhat barren. . . Thus what the analog gains in.semantics i t loses in syntactics ^ and what the d i g i t a l gains in syntactics i t loses in semantics. Measured in Wilden's sense, immediate repetition is pregnant with meaning but lacking in signification. Considering that language belongs to the domain of signification, any analysis of immediate repetition finds i t s e l f impeded by the heavy weight of analog meaning. Language i s thus forced to depict a phenomenon that is foreign and hostile to i t s own nature. The most my study can hope to achieve i s to demonstrate not so much the essence as the effect of.immediate repetition on the literary text. 2. Immediate Repetition influences relationships within the text 2, a. Affective intensity and semantic ambiguity Jean Cohen depicts immediate repetition as " l a redite du signe en-ti e r (signifiant 4- s i g n i f i e ) " " ^ and associates i t with tautology. Asking himself what a tautological repetition changes, he concludes: "Mais ce n'est pas l e sens noetique. Et ce n'est pas non plus l e sens pathetique, dans son contenu. . . Alors, ou est le changement? Reponse: dans l ' i n -11 tensite de 1'affect." What Cohen does not mention is that the semantic element of an immediate repetition can either reinforce or contradict the formal aspect. It is true that immediate repetition intensifies the 18 reader's affective response but, at the same time, immediate repetition also plays on ambiguities• When Rosa calls "'Judith!'.,. .'Judith!'" (p. 137) after learning of Henry's murder or when she says on two oc-casions "Why? Why?, and Why?" (pp. 167, 170), aquestion she has "asked and listened to for almost f i f t y years" (p. 167), then the form simply reinforces and intensifies the speaker's anguish. Elsewhere in the,text, immediate repetition works even more 1explicitly through double,-meanings. Referring to her barren childhood and youth, Rosa maintains that to be female means to "endure and then endure, without rhyme or reason or hope of reward^-and then endure", (p. 144). The word, "endure," denoting stoic resignation, i s transformed into a bitter indictment of father and society. Similarly, Quentin's v i s i t to Sutpen's. Hundred with Rosa contains a repe-t i t i o n that must be interpreted on two levels. Quentin's "'I dont know what to do. I.dont know what to do'" , (p. 364) applies primarily to his un-easiness about entering a strange house at night, but i t also means, on a figurative level,.that he is,afraid to find Henry, the surviving ghost from the past whose existence threatens to introduce reality into the largely f i c t i v e reconstruction of the Sutpen saga. Perhaps the most effective displacement between content and form appears in the ambiguity of the novel's last sentences. When Shreve asks, "Why do you hate the South?",Quentin replies: "I dont hate i t , " Quentin said, quickly, at once, immediately; "I dont hate i t , " he said. I dont hate i t he thought, pant-ing in the cold air, the iron New England dark; I, dont. I don't! I dont-hate i t ! I dont hate it!' (p. 378)." If Quentin had stated only once.that he does not hate the South, we. would accept this as a statement of fact. One repetition of "I dont hate i t " would 19 be construed as simple emphasis or as an attempt to convince Shreve. •But the multiple repetitions betray Quentin's intense, obsessive pre-occupation with the South and force the reader to suspect that Quentin really does hate the South although he does not want to. "The use of immediate repetitions for.purposes of intensification and ambiguity i s a conventional literary device. I use the word "con-ventional" as the opposite of "experimental" and hope to avoid a l l pejorative associations in the same way as Simon does in an interview with. Ludovic Janvier: Bien sur, dans les romans que j'appellerais non pas traditionnels (comme l'a dit Harold Rosenberg, l a tradition en art c'est " l a tradition du nouveau") mais plutot conventionnels (et non pas "balzaciens", comme le font abusivement certains critiques en oubliant que les formes romanesques de Balzac etaient: a) abso-lument neuves et propres a Balzac et b) etroitement liees a un moment tres precis de l'histoire dont nous sommes lo i n ) . . To speak of a conventional device thus means that i t is well established and has satisfied the requirements of many writers. Contemporary novelists, who choose to react against literary conventions, often do so ;not. because they deny the value of well-used devices but because they wish to indicate the audacity and newness of their own endeavors. Simon, counting himself among experimental writers, rejects many conventional devices without, how-ever, scorning predecessors who have used them. At the same time, Simon retains a. number of conventional devices himself either because they serve his purposes or because he realizes that the innovative has to overlap with . the already familiar i f a text i s to be accessible to a reading public. One of the conventional devices Simon relies on is immediate repe-t i t i o n for intensification and ambiguity. The repetitive-form of .'' 20 utterances in La Route reinforces their semantic meaning and conveys joy, fear, anger, or mental anguish. Georges, for instance, expresses surprise and pleasure over the unexpected arrival of Blum in the same prison train by thinking: "Bon Dieu bon Dieu bon Dieu bon Dieu, le reconnaissant reconnaissant l a voix. . ." (p.'164). On the other hand, desperation and the fear of being taken prisoner mark the plea of a soldier from another regiment who chances on Reixach's group with an empty horse: "'Laissez-moi monter laissez-moi monter oh dites laissez-moi monter'" (p. 228). Perhaps the best example of immediate repetition in this context occurs in the sexually charged confrontations between Georges and Gorinne.. During their f i r s t meeting, Georges grabs Corinne's arm and presses i t violently. Corinne responds by repeating: "Je vous en prie Voyons Je vous en prie Je vous en prie. . ." (p. 239). The repetition of these words conveys a complex mes-sage. In the f i r s t place, Gorinne obviouslv reacts to the pain of Georges' grip. But, considering that Corinne i s a married, woman, she also addresses herself to the sexual aggression in Georges' action. Moreover, since Corinne rejects Georges' advance verballv but does not try to remove her arm, her words underline the woman's ambiguity towards the man's unspoken demand. Georges becomes Corinne's lover but the woman's i n i t i a l ambiguity never disappears and, discovering that Georges treats her as a sex object, i t turns into hatred. In the last scene between the lovers, Corinne expresses her mounting anger through a series of immediate repetitions. She attacks Georges, who has turned on the light, by yelling at him: "Eteins je te dis eteins eteins tu entends eteins" (p.. 293). Her outburst t e l l s Georges that she i s angry even- before she intensifies her offensive by calling him: 21 "Espece de salaud Espece de salaud" (p. 294) and by demanding: "Laisse-moi laisse-moi laisse-moi" (p. 294). The break-down of their relationship is as much the result of Georges' own sexual ambiguity as of Corinne's. The search for the essence of what is female leads Georges into a conflict with the "flesh and blood" woman. A similar conflict charac-terizes the relationship between Georges and his father Pierre. During the evening before Georges leaves for the war, Georges answers his father's innocent question "'Qu'est-ce que tu as?'" with what seems an unwarranted outburst: '"Rien je n'ai rien Je n'ai surtout pas envie d'aligner encore des mots et des mots et encore des mots'" (p. 36). On the one hand, this outburst conveys a typical father-son disagreement. But, on the other hand, i t describes a more fundamental ambiguity i n Georges' mind. Georges identifies his father with the world of books, whereas the war represents the world of action. The repetition of "mots" therefore communicates a rejection of Pierre's i d e a l i s t i c assumption that the key to a better world lie s in education. As i n the case of the other examples of immediate repe-t i t i o n ih La Route, the repetitive form of Georges' statement reinforces i t s semantic content. 2. b. Formal transcendence The interplay between form and content can take the shape of transcending the meaning of repeated words rather than merely reinforcing or contradicting them. In Absalom, for instance, immediate repetition communicates in purely formal terms feelings of entrapment. When Sutpen finds himself caught in an impossible situation, he expresses his ina b i l i t y to find a way out through an internal dialogue in which he discusses what 22 action he could take against Pettibone, the plantation owner who has insulted him by sending him to the backdoor: But I can shoot him: he argued with himself and the other; No. That wouldn't do no good: and the f i r s t : What shall we  do then? and the other: I dont know: and the f i r s t : But I  can shoot him. . . and the other: No. That wouldn't do no  good: and the f i r s t : Then what shall we do? and the other: I dont know; (p. 235) The dilemma whether or not to k i l l Pettibone is conveyed through a potentially limitless dialogue within Sutpen. By conjuring up the image of a mind trapped like a caged animal, Faulkner shows that Sutpen is imprisoned by circumstances. The same image applies to Quentin whose mind is locked in the past history of the South. Meeting face to face with Henry, Quentin's conversation with the surviving ghost takes on the form of a ci r c l e without exit: And you are ? Henry Sutpen. And you have been here ? Four years. And you came home ? To die. Yes. To die? Yes. To die. And you have been here ? Four years. And you are ? . Henry Sutpen. (p. 373) The physical presence of a character out of the Sutpen past moves the story Quentin and Shreve have constructed out of f i c t i o n and into reality. Quentin is so obsessed with the past that he cannot li v e properly i n the present; but, as long as he can relegate the Sutpen saga to f i c t i o n and hence keep some distance from i t , he maintains some hold on sanity. This hold becomes precarious once Quentin discovers Henry, for he laments: "'Nevermore of 23 peace. Nevermore of peace. Nevermore Nevermore Nevermore"' (p. 373). Quentin's peace of mind has of course been eroded slowly as his pre-occupation with the Sutpen saga has intensified. Shreve's needling curiosity edges Quentin on and threatens to suffocate him in the endless repetition of the same facts through Rosa, Mr. Compson, and f i n a l l y Shreve. Reacting to Shreve's decision to take over as narrator, Quentin thus imparts his anguished fascination by complaining: Am I going to have to have to hear i t a l l again he thought I am going to have to hear i t a l l over again I am already  hearing i t a l l over again I am listening to i t a l l over  again I shall have to never list e n to anything else but this  again forever. . . (p. 277) Mere words could not depict as vividly as this repetitive construction an obsessive state of mind. Through immediate repetition, Faulkner forces the reader to enter-, through mimetic action, into Sutpen's and Quentin's trap. 2. c. Cumulative pattern A cumulative pattern of immediate repetitions is really a case of formal transcendence on a larger scale. The distribution of immediate repetitions can be used to control and develop the intensity of situations or character t r a i t s . In Absalom, we find a cumulative pattern of immediate repetitions which communicates the increasing dilemma of a character and the gradual progress towards a plot climax. It i s of course impossible to measure the increase in intensity in arithmetical fashion. The cumulative effect is more satisfactorily explained in terms of Gilles Deleuze's comment on the annual f e s t i v i t i e s commemorating the French Confederation: "La fete n'a pas d'autre paradoxe apparent: repeter un 'irrecommencable1. Non pas 24 ajouter une seconde et une troisieme fois a l a premiere, mais porter l a 13 premiere fois a l a 'nieme' puissance." The exponential power Deleuze describes represents a suitable analogy for-the cumulative effect found in the episodes devoted to the relationship between Bon and Henry that lead up to the crucial fratricide. The pattern of immediate repetitions subtly reinforces the way i n which circumstances gradually narrow down Henry's possibilities of escaping from an impossible dilemma. The fratricide i s the consequence of two important factors in Bon's background: he is Sutpen's son from a f i r s t marriage and he is part negro. Faulkner traces the way in which Henry learns about these-factors and how' he tries to accept and incorporate them, within his moral framework. The f i r s t speculations about the fratricide are offered by Mr. Compson who exemplifies here the customs and attitudes of Southern whites. He believes that Bon's octoroon mistress is the crucial obstacle. This speculation is misleading on a factual level but coincides with the mental and emotional state Quentin and Shreve later attribute to Henry. Although Mr. Compson's reasons are wrong, he is right in showing how a tortured Henry sides with Bon even though the evidence Sutpen offers against the friend at Christmas is no doubt true. Confronted with what he knows to be true and unwilling to accept i t , he exclaims: I w i l l believe; I w i l l . . 1'.willy Even;..ifoitcisrsoy even i f  what my-father told me is true ,and which, in spite of my- self, I cannot keep from knowing is true, I w i l l s t i l l believe (p. 90). Henry reiterates."I will.believe! I w i l l ! I w i l l ! Whether i t i s true or not, I w i l l believe!" (p. I l l ) while he and Bon are looking for the octoroon mistress in New Orleans, and again "I w i l l believe! I w i l l ! I w i l l ! " (p. 112) 25 when confronted with the marriage license. For Mr. Compsoni the line Henry w i l l not cross is the legal document because i t goes against the customs-of the South: "'But you married her. You married her" 1 (p. 117). Of course, once Quentin and Shreve pick up the story of what pushed Henry to k i l l Bon, the octoroon mistress disappears from center stage. Quentin and Shreve know that Bon is Sutpen's son and that his i n -tention to marry Judith amounts to incest. In their view, Bon•threatens to transgress not only social custom but also moral law. In this version of the story, the truth Henry learns at Christmas is the fact that Bon'is his brother. Mr. Compson's depiction of Henry's dilemma corresponds to the emotional struggle that characterizes the son's decision to turn against the father. But the focus is now no longer on New Orleans but on the four years Henry and Bon spend in the war. The main issue seems to be Bon's intended incest. Henry begs: '"Wait. Wait. Let me get used to i t ' " (p. 340) and, when Bon ends the period of suspension by announcing his decision to marry Judith, Henry sighs: "'Thank God; Thank God,' not: for the incest of  course but because at last they were going to do something. . ." (p. 347). Having given his consent against his better judgment, Henry expresses his ambivalence in words that are supposed to convey his satisfaction but succeed in showing only his anguish: "'Thank God; Thank God' panting and saying 'Thank God,' saying,'Pont try to explain i t . Just.do i t ' " , ( p . 349). Henry tries hard to convince himself that he approves of the incest, and, even when his father tries to make him retract his permission, he remains firm: "-Yes. I have decided, Brother or not, I have decided. I w i l l . I will"" (p. 354). Quentin and Shreve are picking up words from Mr. Compson's version 26 and are now using them to underline Henry's gradual change of mind. When Sutpen t e l l s Henry that Bon i s not only his brother but also part negro, Henry arrives at a barrier he cannot scale. At f i r s t he s t i l l wavers between rejecting and accepting Bon: "-No! Henry cries. -No! No! I w i l l — I ' l l " (p. 356). It is Bon who f i n a l l y forces Henry to admit defeat. Referring to Bon's irreversible decision to marry Judith, the following dialogue takes place: -No, Henry says. —No. No. -I cannot? -You shall not. -Who w i l l stop me, Henry? -No, Henry says. —No.. No. No. (p. 357) Henry moves from,an i n i t i a l "-Yes. I w i l l . . ." to a'"-No! I w i l l . . ." and'ends with an emphatic "No. You shall notJ" He then confirms his pain-f u l l y established stand by repeating twice more "You shall not!" (p. 358). The immediate repetitions serve to reinforce emotional intensity and stress Henry's gradually narrowing options. The cumulative pattern thus provides signals for the urgency and progress of a situation that is inevitably moving towards a catastrophic resolution. 3. Immediate Repetition influences the relationship between text and  reality The examples of immediate repetition discussed so far are i n one sense or another concerned with the relationship between form and content within the text i t s e l f . But immediate repetitions also operate on a d i f -ferent level; they signal a conflict between truth and f i c t i o n . The nar-rators in Absalom and La Route are often confronted with a reality which 27 contradicts the "truth" of their imagination. We are no longer dealing with degrees of•ambiguity, generated by differences between form and content, but with .absolute either/or questions about factual accuracy. These questions are most s k i l l f u l l y introduced by means of a double narrator. The disputes between Quentin and Shreve in Absalom and between Georges and Blum in La Route permit a constant evaluation of facts and of their interpretations. Occasionally Faulkner and Simon draw explicit at-tention to the arbitrary and illusory nature of f i c t i o n . They interrupt the even flow of the narrative with immediate repetitions which force the reader to ask himself whether the account he is reading can be trusted or not. In Absalom, Shreve and Quentin sometimes correct each other as in the case of Quentin's geographical error::. " A l l right," Quentin said. " West Virginia wasn't admitted " " A l l right," Quentin said. " into the United States u n t i l " " A l l right a l l right a l l right," Quentin said. (pp. 220-21) The reader knows that i t does not matter much whether Sutpen's home state was called West Virginia or not; Nevertheless, he i s compelled to consider the r e l i a b i l i t y of a narrator who is apparently unable to deal with even the most basic factual information. The reader's suspicions are reinforced by Shreve's i n a b i l i t y to follow the vertiginous plunges of Quentin's imagination: "Wait. Wait.. •You cant, know yet. You... cannot.: know .yet whether what you see is what you are looking: at or what you are believing. Wait. Wait." (p. 314) . In view of the d i f f i c u l t i e s the reader experiences with Absalom, he undoubtedly shares and applauds Shreve's cautionary scepticism. Quentin himself eventually admits his limitations i n understanding the 28 reasons and motivations of his characters: "I dont know," Quentin said., "Yes, of course I understand i t . " They-breathed in the darkness. After a moment Quentin said: "I dont.know." "Yes. You dont know.. You dont even know about the old dame, the Aunt Rosa." fp. 362) Quentin's reiteration of "I dont know" indicates that he is often grop-ing in the dark. His failure i s of course a general failure. Total reality remains outside.the human grasp,, and the predominantly subjective selec-tion of -pertinent details that Proust suggests in his notion of "involuntary memory" i s perhaps the only accessible truth. In La Route, immediate repetitions focus on the same question of truth and f i c t i o n as in Absalom. Speaking of the story Blum constructs about the.Reixach ancestor, Georges queries: "Biensur. Bien sur. Bien rsur. Mais comment savoir?. (p. 85). Although Georges indicates- at least partial agreement with Blum, his qualification and the -very -need to comment on the story suggest that i t might be suspect. When Georges interrupts Blum's narrative .with a correction about the ancestor's wife, this suspicion becomes a certainty: "'Done cette Dejanire. . ..',, et Georges: 'Virginie', et Blum':i 'Quoi?', et Georges:; 'S'appelait Virginie.' Et Blum: 'Beau nom pour une putain. Done cette virginale.Virginie. . .." (p. 191). Blum immediately incorporates the new information and thereby admits that his reconstruction i s built more on supposition than fact. Blum periodically s o l i c i t s agreement from Georges and, as in the case of his conjecture 1 that the ancestor, was killed, by his wife's lover, ; receives a negative response: "Et Georges 'Non!' Et Blum:. 'Non? Non? Non?.Mais com-29 merit l e s a l s - t u a l a f i n ? " (p.,200-201)..* In Absalom, Shreve's queries -demand that Quentin, as the creator of the Sutpen saga, account f o r the sources of h i s material, whereas i n La Route,, the s t o r y - t e l l e r Blum c h a l -lenges Georges to prove that h i s imaginative reconstruction i s not true. In s p i t e of the concern Faulkner and Simon share f o r questions of truth and f i c t i o n , there i s a subtle s h i f t of emphasis from Absalom.to La Route. Faulkner's concern f o r v e r i s i m i l i t u d e makes him defend the claims of f i c t i o n , whereas Simon's acceptance of f i c t i o n as r e a l i t y puts the burden of negative proof on the doctrine of v e r i s i m i l i t u d e . 4. Immediate Repetition and,the r e l a t i o n s h i p between two,types of f i c t i o n The examples of immediate r e p e t i t i o n i n Absalom and La Route, have so fa r been motivated by predominantly psychological considerations. They have .occurred i n direct.and reported speech and i n d i r e c t and reported thought. On.the whole, they have commented on emotional or mental attitudes and s i t u a t i o n s . But a completely d i f f e r e n t use of immediate r e p e t i t i o n appears i n La Route. Simon adapts immediate r e p e t i t i o n to purely s t r u c t u r a l functions i n the form of s t r u c t u r a l pivots**and word games. These techniques owe t h e i r *A s i m i l a r passage appears on the subject of the ancestor's return from Spain: "Est-ce que ce n'est pas comme ca?" asks Blum.and receives the emphatic answer: "'Non!', et Blum: 'Non? Mais qu'en sais-tu?', et.Georges:' 'Non!'" (p.-199). **I am using " s t r u c t u r a l p i v o t " as a blanket term f o r "charniere s t r u c t u -r e l l e " and "metaphore s t r u c t u r e l l e " , as they are -used by Jean Ricardou i n "Un Ordre dans l a debacle," Problemes du nouveau roman (Paris: Editions du s e u i l , 1967), p. 48. 30 •effectiveness to manipulations of language and not to psychologically j u s t i f i e d associations. Jean Ricardou, the most adamant spokesman for the nouveau roman, rejects such.psychological interpretations as deplorable manifestations of the dominant ideology in c r i t i c a l discourse. Simon's own statements have tended to•support the psychological and later the formalistic approaches. His "psychologisme" betrays i t s e l f in statements like: "Tout ce qu'on-peut ecrire c'est non pas le monde exterieur mais sa projection en n o u s . I n a later interview, Simon contradicts this earlier position and sides.with Ricardou: As I have said, my texts have no "referents;" there is no model, imitation, copy, reproduction-words which inevitably come to mind with this unfortunate choice of terminology. There are, instead, excitants and stimuli that both i n i t i a t e and reactivate, and that are most often brought into play by what I c a l l "writing i n action." 1 5 If structural pivots and word games are appreciated as formal experiments, they show Simon's tendency to separate his f i c t i o n from conventional techniques. 3. a. Structural pivot The structural pivot, perhaps Simon's most original contribution to fic t i o n , i s not s t r i c t l y speaking an immediate repetition. The repetition Is either too diffuse—some material invariably separates the repeated e n t i t i e s — o r too condensed—the repetition is subsumed as in case of the pun. Nevertheless, the structural pivot resembles immediate repetition suf-f i c i e n t l y to be discussed here. The primary function of the pivot i s to bring about a bifurcation in the narrative without recourse to conventional transitions.. Contrary to other immediate repetitions, which tend to 31 intensify or unify the narrative, the structural pivot introduces dis-continuities by switching narrative levels without warning. Instead of deepening emotional aspects of the text or exploiting tensions v e r t i c a l -ly between form and content or truth and fi c t i o n , the structural pivot operates on the horizontal level and depends for i t s tension on the dis-location of narrative strands. The context in which, the structural pivot occurs i s of crucial importance. The semantic content of repeated words, however, i s perhaps even less significant than in immediate repetitions where form underlines content when emotional intensity i s desired and contrasts with i t when ambiguity is intended. In the case of a pivot, repeated words are chosen because they f u l f i l l a structural need and their selection i s usually dictated by an apposite double meaning. The pivot is used not because i t comments on the story but because i t executes narrative transitions. The structural pivots in La Route are of two basic types.. In the one case, the repeated word applies in i t s l i t e r a l meaning to two different narrative episodes. In the other one, the pivot works on a double meaning in which one episode relies on the l i t e r a l and the other on the figurative connotation. The type in which the repetition of a l i t e r a l meaning is involved i s s t i l l close to conventional transitions. La Route describes Corinne at the races and then, with the help of a pivot, switches to Georges riding through a wet night at the Flanders front. The narrative switch i s indicated not only by the pivot but also.by a paragraph inden-tation, a traditional marker for a change i n narrative content. The f i r s t paragraph ends with: "Corinne se levant nonchalamment, se dirigeant sans 32 hate. . . vers les tribunes. . ." and the next one starts with: "Mais i l n'y avait pas de tribunes, pas de public elegant pour nous regarder. . ." (pp. 24-25). The two episodes juxtapose an activity in two different contexts so as to make a social comment. The episodes are similar because in both instances men are riding horses. They are different i n that the f i r s t episode depicts high society at the races during peace time, where-as the second describes the dismal experience of the cavalry in war action. Although the link between the episodes is j u s t i f i e d thematically, i t appears rather contrived on the formal level. "Tribunes" i s repeated in negative terms, that i s , the significance of the connection is that there are no "tribunes" in Flanders. Due to this negative dimension, the narrative switch is not based on a double meaning or the repetition of a word in different contexts. The pivot work-ing'-on-li-teral meanings works more successfully in another example. The narrative segments concern a mad prisoner who is locked-up i n the Saxon prison camp and the love making between Georges and Corinne: ". . . i l est foutu de b r a i l l e r comme 5a sans arret toute l a nuit, hurlant sans f i n sans but dans les tenebres, hurlant puis brusque-ment elle cessa. . ." (p. 264).. Here the-narrative switch is almost . imperceptible and is recognized only after the reader, having found him-self suddenly i n new territory, has retraced his steps and ascertained that "hurlant" applies in one instance to the mad prisoner and in the other to Corinne.^ Compared to the "tribunes" example, this pivot has a more disruptive impact on the structural level and functions more organically on the thematic one. 33 The second type of pivot forces a narrative transition by using both the l i t e r a l and the figurative connotation of a word. The transi-tion can be brought about by using f i r s t either the l i t e r a l or the figurative meaning. In the case of a pun, the l i t e r a l meaning comes f i r s t and is then complemented by the figurative one. The pun does not actually repeat a word but compels the reader to read the same word twice. Ricardou draws attention to the pun* in an example where Georges comments on de Reixach's aristocratic habits: . . .ces reflexes et traditions ancestralement conserves comme qui dirait dans l a Saumur et f o r t i f i e s par l a suite, quoique d'apres ce qu'on racontait e l l e . . .s'etait chargee en seule-ment quatre ans de mariage de l u i faire oublier ou en tout cas mettre au rancart un certain nombre de ces traditionnelles traditions. . . (p. 12). The word,"saumure" and i t s phonetic equivalent "Saumur" has two meanings: "sens capte: le sel; sens veritable: ecole m i l i t a i r e . " 1 4 By speaking of " l a Saumur", Simon already attracts the reader's attention because the definite a r t i c l e represents, in this case, a transgression against the rules of grammar. Ricardou differentiates between the ordinary pun, where the hidden meaning supports the l i t e r a l one, and the pivot in Simon's novel where "Le sens approche et le sens veritable jouissent d'une maniere d'equi valence. Le mot Saumur joue des lors le role d'un aiguillage. Instantane-ment, l a phrase bifurque vers une autre voie, l'evocation de Corinne en ce qu'elle f i t abandonner a de Reixach le prolongement de Saumur: l a carriere. The hidden meaning, assumes an importance equal to the surface one. Both meanings of "saumur" suggest the concept of conservation and Corinne *This example i s not s t r i c t l y speaking a pun; i t is more a far fetched "a peu pres". 34 represents the erosion and disruption of the s t a b i l i t y a "de Reixach has traditionally enjoyed. The narrative switch, however, receives i t s f u l l significance only i f we recall that a crudely told story involving sex is called "une histoire salee" in French.* The word "Saumur" there-fore functions structurally as a fu l l y motivated pivot. Ricardou singles out another interesting pivot in La Route which he calls a "metaphore structurelle" because the figurative and the l i t e r a l meaning of a word form the foundation for a transition. The pivot moves the narrative from de Reixach brandishing his sabre to reflections about Corinne: . . .toute l a lumiere et la gloire, sur l'acier v i r g i n a l . . . Seulement, vierge, i l y avait belle lurette qu'elle ne l ' e t a i t plus. . . (p. 13). The pivot refers to i t s own inappropriateness by pointing out that "vierge" applies to Corinne only i n an ironic sense. But the irony is extremely functional because i t comments on the precariousness of an aristocratic code that cherishes the i l l u s i o n of purity in both military and domestic matters. There are, of course, less complex examples of pivots in La Route and, since this device i s relatively new and unusual, they should perhaps be illustrated. Blum's irreverent retelling of de Reixach's struggle to keep his wife, for instance, plays on a symbol of control over both horses and women. Speaking of de Reixach's attempt to r i v a l Iglesia's mastery over horses, Blum's double meanings constantly confuse horse and woman: . . .c'est-a-dire qu'il l'amenerait elle aussi au poteau. . . l u i ferait passer le gout ou l'envie d'un autre poteau. . .ou s i tu preferes d'un autre baton, c'est-a-dire que s ' i l reussissait a se servir de son baton aussi bien que ce jockey qui..." (p. 185). *Ricardou does not make this last point clear. 35 "Baton", l i t e r a l l y a stick to tame horses and figuratively the male sex organ, permits Simon to switch back and forth between the horse ;race and Corinne's i n f i d e l i t i e s . Comparisons between human beings and animals lend themselves especially to sexual double meanings and represent a f e r t i l e ground for switches between war and love scenes. At one point, the nar-rative moves"from Georges as an escaped prisoner to his making love to Corinne. Georges sums up his state of mind by saying: ". . .je n'etais plus un homme mais un animal" (p. 292). He then qualifies this statement and relates his unfortunate condition to sexual gratification: . . .j'etais un chien je galopais a quatre pattes. . . comme seule une bete pouvait le faire insensible a l a fatigue a mes mains dechirees j'etais cet ane de la legende grecque ra i d i comme un ane idole d'or enfoncee dans sa delicate et tendre chair. . . (p. 292). The transition i s extremely smooth and again the reader is forced to retrace his steps in order to follow the narrative. A last example of a pivot moving from a l i t e r a l to a figurative meaning is once more concerned with Georges' war experience and his sexual consciousness. Lying in a ditch in order to escape detection by the Germans, Georges thinks: ". . .et dans les aubes grises l'herbe aussi etait grise couverte de rosee que je buvais l a buvant par l a tout entiere. . . buvant son ventre les boules de ses • seins fuyant sous mes doigts. . ." (p. 260). Although war, love, and jealousy provide highly emotional contexts, the structural pivots never function to intensify an affective situation. These exclusively structural examples of immediate repetition work against conventional literary technique in that they emphasize formal"rather than thematic aspects of transitions. 36 b. Word games Word games are again a rather loose form of immediate repetition. The repetition i s no longer of entire words but of even smaller units of meaning. In poetry similar repetitions are called a l l i t e r a t i o n , a poetic device which usually f u l f i l l s the reader's expectations of pleasing harmonies and unifying connections. In La Route, however, this kind of repetition has a disruptive, provocative, and disorienting ef-fect because i t unexpectedly confronts us in a prose context and because the word combinations are not necessarily compatible. In Blum's descrip-tion of the ancestor's state of mind when he discovers his wife's i n -f i d e l i t y , words are s t i l l semantically connected but clearly chosen for their a l l i t e r a t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s : ". . .et l u i se tenant l a , dans ce desordre de l'esprit, ce desarroi, ce desespoir: defait, desoriente, desarconne, depossede de tout et peut-etre deja detache, et peut-etre deja a demi detruit. . ." (p. 199). This l i s t does not seem to be a serious attempt at recreating the ancestor's feelings. The words ob-viously generate their own momentum and make descriptive meaning a secondary consideration. A similar word game depicts the frustration Georges experiences when he tries to ride a horse with stirrups that are too short: ". . .alors que j'avais 1'habitude je veux dire j'habitais l'attitude je veux dire j'habitudais de monter long. . ." (p. 311). Here the momentum of the words transgresses against .grammar and creates the word" j'.habitudais" which does not exist in French. Twisting language to achieve effects, Simon has Georges wonder about names of villages that may or may not be in German hands. A l l the soldiers can know is the 37 "noms enigmatiques sur les plaques indicatrices les bornes, colories eux aussi et moyennageux Liessies comme liesse kermesse Henin nennin Hirson herisson hirsute Fourmies. . ." (p. 309).* The possibility of combining words in different ways, so as to form heterogeneous series or even non-sense words which are s t i l l functional, shows how arbitrary language i s . Simon forces the reader out of his automatic responses to the text and makes him think about language and the process.of f i c t i o n . Immediate repe-t i t i o n has a defamiliarizing effect which heightens our awareness of the technical frontiers Simon is approaching. The new f i c t i o n advocated by Simon strives against expectations set up by literary conventions and chal-' lenges established f i c t i o n a l forms. 5. Conclusion:',. A psychological study of rhythm and repetition by Paul Fraisse differentiates between temporal and spatial repetition; Fraisse argues that temporal repetition is more emotive whereas spatial repetition i s more intellectual: Cependant, i l n'y a qu'analogie entre repetition de formes spatiales et succession de formes temporelles. Certes on re-trouve dans les. deux cas des processus perceptifs de meme nature, mais une difference essentielle se manifeste: l'ex-ploration de l a repetition dans l'espace,.meme lorsqu'elle exige une succession de fixations oculaires, n'engendre pas 1'induction motrice qui caracterise les successions tempo-relies de stimulations exteroceptives surtout de nature au-ditive. II manque au rythme spatial d'etre cette experience originale qui entraine toute l a personnalite dans un mouvement riche de repercussions a f f e e t i v e s . 1 8 *0ther examples of such word games can be found on pp. 41-42, 296, and 309 of La Route. 38 Immediate repetition belongs to the temporal category because the proximity of repeated words permits virtually no spatial associations. The high emotive level of immediate repetitions thus coincides with Fraisse's general observations. However, the literary use of immediate repetition does contain a strong current of intellectual manipulation. We have seen that immediate repetitions negotiate between the form (syntax) and meaning (semantics) of words, attract attention to questions of truth and fi c t i o n , and contribute to the conflict between conventional and experimental literary techniques. Faulkner and Simon are almost always in control of the results they achieve by means of immediate repetitions. This i s perhaps'most explicit i n Simon's experimentation with structural pivots. The structural pivot works on a linear (temporal) level since i t determines bifurcations i n the narrative flow. It there-fore operates in a technical, intellectual way and hence directs i t s e l f against Fraisse's conclusion. Simon in fact succeeds in using immediate repetition i n a way that i s contrary to i t s normal functioning. The same point applies, although in different degrees, to the other types of im-mediate repetition I have discussed. Immediate repetitions are best understood when the context is taken into consideration. The context mediates the relationship between repeated words because in isolation immediate repetitions would lose their significance. On an informational level, immediate repetitions are tautological because to repeat the same word adds nothing to our understanding of facts. But a tautology is not totally redundant; i t carries a different kind of message. Through a simple repetition i t is 39 possible to suggest elaborate meanings, ambiguities, and nuances without r e s o r t i n g to lengthy explanations. On the .one hand, immediate r e p e t i t i o n i s therefore redundant and expansionary and, on the other, i t condenses the text and contributes to i t s economy. I t i s of course obvious that immediate re p e t i t i o n s do not capture the meaning of an event by themselves. They function more as a supporting structure i n that they express i n a d i f f e r e n t code what the text has already explained. I f we take the example of immediate r e p e t i t i o n s punctuating the r e l a t i o n -ship between Henry and Bon during the war (2.c), i t i s c l e a r that Faulkner t e l l s us again what he has already t o l d us i n other d e s c r i p t i v e passages. Immediate r e p e t i t i o n s are thus a form of what R i f f a t e r r e c a l l s "over-determination.'"? R i f f a t e r r e argues that a l l l i t e r a t u r e operates on a m u l t i p l i c i t y of codes. His work on "overdetermination" concentrates pr i m a r i l y on metaphor. He speaks, for instance, of a "contextual over-19 determination of 'pining'" i n Wordsworth's "Yew Trees" and points out 20 that the word tree " i s stated again and again i n a cumulative sequence." I f immediate r e p e t i t i o n s are acknowledged as a form of "overdetermination," t h e i r a c t i v e contribution to l i t e r a r y texts can be f u l l y appreciated. 40 CHAPTER II Interrupted Repetition of words and sentences 1. Introduction Interrupted repetition distinguishes i t s e l f from immediate repe-ti t i o n in that the repeated words or sentences are separated by other words or sentences. Traditional rhetoric classifies this type of repe-ti t i o n as a diacope. As a s t y l i s t i c term, a diacope is more or less limited to repetitions on the sentence level. Whenever repeated words punctuate extended passages, paragraphs, or chapters, we no longer speak of diacope but of recurring key-words (or sentences). Both diacope and recurring key-words are instrumental in regulating the pace of the nar-rative; they are rhythmic devices. Diacope functions almost entirely as a. s t y l i s t i c convenience which permits sentences to expand or contract. Recurring key-words, however, serve not only rhythmic purposes but i n i t i a t e paradigmatic associations between individual segments in which repeated words appear. Where diacope has a temporal dimension only, recurring key-words operate on both a temporal and a spatial axis. • My discussion of diacope and recurring key-words in Absalom and La Route makes use of two earlier c r i t i c a l studies: Monique Hyde's un-published dissertation on "William Faulkner and Claude Simon: A S t y l i s t i c 1 2 Study" and Joseph W. Reed's Faulkner's Narrative. Hyde concentrates on "the long sentence, the heavy use of the present participle, the 3 abundance of parenthesis" as the most f r u i t f u l "aspects of resemblance" between the two authors. She examines the typical loose sentence in the 41 works of Faulkner and Simon by focusing on "syntactical structures and atomic components." Her study i s thorough, though perhaps a shade tedious because of her tendency to i l l u s t r a t e her points with copious examples in the form of relatively long citations from texts. My own interest, in the sentences of Faulkner and Simon is more limited than Hyde's and does not demand the same detailed and comprehensive attention to grammatical and s t y l i s t i c questions. Hyde's analysis does, however, overlap with my own focus on the subject of parallel constructions, "reprises," and, to a lesser extent, approximations. Reed's book on Faulkner is one of the best studies of the narrative structure in Faulkner's novels. The chapter on Absalom' (chapter 7) offers many significant insights which (reinforce my own ideas not only about nar-rative progression but also about the crucial importance of metaphor. Indeed, Reed's careful analysis of metaphor in Absalom.supplies many paral-l e l s to the ways in which recurring key-words function. In Reed's opinion, "Absalom is Faulkner's most metaphorical novel, and metaphor i s more central to i t s meaning than to that of any of his other novels. . ."^ It i s therefore not surprising that Reed produces a diagram (in the appendix) which gives detailed information on the frequency and densitv of metaphor in the novel. From this data, Reed draws conclusions about the "narrative's tempo, pace, and rhythm" and "narrative strategy" in general. Since recur-ringVkev-words are quite often metaphors, their distribution coincides more or less with Reed's diagram.^ Metaphors and recurring kev words also work J . - • <• • • • • • • • • in concert as the "central barrier to a contented and comfortable reading 8 of Absalom" because both devices frustrate reader expectations. As might 42 be expected, aside from occasional parallels, Reed's study of metaphor does not always move in the same direction as an analysis of recurring key-words. Both Hyde and Reed thus provide me with useful information without necessarily influencing the orientation of my own investigations. 2. Repetition in the sentence The sentence in the works of Faulkner and Simon has a tendency toward digression, accretion, modification. It often stretches grammar to i t s limits: occasionally i t is even downright ungrammatical. What keeps the sentence together is usually a distinctive rhythm. This.rhythm is sup-ported by repetitive patterns in which a key-word reappears several times. Parallel constructions and "reprises" are some landmarks of this pattern. In order to differentiate between parallel constructions and "reprises," i t is necessary to give some rather long examples. A typical parallel construction, a device used only by Faulkner, appears in the f i r s t chapter of Absalom:* . . . though I defy anyone to blame me, an orphan of twenty, a young woman without resources, who should desire not only to justify her situation but to vindicate the honor of a family the good name of whose women has never been impugned, by accepting the honorable proffer of.marriage from the man whose food she was forced to subsist on. And most of a l l , I do not plead my-self: a young woman emerging from a holocaust which had taken parents security and a l l from her, who had seen a l l that l i v i n g meant to her f a l l into ruins about the feet of a few figures with the shapes of men but with the names and statures of heroes— a young woman, I say, thrown into daily and hourly contact with one of these men. . . (p. 19; i t a l i c s mine) *This example was not used by Hyde; for other examples, see Hyde pp. 94-95. 43 The repetition of "a young woman" reminds the reader periodically of the subject matter in question. The parallel construction keeps the labyrinthine sentence together and controls i t s digressive tendency. A "reprise" is a slightly modified form of a parallel construction. The term is borrowed from the f i e l d of music where i t s use is now "restricted to the repetition of or return to the f i r s t subject or theme, of a sonata movement, after the development." In short, i t i s a recapitulation which differs from the parallel construction "in that the word or phrase repeated is not merely a kind of mnemonic device referring back to the same person or action, but resumes the main thread of the sentence, usually after an addition, an explanation or a digres-sion, and helps i t s progress." 1^ Hyde differentiates between "reprises" which concentrate on verbs, present participles, nouns, and conjunctions. As my purpose is not specifically s t y l i s t i c , this kind of detailed clas-s i f i c a t i o n seems superfluous. Instead I w i l l select a few good examples to c l a r i f y the way in which "reprises" function. In Absalom, the "reprise" frames a digression which is almost always put within a parenthesis: And so in the next two seconds they would almost catch him (he— the lawyer—would show her the actual letter, the writing in the English she couldn't read, that had just come in, that he had just sent for the nigger to carry to her when she came in, and the lawyer done practised putting the necessary date on the letter u n t i l he could do i t now while?his back would be toward her, in the two seconds i t would take him to get the letter out of the f i l e ) — c a t c h him, get so close to him as to have ample satisfac-tion that he was alive;. . . (p. 305; i t a l i c s mine). The parenthesis betrays a clinging to the old literary principle of " c l a r i t y " and shows a lack of confidence in the reader's a b i l i t y to understand the text without typographical help. Simon occasionally 44 submits to the pressures of the " c l a r i t y " convention and includes a parenthesis. The death of Wack, for instance, i s described in a parenthesis in which the slow-motion quality of the incident i s stressed. The last words before the parenthesis are "puis je vis Wack" \ (p. 158) and the f i r s t ones after the parenthesis are "je vis Wack qui venait de me depasser. . .".(p. 159).* But Simon also experiments with "reprises" that are not reinforced by parentheses. The following pas-sage focuses on George's escape from prison camp and on his making love to Corinne: . . . toujours courant galopant a quatre pattes j'etais un chien l a langue pendante galopant haletant tous deux comme des chiens je pouvais voir sous moi ses reins creuses, ralant, l a bouche a moitie etouffee voilant son c r i mouille de salive dans l ' o r e i l l e r froisse et >par dela sonepaule sa joue d'enfant couchee sa bouche d'enfant aux levres gonflees meurtries entr'ouvertes exhalant le rale tandis que je m'enfoncais lentement entrant m'engloutissant i l me semblait de nouveau que cela n'aurait pas ne pouvait pas avoir de f i n mes mains posees, appuyees sur ses hanches ecartant je pouvais le voir brun fauve dans l a nuit et sa bouche faisant Aaah aaaaaaaah m'enfoncant tout entier dans cette mousse ces mauves petales j'etais un chien je galopais a quatre pattes dans les fourrees. . . (pp. 291-92; my i t a l i c s ) The "reprise" i s perhaps not as obvious as in the passages with paren-thesis. It i s , however, quite evident and the chiasmus (reversed order of phrases) adds s t i l l another dimension to the device. The passage i s bewildering because the digression concerns the sexual act and has no direct connection with the description of Georges' escape. This bewilderment increases as the material separating the repeated phrases gets longer. Hyde cites an example where the phrase "leurs uniformes raides, conservant" (p. 69)"^ i s repeated nineteen lines apart. Moreover, *For other examples, cf. Hyde pp. 95-100. 45 the digression makes a comparison between old newsreels and comments on the "stupidity of crowds" and thereby takes us "far away from the 12 description in progress (the soldiers' uniforms)." Indeed, the reader virtually forgets that he is confronted with a digression. The long gap between repeated sentences gives the digression precedence over the main theme so that the return to the main description takes him by surprise. It i s in fact sometimes d i f f i c u l t to say whether the "reprise" controls the meandering sentence or contributes to i t s confusion. Another rhythmic and repetititve device, used extensively by both Faulkner and Simon, i s the use of conjectural terms in order to achieve, 13 in Warren Beck's words, a "statement of alternative suggestions." Two good examples, one from each novel, should demonstrate sufficiently how repetitive this device i s : . . . this man whom Henry f i r s t saw riding perhaps through the grove at the University on one of the two horses which he kept there or perhaps crossing the campus on foot in the slightly Frenchified cloak and hat which he wore, or perhaps (I like to think this) presented formally to the man reclining in a flowered, almost feminized gown, in a sunny window in his chamber. . . (p. 95; my i t a l i c s ) . Et peut-etre n'etait-ce meme pas l e deshonneur, l a brusque revelation—et son incapacite (apres tout peut-etre n'etait-i l pas absolument imbecile—comment le savoir?—peut-etre n'est-il pas interdit d'imaginer que ses ordres etaient non pas stupides mais les meilleurs. . . (p. 214; my i t a l i c s ) . Similar effects are achieved with words, like "doubtless," "probably," "maybe," etc. in Absalom and "sans, doute," "probab.lement," "plutot," 14 "c'est-a-dire," etc. in La Route. Here, as in the case of parallel constructions and "reprises," repetition reveals i t s e l f as a central 46 component of the long, meandering sentence. Thus, on the sentence level, interrupted repetition establishes a rhythmic pattern, keeps sentences from disintegrating into chaos, and, in some instances^ even contributes to the reader's disorientation. 3. Repetition in the arrangement of recurring key-words The combination of confusion and coherence, characteristic of interrupted repetition on the sentence level, can be observed in even larger narrative units. The recurrence of key-words in extended pas-sages, paragraphs, chapters,.and the overall text controls a variety of narrative functions. I t sets up barriers against expectations, keeps a digressive narrative together, and regulates the novel's pace. In ad-dition • to these already familiar functions of interrupted repetition, recurring key-words perform descriptive tasks and manipulate events by making the meaning of certain key-words "slide" or develop. Recurring key-words serve thematic and structural intentions and, although they are usually a clearly visible phenomenon, they can work below the surface and influence the reader's responses in subtle ways. This section inves-tigates the nature and function of recurring key-words and discusses some of their thematic and structural implications. 3. a. Mood and atmosphere Stefan Hock discovers "in gewissen Formen der Wiederholung einen starken Stimmungsgehalt""'"^ and thereby points to an area of repetition that i s often alluded to. The more a word is repeated, the more loaded i t 47 becomes. The mood i n the opening section of Absalom has been often and s u c c e s s f u l l y analyzed as a function of a d j e c t i v a l profusion. Reed, for instance, states that the " f i r s t two paragraphs are heavily atmospheric—-we are transported to Miss Havisham's chamber—but they are also heavy with adjectives (forty-nine i n the f i r s t and seventy-16 s i x i n the second)". , What Reed f a i l s to stress i s that many of these adjectives (and t h e i r noun forms) are repeated. The s t e r i l i t y of Rosa's l i f e i s p r i m a r i l y suggested through the r e i t e r a t i o n of "hot," "dead," "dark," "dusty," and "dry" i n the following v a r i a t i o n s : "hot weary dead September afternoon," "hot a i r l e s s room," "moving a i r c a r r i e d heat," "dark was always cooler," "dust motes," "dead old dried paint," "dry v i v i d dusty sound," " i n the eternal.black," "long-dead objects," "Out of the biding and dreamy and v i c t o r i o u s dust," "dim c o f f i n - s m e l l i n g gloom," " o l d f l e s h , " "dried sand." In-order to complete the picture of a woman e x i s t i n g i n arrested time, Faulkner also includes repeated references to time and the seasons: "September afternoon," " f o r t y -three summers," "w i s t a r i a vine blooming f o r the second time that summer," "forty-three years now," "twice-bloomed w i s t a r i a , " "quiet September.sun" (pp. 7-8). Although the opening paragraphs contain the heaviest concentration of r e p e t i t i o n s f o r mood,, they appear throughout Absalom. I do not think that t h i s argument needs d e t a i l e d support; the constant recurrence of key-words l i k e "outrage," "doom," "despair," " f a t e , " "ghost," "ogre," "shadow," "shade," "shape," "phantom," "curse," and "destiny" should be s u f f i c i e n t evidence. As i n Absalom, recurring key-words help to set the atmosphere 48 in La Route. Since a large part of La Route takes place during the phoney war of September 1939 to May 1940 and the active war of May 10 to June 10, 1940, the atmosphere determining words center around the discomforts soldiers are exposed to. There are frequent allusions to the physical environment of "boue," "pluie," and "nuit" as well as to basic needs like "dormir," "manger," "boire," and "smoking". Depicting the demoralization of the soldiers, Simon resorts to repetitions, of . . . . » "decomposition," "degradation," "erosion," "desordre," "defaite," "desastre," "pourrir," and "puer." These recurring key-words bring the digressions into Georges' sexual preoccupations back to the physical •reality of the war. The mood Simon establishes i s thus not merely descriptive but faci l i t a t e s a juxtaposition of lived experience and imaginary existence. It is not through a s t r i c t l y cumulative effect that recurring key^words produce the desired mood. Although repetition imbues words with deeper significance and thereby contributes to their "key-word" status, i t leads to another important consequence. Both Absalom and La Route are highlv fragmented and digressive texts. Recurring key-words recall thematic issues and tie together narrative fragments. If the context in which recurring key-words appear is taken into consid-eration, disparate episodes are brought into contact and assume a meaning that is not limited to a cumulative effect alone. Indeed, by virtue of their fragmentation, Absalom and La Route invite a paradigmatic reading along the vertical axis of repeated key-words. 49 3. b. Characterization Recurring key-words often function in "leitmotif" fashion. "Leitmotif" i s a term borrowed from music where i t was f i r s t developed by Richard Wagner to apply to a "short musical phrase representing and recurring with a given character, situation, or emotion i n an opera. Both Faulkner and Simon use "leitmotif-type words and phrases for their depiction of characters. Occasionally they do so for comic r e l i e f . The fixed figure of speech "They aint whupped us y i t , air they" (pp. 184, 187, 278, 280) characterizes Wash, Faulkner's tragicomic conception of a poor white. Simon also resorts to a humorous "leitmotif" when he repeats ". . .peut-etre v o u l a i t - i l seulement ti r e r son coup l u i aussi" (pp. 123, 276). This ambiguous expression sums up the lame man's love of guns and suspected sexual frustration. But, in general, "leitmotifs" are used more seriously. Some characters i n Absalom are consistently referred to by an expression that sums up their traits as the narrators see them. Ellen i s a "blooming butterfly" (pp. 69, 72, 74, 75, 78, 80, 85, 97, 126), Bon is a " f a t a l i s t " (pp. 105, 108, 120, 123, 132, 270, 318, =335), and Sutpen i s alternatively a "demon" (pp. 8, 9, 11, 13, etc.) or a "fine figure" (pp. 184, 271, 282, 287, 288, 304, 363) . Similarly, Simon depicts de Reixach's impact on Georges through "leitmotifs" that denote the captain's aristocratic bearing. Many references are made to his impas-sive f a c i a l expression, his "dos raide" in the saddle, and the l i f t e d "sabre" at the moment of his death. De Reixach's ancestor is repeatedly associated with twenty-three volumes of Rousseau and Iglesia i s treated to a "visage de Polichinelle" (pp.124, 151, 165, 172) because of his big 50 nose. Unlike other recurring key-words, "leitmotifs" do not deepen their meaning through repetition but, because they act as quasi-musical signals, they lose their specific semantic importance. Descriptive aptness makes room for rhythmic quality. 3. c. Association The "leitmotif" for comic effect and for character identification belongs to a literary convention whose main exponent is'Thomas Mann. In early works, the "leitmotif" is limited to external character traits with usually symbolic overtones. The most famous of these appears i n Buddenbrooks where Thomas Buddenbrook's rotten teeth suggest the decay of the family dynasty. In later works, especially in Doktor Faustus, "leitmotifs" perform more complex thematic and structural roles. The Esmeralda "leitmotif", for instance, i s no longer a stable entity but expands and changes i t s meaning as i t enters into association with other motifs. Simon, too, resorts to similar ambitious "leitmotif" techniques. The recurring key-word is short-hand for an extended incident and, because the incident i s now reduced to a;small unit, i t can enter into associative series. The recurrence, of a key-word does not produce emotive intensity or add new information. The "leitmotif" of the l i f t e d "sabre" at the moment of de Reixach's death illustrates this point. "Sabre" i s f i r s t mentioned in a passage that describes the death scene quite adequately:* *The only more complete depiction occurs in the long description at the end of La Route which does not mention the word "sabre." 51 . . . comme par exemple ce reflexe qu'il a eu de tirer,son sabre quand cette rafale l u i est partie dans l e nez de der-riere l a haie: un moment j ' a i pu le voir ainsi le bras leve brandissant cette arme inutile et derisoire. . . comme s i son cheval et l u i avaient ete coules tout ensemble dans une seule et meme matiere, un metal gris, le s o l e i l miroitant un instant sur l a lame nue puis le tout—homme cheval et sabre—s'ecroulant d'une piece sur le cote comme un cavalier de plomb. . . (p. 12). This passage represents the f i r s t statement of a theme on which a number of variations are later played. It contains virtually a l l the information we are likely to glean from this theme. The variations are simply restatements which are occasionally contradictory. In one instance Georges indicates that his f i r s t impression was that only the horse had been kil l e d because, with respect to de Reixach, "nous l'avons vu degainer son sabre. . ." (p. 47). Another time Georges believes that "le geste absurde et derisoire de degainer et brandir ce sabre" came at a point when de Reixach was "deja completement mort" (p. 89). Perhaps more important are short references to "sabre" that tend to be intervowen with other events and images. Speaking of the ancestor, Simon unexpectedly switches to "un simple canard sans tete brandissant ce sabre l'elevant etincelant dans l a lumiere avant de s'ecrouler sur le cote. . ." (p. 90) and, in a passage describing the decomposing dead horse, Georges suddenly asks himself "quand est-ce qu'il se mettrait a. puer pour de bon continuant toujours a brandir son sabre. . ." (p. 117). And, when Georges is particularly conscious of a spring day, he associates "l'aveuglant s o l e i l de mai" with the memory of "un instant fouj avait etincele l'acier du sabre brand!. . ." (p. 125). Simon merges de Reixach f i r s t with the ancestor and then with the dead horse. The key-word also relates two separate moments in time. La Route conditions the reader to recognize "sabre" as a signal for de 52 R e i x a c h ' s d e a t h and t h e ambiguous c i r c u m s t a n c e s s u r r o u n d i n g i t . Even when th e f i g u r e " b r a n d i s s a n t l e s a b r e " (p. 234) i s mixed i n w i t h r e f e r e n c e s t o Blum, I g l e s i a , C o r i n n e , and S a b i n e , t h e r e a d e r i s i m m e d i a t e l y a b l e t o i d e n t i f y t h e a p p r o p r i a t e e p i s o d e and t o e s t a b l i s h t h e n e c e s s a r y a s s o c i a t i o n s between de R e i x a c h and t h e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s . The v a r i o u s a l l u s i o n s t o de R e i x a c h ' s d e a t h c e r t a i n l y go beyond t h e s t r i c t d e f i n i t i o n o f t h e " l e i t m o t i f . " T h i s complex t e c h n i q u e e ncourages a p a r a d i g m a t i c r e a d i n g w h i c h i s per h a p s even more pronounced i n t h e " l e i t m o t i f " o f t h e "paon t i s s e dans l e r i d e a u " (p. 1 2 2 ) , r e f e r r i n g t o t h e woman who h i d e s b e h i n d a c u r t a i n a t t h e lame man's far m . A l t h o u g h " r i d e a u " o r "paon" a l w a y s p o i n t s t o a s p e c i f i c e p i s o d e , t h e m o t i f g r a d u a l l y t a k e s on l a r g e r s i g n i f i c a n c e . Because i t appears r e p e a t e d l y i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h C o r i n n e and t h e a n c e s t o r ' s w i f e , i t e v e n t u -a l l y comes t o s t a n d f o r a l l r e a l and im a g i n e d i n c i d e n t s t h a t i n v o l v e a d u l t e r o u s l o v e . The " l e i t m o t i f " t h u s t u r n s i n t o a f o c a l p o i n t whose r e s o -nances e x t e n d f a r beyond t h e i n i t i a l s i t u a t i o n . 3. d. I n s t a b i l i t y The r e c u r r i n g key-words I have a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e " l e i t m o t i f " have a f i x e d meaning and, a l t h o u g h t h e y echo o t h e r images, t h e y a r e alwa y s t i e d t o a s p e c i f i c c h a r a c t e r o r e p i s o d e . Not a l l r e c u r r i n g key-words work a l o n g t h e l i n e s o f s i m p l e e q u i v a l e n c e . Some d e v e l o p and p r o l i f e r a t e because t h e y change t h e i r meaning o r because d i f f e r e n t v o i c e s employ them. I t i s i n t h i s a r e a t h a t t h e s t u d i e s o f metaphor and o f r e c u r r i n g key-words c o i n c i d e t o some e x t e n t . The c o r r e s p o n d e n c e between metaphor and r e c u r r i n g key-word i s , o f c o u r s e , o n l y p a r t i a l . 53 Metaphors do not necessarily depend on recurrence; many words are metaphors because they conform to a literary convention. On the other hand, many recurring key-words have no figurative significance. Never-theless, some of Reed's observations about metaphor in Absalom run parallel to my own on recurring key-words. He argues, for instance, that "one character takes over another character's metaphor and changes 18 its tone and purpose." Words like "demon", "doom," and "fate" are introduced by Rosa in a highly emotional tone. Mr. Compson then picks them up in a more descriptive mode so that Rosa's words, when repeated by Mr. Compson, lose their incantatory power in exchange for a more detached approach. When Shreve f i n a l l y resorts to the same words again, he does so in an exaggerated and ironic way. By the time Rosa's words are appropriated by Shreve, they have degenerated into parodies of themselves. Words that are used by different characters occur often and therefore attract special attention. In order to increase their v i s i b i l i t y ^further, - Faulkner has chosen words that have been used so much in l i t e r a -ture that they are immediately recognizable as cliches. Usually writers try to avoid cliches, preferring an original style and vision. But Faulkner is audacious enough to repeat words that have already been classified as over-used. He thereby exploits our conditioned uneasiness about cliches and transforms them into symbols of a psychologically unhealthy attitude towards the past. Especially Rosa and, to a lesser extent, Quentin betray an obses-sion with Sutpen's story that manifests i t s e l f through an excessive fond-ness for cliches. 54 What f u r t h e r c o m p l i c a t e s t h e i s s u e o f r e c u r r i n g key-words i s t h a t t h e y a r e n o t o n l y used by d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r s b u t can a p p l y t o a v a r i e t y of s i t u a t i o n s . Reed s t a t e s t h a t : even t h e most c o n v e n i e n t o r f r e q u e n t l y r e p e a t e d metaphors a r e s u b j e c t t o development. Some b e g i n w i t h one tend e n c y of meaning, e v o l v e t h r o u g h t h e book, and emerge w i t h q u i t e a n o t h e r meaning.!9 The word " o u t r a g e , " f o r i n s t a n c e , appears i n t h e a c c o u n t o f v a r i o u s c h a r a c t e r s and d e p i c t s a number of o n l y l o o s e l y r e l a t e d s i t u a t i o n s . I t d e s c r i b e s Sutpen's i n s u l t i n g p r o p o s a l t o Rosa (p. 1 7 7 ) , a l l u d e s t o Bon's d e a t h (Rosa, p. 140; Sh r e v e , p. 1 7 9 ) , i n d i c a t e s Bon's f e e l i n g s towards Sutpen (Mr. Compson, 96; Shreve 308; Bon, 3 1 8 ) , a p p l i e s t o negro women (S h r e v e , pp. 299, 313; Mr. Compson, p. 269; Bon, p. 1 1 6 ) , conveys t h e town's a t t i t u d e towards Sutpen (Mr. Compson, p. 4 6 ) , r e f e r s t o t h e d e a t h of Rosa's f a t h e r (Mr. Compson, p. 8 4 ) , i n t e r p r e t s Sutpen's a c c o u n t o f h i s t r i p t o H a i t i ( Q u e n t i n , p. 24 6 ) , and comments on Q u e n t i n ' s n a r r a t i v e " o v e r -t o n e . . . of s m o l d e r i n g o u t r a g e " (p. 218) When t h e word " o u t r a g e " i s s t u d i e d i n i t s s p e c i f i c c o n t e x t s , i t r e v e a l s i t s e l f as a h i g h l y u n s t a b l e e l ement. S u p e r f i c i a l s t a t e m e n t s c o n c e r n i n g F a u l k n e r ' s use o f " o u t r a g e " g e n e r a l l y assume t h a t i t s t a n d s i n a o n e - s t e p e q u i v a l e n c y t o Rosa's h a t r e d o f S u t p e n . However, as t h e d e t a i l e d a c c o u n t o f t h e word's use s u g g e s t s , " o u t r a g e " i s a f a v o r i t e t e r m w i t h a l l t h e n a r r a t o r s and can o c c u r i n d e s c r i p t i o n s t h a t have n o t h i n g t o do w i t h e i t h e r Rosa o r Sutpe n . The i n s t a b i l i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f r e c u r r i n g key-words l i k e " o u t r a g e " i s p a r t -l y r e l a t e d t o t h e s p e c u l a t i v e n a t u r e o f t h e n a r r a t i v e . S i n c e d i f f e r e n t n a r r a t o r s e v a l u a t e t h e same e v e n t s , i t i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t key-words d e v e l o p t h e i r own meaning and appear i n c h a n g i n g c o n t e x t s . B u t , t h e word 55 "outrage" attracts attention also because i t is melodramatically colored. This coloring i s in i t s e l f disturbing and, when i t combines with unstable recurrence, the reader becomes disoriented. Faulkner means to shock the reader out of his habitual responses to metaphor and cliches. Through repetition he once again transgresses established literary practice. 3. e. Pace If the frequency and distribution of recurring key-words are analyzed, some interesting insights about Faulkner's literary technique emerge. Some of these coincide with Reed's remarks about the relationship between pace and metaphor. He argues, for instance, that the high percentage of metaphor in the f i r s t two paragraphs of Absalom—paragraphs which also contain a high concentration of recurring key-words—is not "calculated to persuade 20 us to read on." There are too many gaps and holes in these paragraphs to stimulate the reader's curiosity. Instead of postulating a specific enigma, Faulkner simply indicates that mystery in i t s e l f i s at the core of the narrative we are about to read. This procedure either compels the reader to continue in spite of his bewilderment or to abandon the novel from the start. The second valuable insight Reed conveys about the f i r s t two paragraphs reads as follows: "Just at the point Faulkner might be expected to want to speed us up, to soar and zoom arid pull us into the book, verbal excess slows 21 us down." With "verbal excess" Reed means of course metaphor. However, the narrative contains not just a lot of different metaphors but the same meta-phors appearing again and-again. Metaphor and recurrence often combine to slow down the narrative just when at least a partial resolution appears on 56 the horizon. In Chapter Five, Rosa's account of her own story, Faulkner moves towards the moment when Rosa is expected to reveal what "bald outrageous words" (p. 168) Sutpen spoke to her when the narrative sud-denly switches to a recapitulation of what we know already. This reca-pitulation is a l l the more frustrating as i t consists of key-words like "doomed," "demon," "shot," "waiting," "dead," "love" (p. 169), key-words that make the reader impatient with Rosa's convoluted style. Faulkner does not place clusters of recurring key-words where the narrative ap-proaches or arrives at a climax. He inserts them instead in those areas where progress must be slowed down. Reed is correct in stating: "If the reader i s conscious of any dragging in the pace, he notices metaphor" (p. 151). He notices not only metaphor but also repetition. Suspense can-not' operate properly because the "dragging in the pace" impedes the conventional movement towards resolutions. Although ordered progress often seems to be just around the corner, i t is inevitably sabotaged by verbal excess. The barriers to stock responses are not just a w i l l f u l game with literary conventions; they force the reader to complement his habitual horizontal reading with a vertical one. Instead of concentrating on events and resolutions, Absalom moves questions of motivation and narrative proc-ess into the foreground. The recurrence of key-words thus draws attention away from representation and towards interpretation. It is interesting to note that Simon refrains from using recurring key-words for pacing purposes. We find no increase in emotional intensity or narrative speed in La Route that could be traced back to recurring key-words. The reasons for this must be sought in Simon's refusal to give 57 some themes p r e f e r e n c e o r dominance o y e r o t h e r s . I n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h e t h e o r e t i c a l p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s o f t h e new n o v e l , L a Route i s supposed t o a s s i g n more o r l e s s e q u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e t o a l l themes and t o c o n c e n t r a t e on t h e i r i n t e r r e l a t i o n s r a t h e r t h a n on t h e i r h i e r a r c h i c a l a r r a n g e m e n t s . I have shown, f o r i n s t a n c e , t h a t t h e r e c u r r e n c e of " s a b r e " conforms t o an a s s o c i a t i v e r a t h e r t h a n a c u m u l a t i v e p a t t e r n . Such a s s o c i a t i v e p a t -t e r n s a r e marked by r a d i c a l f r a g m e n t a t i o n so t h a t t h e k i n d o f suspense s t r u c t u r e i m p o r t a n t i n Absalom cannot o p e r a t e i n L a Route and r e c u r r i n g key-words can t h e r e f o r e n o t a c t as b a r r i e r s t o r e a d e r e x p e c t a t i o n . S i n c e Simon a v o i d s even t h e i l l u s i o n o f a movement towards r e s o l u t i o n , pace i n L a Route i s n o t d e t e r m i n e d by the r e l a t i v e p r e s e n c e o r absence o f v e r b a l e x c e s s . Moreover, s i n c e t h e fragmented, c o n s t r u c t i o n of t h e n o v e l n a t u r a l l y imposes a p r e d o m i n a n t l y v e r t i c a l r e a d i n g , r e c u r r i n g key-words a r e n o t needed t o draw a t t e n t i o n away from t h e t e x t ' s h o r i z o n t a l d i m e n s i o n . 4. R e p e t i t i o n i n t h e s t r u c t u r a l o p e r a t i o n s o f r e c u r r i n g key-words I have so f a r d i s c u s s e d r e c u r r i n g key-words of a f i g u r a t i v e n a t u r e . A l t h o u g h I have emphasized t h e i r t e c h n i c a l f u n c t i o n s , a t h e m a t i c c o l o r i n g has n e v e r t h e l e s s t e n a c i o u s l y c l u n g t o them. However, n o t a l l r e c u r r e n c e c o n c e r n s words w i t h m e t a p h o r i c s i g n i f i c a n c e . B o t h F a u l k n e r and Simon e x p l o i t r e c u r r i n g key-words f o r p r e d o m i n a n t l y s t r u c t u r a l p u r p o s e s . I n c o n t r a s t t o t h e f i g u r a t i v e key-words, t h e s t r u c t u r a l ones a r e n o t a s -s o c i a t e d w i t h c e n t r a l e p i s o d e s o r s p e c i f i c c h a r a c t e r s . They a r e more o r l e s s p i c k e d a t random and a r e used t o c o u n t e r a c t o r sometimes t o i n c r e a s e t h e f r a g m e n t a t i o n o f a t e x t , t o p e r f o r m t r a n s i t i o n a l o p e r a t i o n s , and t o 58 help the reader unravel complex associative labyrinths. The specific characteristics of these structural manipulations depend on the degree of digression and fragmentation in a narrative. In Absalom, one of the f i r s t experimental novels, much care is taken to guide the uninitiated reader. In La Route, on the other hand, the reader's a b i l i t y to cope with experimental writing i s taken for granted, and the main concern is with the surface and geometry of the text. The different attitude towards digression and fragmentation influences the ways in which recurring key-words contribute to structural choices. Digression and fragmentation thus provide the necessary context for this kind of repetition. 4. a. Orientation among narrative voices and strands Faulkner's effort to make a complex and fragmented novel like Absalom accessible to his readers makes him include a certain amount of reading assistance. Recurring key-words counterbalance the novel's digressive narrative and offer some foothold on both a localized and on a more general level of the text. The f i r s t chapter of Absalom, for instance, fa-ci l i t a t e s orientation among the narrative voices and temporal dislocations by means of certain reiterated phrases. These phrases avert total narrative disintegration by leading the reader periodically back to the main story line. The repeated phrases tend to justify the digressions and thereby give the i l l u s i o n of some narrative cohesion. When Rosa insists in two places that Sutpen "wasn't a gentleman" (pp. 14, 16), she suggests that Sutpen's disreputable character explains and ju s t i f i e s her digression into his marriage, the fratricide, the war, and his arrival in Jefferson. Rosa's constantly wandering mind needs to be kept in check by such reiterations 59 as Sutpen's need f o r " r e s p e c t a b i l i t y 1 1 (pp. 15, 16, 17, 2 8 ) , Rosa's c l a i m t h a t she " h o l d s no b r i e f " e i t h e r f o r h e r s e l f o r E l l e n (pp. 15, 17, 1 8 ) , E l l e n ' s demand t h a t Rosa " p r o t e c t them" ( s p e c i f i c a l l y " J u d i t h " ) (pp. 15, 18, 21, 2 2 ) , and t h e c h i l d r e n ' s need t o be p r o t e c t e d " o n l y from them-s e l v e s " (pp. 25, 2 7 ) . These r e p e t i t i o n s e s t a b l i s h some m i n i m a l n a r r a t i v e o r d e r and g i v e t h e i l l u s i o n t h a t Rosa p u r s u e s a c o n v e n t i o n a l g o a l as a s t o r y t e l l e r . The d i f f i c u l t y w i t h F a u l k n e r ' s f o o t h o l d s i s t h a t t h e y a r e q u i t e u n s t a b l e and have a t e n d e n c y t o o v e r l a p . T h e i r arrangement i n t h e f i r s t c h a p t e r makes t h i s q u i t e c l e a r : A He wasn't even a gentleman A A B I h o l d no g r i e f B B B C P r o t e c t them (or J u d i t h ) C C C C D R e s p e c t a b i l i t y D D D D E P r o t e c t them from t h e m s e l v e s E E E The r e a d e r i s r e a s s u r e d by the r e a p p e a r i n g k e y - p h r a s e s because t h e y s u g -g e s t t h a t an o r d e r i n g hand i s a t work. The e s t a b l i s h e d o r d e r i s o f c o u r s e l a r g e l y i l l u s o r y . Not o n l y does t h e o v e r l a p p i n g make any n e a t l i n e a r p r o g r e s s i o n i m p o s s i b l e , b u t t h e k e y - p h r a s e s a r e o n l y a s u r f a c e phenomenon w h i c h c o v e r s up t h e r e a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e c h a p t e r . The c h a p t e r ' s s i g n i f i c a n c e l i e s n o t i n t h e s t o r y l i n e e s t a b l i s h e d t h r o u g h t h e r e c u r -r i n g p h r a s e s b u t i n t h e d i g r e s s i o n s t h e y j u s t i f y . F a u l k n e r ' s n a r r a t i v e p r o g r e s s i o n r e s e m b l e s Simon's s e n t e n c e " r e p r i s e s " f o r t h e y , t o o , i m p e l us t o a c c e p t d i g r e s s i o n s f o r t h e main c o n c e r n . * R e c u r r i n g k e y - p h r a s e s , t h e n , l u r e us i n t o a more or l e s s l i n e a r a p p r o a c h w h i l e t h e w e i g h t o f t h e c h a p t e r a l w a y s p u l l s us towards a p a r a d i g m a t i c r e a d i n g . *See s e c t i o n 2, t h i s c h a p t e r . 60 Recurring key-phrases also help to sort out the many narrator levels in Absalom. The constant criss-crossing of narrative levels would be incomprehensible i f certain signals did not c l a r i f y their intercon-nections. Quentin's presence is most prominent in the opening section, where he partially accounts for his role. Faulkner introduces a narrative frame for the Sutpen saga by presenting Quentin in the act of listening to accounts about the past. This frame concentrates on Quentin's puzzlement about Rosa's decision to t e l l him her story and brackets the digressions dealing with Sutpen and his children. First of a l l , Quentin introduces and closes his description of Rosa in her tomb-like room by repeating the statement: "It's because she wants i t told" (pp. 10, 11). He then anticipates his father's explanations for Rosa's reasons: "It would be three hours yet before he would learn why she had sent for him. . ." (p. 11). This anticipation is followed by brief allusions to Sutpen's arrival, the children's fate, and Sutpen's death. The frame story has now arrived at a later time that same day when Quentin asks his father: "But why t e l l me about i t ? " (p. 12). This question i s an invitation to Mr. Compson for his interpretation of Rosa's character and behavior. With Quentin's resolution to continue in his narrator role—"Whatever her reason for choosing him. . ."(p. 13)—the story of Sutpen's early activities in Jefferson is subsequently resumed. The repeated references to Quentin's puzzlement neatly signal narrative switches between the portraits of Sutpen and Rosa. The repeated phrases in the f i r s t chapter are spaced relatively close together and even quite oblique repetitions are easily recognized. 61 But when t h e spaces, between r e p e a t e d segments a r e l a r g e r , t h e r e p e t i t i o n s must be made more v i s i h l e . Semantic r e s e m b l a n c e s a r e c o n s e q u e n t l y r e i n -f o r c e d by i d e n t i c a l o r n e a r - i d e n t i c a l s y n t a c t i c a l f o r m u l a t i o n s . F a u l k n e r makes p a r t i c u l a r l y e f f e c t i v e use of w i d e l y spaced r e p e t i t i o n s i n C h a p t e r I I I . T h i s c h a p t e r b e l o n g s t o Mr. Compson and i s much b e t t e r f o c u s e d and o r g a n i z e d t h a n t h e o p e n i n g s e c t i o n . Indeed, a f t e r Rosa's meandering v o i c e , Mr. Compson's a c c o u n t s t r i k e s us as c o n n e c t e d and l o g i c a l . We a r e i n f a c t a l -most b l i n d e d t o t h e s t i l l v e r y d i g r e s s i v e n a t u r e o f t h i s p a r t o f t h e n o v e l . T h i s i s perhaps because t h e d i g r e s s i o n s t e n d t o be c o n f i n e d t o t h e e v e n t s c o v e r e d i n t h e c h a p t e r and do n o t i n t r o d u c e r a d i c a l t e m p o r a l d i s l o c a t i o n s . The r e c u r r i n g k e y - p h r a s e s a r e i n t e n d e d t o s u p p o r t t h e i l l u s i o n t h a t Mr. Compson o f f e r s a r e a s s u r i n g l y r a t i o n a l a p p r o a c h t o t h e Sutpen saga. They u s u a l l y appear a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f p a r a g r a p h s and f o r c e t h e d i g r e s s i n g n a r -r a t i v e t e m p o r a r i l y back t o t h e main t h r e a d . The f o l l o w i n g examples demon-s t r a t e how p a r a g r a p h o p e n i n g s t h a t echo each o t h e r s u g g e s t an o r d e r e d n a r -r a t i v e p r o g r e s s i o n : "That may have been the l a s t t i m e she saw him [Sutpen] " (p. 6 6 ) . " A l t h o u g h she was n o t t o see Sutpen a g a i n f o r y e a r s . . ." (p. 6 8 ) . "That was t h e summer f o l l o w i n g Henry's f i r s t y e a r a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y . . ." (p. 7 0 ) . "That summer she saw Henry a g a i n t o o " (p. 7 1 ) . "Then she s t o p p e d s e e i n g E l l e n even" (p. 7 3 ) . "So M i s s Rosa d i d n o t see any of them;. . ." (p. 7 4 ) . "So she d i d n ' t even see E l l e n anymore" (p. 7 8 ) . A l t h o u g h t h e m a t e r i a l c o v e r e d i n t h e p a r a g r a p h s moves back and f o r t h 62 between events taking place from Sutpen's arrival to Bon's death, the echoing paragraph openings try to deny or counteract this fact. This method permits Faulkner to portray Mr. Compson as a logical, rational man and, at the same time, to continue the novel's associative structure. 4. b. Temporal stratification and ellipses Recurring key-phrases in Absalom tend to emphasize the novel's continuity and coherence; they often cover up or smooth over the digres-sions in the narrative. But they can also draw explicit attention either to temporal stratifications or to gaps in the story. The chapter concerned with Sutpen's past (Chapter VII) provides illustrations for both possibil-i t i e s . The i n i t i a l frame story for the flashback into Sutpen's childhood and youth is the chase and consequent capture of the escaped French archi-tect in 1835. Progress reports on the chase alternate with General Compson's report on Sutpen's confidences. These confidences contain a large ellipse. After General Compson has told of Sutpen's early experiences,"the arduous journey to Haiti is summarized in the sentence: "He went to the West Indies" (p. 238). Following a switch to the architect chase, Sutpen's story is resumed with the same sentence (p. 239). General Compson then repeats Sutpen's explanation for going to the West Indies. We learn that the idea was suggested to him in school but the actual journey is again summarily dismissed with: ". . . and I went to the West Indies" (p. 243). When Sutpen's story is once more taken up, he has already arrived in Haiti. Faulkner draws attention to the ellipse in order to show that Sutpen's exploits were not dictated by love of adventure but by the demands of a design. The same point is made when 63 Sutpen's journey from Haiti to Jefferson is again lost in an ellipse. His arrival in Jefferson is as sudden as his arrival in Haiti. This time the ellipse occurs in the frame story; i t takes thirty years before Sutpen finishes his tale. The architect frame ends with Sutpen's decision to leave Haiti and a new frame, Sutpen's v i s i t to General Compson's office in 1864, forms the background to Sutpen's l i f e in Jefferson. In conclusion, then, the alternations between frame and main story are always abrupt and definite. The narrative can no longer be termed digressive but moves on two distinct temporal levels. And, instead of framing a digression, recurring phrases emphasize ellipses. Repetition in this.chapter thus signals temporal dislocations and narrative dis-continuities. 4. c. Documentation Both Absalom and La Route are narratives about narrative and hence very conscious of the relationship between f i c t i o n and reality. Novelists of the past have often tried to give their f i c t i o n an i l l u s i o n of reality by including a l l sorts of documents which were supposed to vouch for the authenticity of the narrative. Authors were fond of pretending that they had found letters, a diary, a travel log, or other factual sources on which they based their stories. It i s surprising that experimental authors like Faulkner and Simon include some documents of this type. In Absalom these sources of verisimilitude are not addressed to the reader but to Quentin who needs to convince himself that the people about whom he talks have some reality. In La Route, however, these sources undermine conventional gestures towards verisimilitude and 64 d e c l a r e t h e i r u n r e l i a b i l i t y . I n Absalom t h e r e a r e o v e r s e v e n t y r e f e r e n c e s t o v a r i o u s l e t t e r s and n o t e s . Many of t h e s e l e t t e r s r e p r e s e n t a v e r i f i a b l e l i n k between the p a s t of Sutpen and t h e p r e s e n t of Q u e n t i n ; t h e y t e n d t o be t a n g i b l e o b j e c t s t h a t Q u e n t i n sees o r h a n d l e s i n t h e f r a m i n g p a r t o f t h e n o v e l . The most r e m a r k a b l e and r e p e a t e d l y a l l u d e d t o l e t t e r s a r e t h e n o t e i n w h i c h M i s s Rosa r e q u e s t s ^ Q u e n t i n ' s v i s i t , t h e l e t t e r Q u e n t i n r e c e i v e s a t H a r v a r d a n n o u n c i n g Rosa's d e a t h , and t h e o n l y s u r v i v i n g l e t t e r o f Bon's c o r r e s p o n d e n c e t o J u d i t h . The c o n j e c t u r e s about Sutpen and h i s c h i l d r e n a r e p e r i o d i c a l l y p u n c t u a t e d by g l a n c e s a t Q u e n t i n i n t h e a c t of c o n t e m p l a t i n g one of t h e s e l e t t e r s . The l e t t e r s t h e r e b y m e d i a t e between the l e v e l s o f n a r r a t o r and n a r r a t i v e . Most of t h e l e t t e r s a r e e v e n t u a l l y quoted i n f u l l so t h a t t h e i r p h y s i c a l p r e s e n c e and c o n t e n t r e v e l a t i o n amount t o f o r m i d a b l e p r o o f t h a t t h e i r a u t h o r s had once e x i s t e d . The g r a v e s t o n e s t h a t Q u e n t i n v i s i t s i n C h a p t e r S i x f u n c t i o n i n much t h e same way as t h e l e t t e r s . They f o r m a frame t h a t p e r m i t s F a u l k n e r t o d i g r e s s i n t o t h e l i f e s t o r y o f each of t h e p e o p l e b u r i e d a t Sutpen's Hundred. Most of t h e l i f e s t o r i e s t a k e t h e form of a q u i c k summary of a l r e a d y known f a c t s . But t h e g r a v e s t o n e of C h a r l e s - E t i e n n e S a i n t - V a l e r y Bon i n t r o d u c e s a c h a r a c -t e r about whom v e r y l i t t l e has been known b e f o r e . The g r a v e s t o n e s p r o v i d e p h y s i c a l e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e " g h o s t s " o f Q u e n t i n ' s s t o r y were a t one t i m e l i v i n g b e i n g s . P h o t o g r a p h s , e s p e c i a l l y the f a m i l y p o r t r a i t i n Sutpen's l i b r a r y , a r e a n o t h e r form o f d o c u m e n t a t i o n t h a t s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e e x i s t -ence of a s t o r y based on f a c t . A t f i r s t g l a n c e , s i m i l a r documents seem t o f u n c t i o n i n much t h e same 65 way in La Route. Since childhood, for instance, Georgess!'. imagination has been stimulated by the portrait of the ancestor. Especially a crack in the paint, parading as a bullet wound in the man's forehead, has frightened the child and now intrigues the soldier. Georges' conjectures are considerably influenced by the illusory wound, and the reconstruction of the ancestor's death is therefore based on false evidence (pp. 56, 57, 80, 225). Indeed, portraits and other paintings are consistently shown to f a l s i f y reality in one way or another. Blum blames "le savoir-faire de l ' a r t i s t e . . ." (p. 196) for the appearance of the ancestor and his wife in two small medallion pictures, and Georges has to read the name of the person represented in order to identify the ancestor's wife in one particularly bad portrait. More-over, Georges occasionally pretends that he bases certain descriptions on paintings he has seen. One such painting concerns the ancestor's war experiences in Spain. But just as Blum is about to believe in the painting, i t s existence is denied: "II n'y avait non plus—du moins i l n'en avait jamais vu—d'image representant cette bataille, cette defaite, cette deroute. . ." (pp. 214, 215). The only picture of the battle Georges is aware of illustrates " l a phase victorieuse de l a campagne: mais cette victoire n'etait arrivee qu'un an plus tard, et c'etait environ cent ans plus tard encore qu'un peintre o f f i c i e l avait ete charge de la representer. . ." (p. 215). The retrospective rear-rangement of events emphasizes a glorified conception of the historical past and the artist's temporal distance from his subject further distorts the facts. In a similar case, Georges leaves i t unclear whether an 66 e t c h i n g , on w h i c h he a p p a r e n t l y r e l i e s f o r t h e d e t a i l s o f t h e a n c e s t o r ' s s t o r y , i s a c t u a l l y i n h i s f a m i l y ' s p o s s e s s i o n o r n o t . I t i s o n l y when Blum c h a l l e n g e s him d i r e c t l y t h a t he a d m i t s t h e n o n - e x i s t e n c e o f such an e t c h i n g (pp. 85, 186-87, 202, 2 1 4 ) . The documentary e v i d e n c e i n L a Route i s thus s u b j e c t t o a e s t h e t i c c o n v e n t i o n s o r has been c o n s t r u c t -ed r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y . I t i s made t o f i t h i s t o r i c a l p r e c o n c e p t i o n s o r t u r n s out t o be c o m p l e t e l y i m a g i n a r y . Simon summarizes t h e u n r e l i a b i l i t y o f such documents by r e l e g a t i n g them t o a " g r a v u r e q u i n ' e x i s t a i t meme pa s " and a " p o r t r a i t p e i n t c e n t c i n q u a n t e ans p l u s t o t . . ." (p. 2 3 1 ) . What s e r v e d i n Absalom as a gen u i n e a t t e m p t t o g i v e some v e r i s i m i l i t u d e t o t h e n a r r a t i v e i s d i s m i s s e d i n L a Route as a h i g h l y s u s p e c t c o n v e n t i o n . 4. d. Heterogeneous c o n n e c t i o n s R e c u r r i n g key-words o r s e n t e n c e s o f t h e n o n - f i g u r a t i v e t y p e l e n d t h e m s e l v e s t o a s s o c i a t i o n s t h a t d i f f e r i n some ways from t h o s e a c h i e v e d by means o f r e c u r r i n g l e i t m o t i f s o r metaphors. R e c u r r i n g l e i t m o t i f s and metaphors i d e n t i f y themes w h i c h a r e a l r e a d y g i v e n prominence i n t h e n o v e l . De R e i x a c h ' s " s a b r e " o r t h e word " o u t r a g e " i n Absalom c o n n e c t a c e n t r a l c o n c e r n w i t h a number o f o t h e r main f o c a l p o i n t s . The r e c u r r e n c e o f n o n - f i g u r a t i v e key-words s u p p o r t s a s s o c i a t i o n s t h a t a r e n o t d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d b u t b e l o n g t o g e t h e r because of j u x t a p o s i t i o n a l a r r a n g e m e n t s . Such a s s o c i a t i o n s a r e c o n s i d e r a b l y more a r b i t r a r y t h a n m e t a p h o r i c ones. Simon, f o r i n s t a n c e , l i k e s t o describe^phenomena as c o l o r b l o b s , t h a t i s , i n the way t h e y f i r s t r e a c h t h e s e n s e s . The advantage of c o l o r b l o b s i s t h a t t h e y can a p p l y t o an a l m o s t l i m i t l e s s number o f t h i n g s . One o f t h e 67. most frequently mentioned colors, in La Route is pink. Pink is above a l l the color of de Reixach's stable so that both. Iglesia and later de Reixach himself appear as a "casaque rose" (pp. 23, 150, 154, 179) or simply as a "tache rose" (pp. 150, 168, 174, 177). The pink racing color is extracted from Georges' description of horses in terms of constantly changing colors against a fixed background of trees: Jaune, bretelles et toque bleues—le fond vert noir des marronniers— Noire, croix de Saint-Andre bleue et toque blanche—le mur vert noir des marronniers—Damier bleu et rose toque bleue—le mur vert noir des marronniers—Rayee cerise et bleue, toque bleu c i e l — l e mur vert n°ir des marronniers—Jaune, manches cerclees jaune et rouge, toque rouge—le mur vert noir des marronniers—Rouge, coutures grises, toque rouge—le mur vert noir des marronniers—Bleu c l a i r , manches noires, brassard et toque rouges—le mur vert noir des marronniers— Grenat, toque grenat—le mur vert noir des marronniers—Jaune, cercle et brassards verts, toque rouge—le mur vert noir des marronniers— Bleue, manches rouges, brassard et toque v e r t s — l e mur vert noir des marronniers—Violette, croix de Lorraine cerise, toque v i o l e t t e — l e mur vert noir des marronniers—Rouge, pois bleus, manches et toque rouges—le mur vert noir des marronniers—Marron cercle bleu c i e l , toque noire. . . (pp. 22-23). The color pink, specifically, permits Simon to carry out a number of i n -teresting operations. Both being under the influence of Corinne, Iglesia and de Reixach are drawn together because they wear a "casaque rose v i f . . . qu'elle leur avait en quelque sorte imposee a tous deux" (p. 154). Corinne herself i s identified with pink. Watching the race, she is stand-ing with "une de ces feuilles jaunes ou roses sur lesquelles sont inscrites les dernieres cotes. . ." (p. 24). What counts for both de Reixach and Iglesia i s the mastery of woman and horse. Simon therefore applies the "taches vives" (including the color pink) to "les robes des chevaux et celles des femmes" (p. 19). These connections are further complicated by the dead horse Georges encounters during the war. The "chiffon rose" 68 (pp. 29, 251, 3 0 8 ) , h a v i n g escaped from an open s u i t c a s e and m a r k i n g t h e p l a c e where t h e dead h o r s e i s decomposing, j u x t a p o s e s t h e a n i m a l w i t h i t s more f o r t u n a t e c o u n t e r p a r t s d u r i n g peace t i m e . The i n s i s t e n c e on t h e c o l o r p i n k draws a t t e n t i o n t o c o l o r s i n g e n e r a l . The a n c e s t o r ' s b u l l e t wound, f o r i n s t a n c e , i s seen as a " t a c h e rouge" (p. 81) and C o r i n n e wears a "robe r o u g e " (p. 234) w h i c h i s a l l t h e more a p p r o p r i a t e as " ' C o r i n n e ' f a i s a i t p e n s e r a ' c o r a i l ' " (p. 2 3 5 ) . There i s c e r t a i n l y no d i r e c t c o n n e c t i o n between t h e a n c e s t o r and C o r i n n e . The c o l o r " r o u g e " t h e r e f o r e makes us t a k e background i n f o r m a t i o n about t h e a n c e s t o r and de R e i x a c h i n t o a c c o u n t . The r e c u r r e n c e of " r o u g e " e s t a b l i s h e s an a s s o c i a t i o n between r e l a t i v e l y h e t e r o g e n e o u s e l e m e n t s w h i c h has an even more r a d i c a l c o u n t e r p a r t i n r e f e r e n c e s t o " t a c h e s sombres". These denote the a n c e s t o r ' s g e n i t a l s (p. 8 8 ) , a p u d d l e of u r i n e (p. 9 2 ) , t h e s p i l l e d c o n t e n t s o f a b r o k e n b o t t l e o f w i n e (p. 2 1 1 ) , and C o r i n n e ' s h a i r (p. 2 6 4 ) . There a r e no l o g i c a l c o n n e c t i o n s between t h e s e o b j e c t s and t h e r e a d e r e x p e r i e n c e s t h e i r l i n k a g e as d i s t u r b i n g and d i s o r i e n t i n g . A l t h o u g h n o n - f i g u r a t i v e key-words l a c k t h e s p e c i f i c a d herence t o themes c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f r e c u r r i n g m etaphors, t h e y n e v e r t h e l e s s t e n d t o r e i n f o r c e major themes. Most c o l o r b l o b s r e f e r i n some way t o t h e n o v e l ' s c e n t r a l c o n c e r n about sex and v i o l e n c e . B u t , u n l i k e m e t a p h o r i c c o n n e c t i o n s , n o n - f i g u r a t i v e ones a r e u s u a l l y q u i t e o b l i q u e . They become n o t i c e a b l e o n l y because o f r e p e t i t i o n and n o t because o f any o r g a n i c l i n k w i t h a theme i n q u e s t i o n . The image of " p a t t e s r e p l i e e s " o r "jambes r e p l i e e s , " f o r i n s t a n c e , r e c u r s i n s e v e r a l c o n t e x t s and t h e r e b y i n v i t e s c e r t a i n a s s o c i a t i o n s . I t a p p l i e s most o f t e n t o t h e dead h o r s e Georges keeps p a s s i n g and t o t h e d y i n g 69 horse in the stable (pp. 27, 29, 105, 270). It can,however, describe people. The jockey Iglesia rides with his "petites jambes repliees" (p. 24) and a dead soldier in a painting (p. 215) as well as women in the act of making love (p. 191) are represented in the same terms. The recur-ring image ties together death and sex, human beings and animals. The same network of associations suggests i t s e l f throughout La Route, primarily by means of juxtaposed fragments which exemplify this thematic core. Because of their relatively arbitrary status, recurring key-words of the non-figurative type allow for great f l e x i b i l i t y and encourage linguistic and compositional experiments. 4. e. Transitions Simon's experiments with transitions represent an excellent example of how the repetition of more or less ar b i t r a r i l y selected words can be exploited. These experiments are similar to structural pivots (see Chapter I, Section 4. a.) except that in the present case the repetition is not immediate and therefore often more d i f f i c u l t to spot. The tran-i sitions work on an intentional confusion concerning the reference of repeated words. In a description of the sexual act, Georges speaks of the penis as a "gland a cause de l a peau qui l e recouvre a moitie. . ." Ip. 290). Approximately half a page later, he refers to "glands" as the acorns the arab prisoners used to collect. Using the same word in d i f -ferent senses, Simon executes a transition from the sexual relations between Georges and Corinne to Georges' experiences as a prisoner of war. Even more complex i s a transition making use of a third-person pronoun. 70 Here t h e r e p e a t e d word does n o t r e f e r t o d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s b u t t o d i f f e r e n t p e r s o n s . The f o l l o w i n g p assage c o n t i n u e s t o d e s c r i b e a scene i n w h i c h de R e i x a c h t r i e s t o a r b i t r a t e a d i s p u t e between t h e gun-happy lame man and h i s enemy, th e mayor's a s s e s s o r : . . . t r a q u e p a r l a h onte 1 ' i n s u p p o r t a b l e a f f r o n t endure dans l a femme de son f r e r e l u i dont on n ' a v a i t pas v o u l u pour f a i r e l a g u e r r e a q u i l ' o n n ' a v a i t pas v o u l u c o n f i e r un f u s i l . A l l o n s d i t - i l l a c h e z c e t t e arme c ' e s t comme 5a que des a c c i d e n t s a r r i v e n t , mais i l ne v o u l a i t r i e n e n t e n d r e , apparemment i l t e n a i t a c e t a t t i r a i l de c h a s s e u r a ce f u s i l avec l e q u e l i l s ' e t a i t f a i t r e -p r e s e n t e r symbole ou q u o i . . . (pp. 288-89) I n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d t h i s p a s s a g e , i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o r e a l i z e t h a t " i l " a l l u d e s t o t h r e e d i f f e r e n t men. The f i r s t " i l " r e f e r s t o de R e i x a c h , t h e second t o the lame man, and t h e t h i r d t o t h e a n c e s t o r . I t i s moreover i m p e r a t i v e t o g r a s p t h a t more t h a n one gun i s i n q u e s t i o n . O n l y a t h o r o u g h knowledge o f t h e n o v e l ' s l a r g e r c o n t e x t p e r m i t s an i n t e l l i g e n t d e c i p h e r i n g o f t h i s t r a n s i t i o n from the t w e n t i e t h t o t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y . A s i m i l a r o p e r a t i o n marks t h e s h i f t f rom one l o c a t i o n i n Georges' war e x p e r i e n c e s t o a n o t h e r : Pas a q u a t r e h e u r e s du m a t i n a c h e v a l s u r une c a r n e e t sous l a p l u i e Tu c r o i s q u ' i l e s t q u a t r e h e u r e s du m a t i n Tu c r o i s q u ' i l f i n i r a t o u t de meme p a r f a i r e j o u r ? (p. 278) The a l l u s i o n s t o f o u r o ' c l o c k i n t h e m o r n i n g seem t o f o r m p a r t o f one and t h e same c o n v e r s a t i o n . B u t , t h e c o n t e x t makes i t c l e a r t h a t t h e f i r s t a l -l u s i o n i s t o t h e s o l d i e r s ' meandering r i d e t h r o u g h a r a i n y n i g h t a t t h e front.v.and t h e second one t o Georges and Blum h e i n g d e t a i n e d i n a d a r k p r i s o n t r a i n . Such t r a n s i t i o n s f r u s t r a t e our h a b i t u a l a s s u m p t i o n s t h a t s h i f t s between scenes (and hence between d i f f e r e n t moments i n t i m e ) c o r r e s p o n d t o an o r g a n i c c a u s a l o r d e r . I n s t e a d , we a r e f o r c e d t o a c k n o w l -71 edge movements from one scene t o t h e n e x t as t h e r e s u l t o f r e l a t i v e l y a r b i t r a r y c h o i c e s on t h e a u t h o r ' s p a r t . By a c c e n t u a t i n g r a t h e r t h a n a t -t e m p t i n g to d i s g u i s e t r a n s i t i o n s , Simon c e l e b r a t e s t h e p r o c e s s of f i c t i o n . 5. C o n c l u s i o n I n t e r r u p t e d r e p e t i t i o n r e v e a l s i t s e l f as an i m p o r t a n t c o n t r i b u t o r t o the p a t t e r n i n g and p a c i n g of t h e n a r r a t i v e . I t r e g u l a t e s t h e rhythm o f s e n t e n c e s ( d i a c o p e ) and i n f l u e n c e s t h e c o n t r a c t i o n and e x p a n s i o n o f l a r g e r n a r r a t i v e u n i t s ( r e c u r r i n g k e y - w o r d s ) . I t i s i n d i g r e s s i v e and f ragmented n o v e l s l i k e Absalom and L a Route t h a t t h e s e o p e r a t i o n s a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y p r o m i n e n t . I t seems t h a t r e p e t i t i o n goes hand i n hand w i t h f r a g m e n t a t i o n i n t h a t i t b o t h a c c e n t u a t e s and c o u n t e r a c t s i t . I t a c c e n t u a t e s i t because t h e r e c u r r e n c e o f key-words impedes t h e l i n e a r p r o g r e s -s i o n o f t h e t e x t . A t the same t i m e , the b a r r i e r s t o a l i n e a r r e a d i n g c r e a t e a p a t t e r n of a n a l o g i c a l c o n n e c t i o n s of t h e i r own. R e c u r r e n c e encourages t h e s i m u l t a n e o u s p u r s u i t o f d i f f e r e n t t i m e s t r a t a s and p e r m i t t h e c o e x i s t e n c e o f o f t e n h i g h l y h e t e r o g e n e o u s and even c o n t r a d i c t o r y e l e m e n t s . The f r e q u e n c y , d e n s i t y , and d i s t r i b u t i o n of r e c u r r i n g key-word can t h u s t e l l us a l o t about t h e k i n d o f a s s o c i a t i o n s we a r e supposed t o t r a c e . F a u l k n e r and Simon f u r t h e r use r e c u r r i n g key-words i n o r d e r t o p e r f o r m s t r u c t u r a l o p e r a t i o n s , i n w h i c h main n a r r a t i v e and d i g r e s s i o n s o r v a r i o u s e p i s o d e s and themes a r e d i s t i n g u i s h e d from each, o t h e r . I n 72 this context, repetition helps the reader to orient himself in an otherwise confusing narrative maze. Many of these operations have the added intention of frustrating reader habits and expectations. They draw attention to fic t i o n as a process rather than a finished product. By making connections and transitions d i f f i c u l t , the reader must participate i n the act of creation. Interrupted repetition thus empha-sizes the generative power of language. 73 CHAPTER III REPETITIVE PATTERNS IN THE NARRATIVE STRUCTURE 1. Introduction The forms of repetition I have discussed so far have taken discrete units of the text for their subject. I have shown that although they often serve structural purposes, they do not belong to the narrative structure proper. By narrative structure I understand those operations which determine the plot arrangement, that i s , the "story •' as actually told or the way in which the events are linked together.""'" The difference between the earlier chapters and the present one thus centers on a question of hierarchical distinction. Having analyzed repetition on primarily linguistic levels, I now propose to concentrate on the much vaster and more complex level of overall organization. The narrative structure represents the single most impor-tant aspect of a novel. It transforms a given subject matter into a work of art and involves important questions like the succession of events, the relationship between characters, and the role of narrators. In standard studies of prose f i c t i o n , these questions are usually discus-sed individually as i f they could be separated from each other. Libraries contain many studies that find such separations convenient, although I doubt whether their authors would believe that they correspond to the reality of the work of f i c t i o n . Since repetitive patterns cut across episodes, characters, and narrators, their analysis resists standard c r i t i c a l divisions and requires an arrangement that emphasizes different 74 aspects of episode succession, character behavior,,~ or narrator role. The amount of material to he covered and the resistance to standard divisions: thus account for the complexity and length, of this chapter on the narrative structure of Absalom and La Route. Formal criticism tends to emphasize the geometry of narrative structures; i t discusses the ways in which structural elements relate to each other and to the text's overall intention. This geometric focus concentrates on the mechanics of a text and generally obscures the interplay of forces and the interdependence of contradictory propositions like stasis and progress. It seems that in recent c r i t i c a l discourse the stress on symmetry has almost entirely neglected the linearity of narrative. However, some c r i t i c s are challenging the dominance of symmetry as does J. H i l l i s Miller when he argues that repetition, thought to be a form of symmetry, is intricately related to linearity: The image of the line cannot, i t is easy to see, be detached from the problem of repetition. Repetition might be defined as any-' . thing which happens to the line to trouble or even to confound i t s straightforward linearity: returnings, knottings, recrossings, 2 crinklings to and fro, suspensions, interruptions, fictionalizings. Repetitive patterns in the narrative structure of Absalom and La Route must therefore be studied in the light of both symmetry and linearity. Any duplications in these texts disturb the narrative line without being able to destroy i t . Simple duplications often take the form of juxtapo-sitions, superimpositions, and substitutions; they work on a principle of symmetry with variation. In the history of aesthetics, symmetry has enjoyed a reputation for ornamental embellishment which, in the dominant dualistic terminology, enhances the form rather than the content of the 75 work of art. It i s , of course, tacitly understood that form and content complement each other and make equally significant contributions to the meaning and value of art. The kinds of formal connections operative in duplicated episodes, characters, or narrators in f i c t i o n , for instance, add at least as much to the total impact of a text as does the subject matter. Form often constitutes a substructure which is not subconscious but uses channels of communication inaccessible, to the surface structure. It permits insights that cannot be expressed directly but must be ar-rived at by decoding the formal connections between narrative elements. What may look like a binary relationship on the surface may in fact reveal i t s e l f as a triangular mediation. The focus of mediation stands in a dialectical relationship to the triangle's base configuration and influences the deciphering of the message. If the repetitive patterns in the narrative structure of Absalom and La Route are discussed as both symmetrical and linear manifestations, then duplication of events, characters, and narrators can be seen to release energies that a purely geometric and mechanistic approach could not take into account. 2. Simple duplication of episodes, characters, narrators Repetition in narrative structure is more accurately described as duplication. Duplication i t s e l f is a blanket term for juxtapositions (parallels and contrasts), superimpositions, and substitutions. These distinctions matter because they give a more precise idea of the categories involved and because the differences between them influence the ways in which they function. Juxtaposition implies "the act or an instance 76 of placing two or more objects in a close spatial or ideal relation-3 ship." The act of placing objects aide by side indicates that they are not in actual contact. Juxtaposition can take the positive form of parallelism or the negative one of contrast. Contrast immediately sug-gests difference as well as similarity. The same holds true for paral-lelism, although in less obvious fashion. Webster's speaks of paral-lelism as "extending in the same direction and everywhere equidistant: 4 forming a line in the same direction but not meeting." The similarity between parallel objects never threatens to become an identity. The same cannot be said with equal force of superimposition and substitution. To superimpose means "to cause to become attached, united, coexistent, or interrelated in the manner of a layer, stratum, or accretion."^ Although impositions of this type do not integrate attached entities, they are in bodily contact and therefore overlap to some extent. The movement towards identity becomes even more pronounced in the case of substitution which is defined as "something that i s put in place of something else." Substitution does of course not mean total identity because the original pattern i s s t i l l v i s i b l e underneath i t s replacement. The degree of contact between duplicated entities undoubtedly contributes to the nature of the relationship between them. 2. a. Juxtaposition (parallelism and contrast) Duplicated events often appear as stories within a story and there-by permit a simultaneous comment on separate incidents. In the case of Absalom and La Route various private concerns function as a parallel to the American C i v i l War on the one hand and the Second World War on the 77 other. The f r i c t i o n between Sutpen and his adversaries, for instance, has quite justly been interpreted as a comment on the C i v i l War. Indeed, one of the most popular interpretations of Absalom argues that Sutpen's whole l i f e functions as a symbol for the Confederate defeat. Faulkner reinforces this overall symbolic pattern by presenting private antagonisms between characters in military terms. Rosa conceives of her relationship with Sutpen as a war and speaks of "alliance," "adversaries," "picquets," " a r t i l l e r y , " "citadel," and "armistice" (pp. 63-65). Sutpen himself organizes his l i f e as i f i t were a military campaign and the courtship between Bon and Judith is planned "like the campaigns of dead generals in the textbooks" (p. 321). Even.'.the actual involvement in the C i v i l War reveals i t s e l f as a private a f f a i r . Bon and Henry enlist in the hope that the War would settle the matter, leave free one of the two irreconcilables, since i t would not be the f i r s t time that youth has taken catastrophe as a direct act of Providence for the sole purpose of solving a personal problem which youth i t s e l f could not solve, (p. 120) In the same vein, the confederate defeat represents for Bon a chance to meet up once more with Sutpen so that "the whole purpose of the retreat seemed to him to be that of bringing him within reach of his father, to give his father one more chance" (p. 347). Private and public concerns reflect each other without ever affecting the outcome of either. Simon mirrors the violence of war in a number of vehement disputes and actual bodily threats. The prisoners of war fight, among each other for water, food, fresh, air, and moving space. Wack and Blum enter into heated discussions about the woman behind the curtain; Corinne argues 78 f i r s t with. Reixach and then with. I g l e s i a about Reixach's d e c i s i o n to pl a y jockey; and Georges and Corinne are c o n s t a n t l y q u a r r e l i n g . More-over, the lame man threatens the mayor's assessor w i t h a gun, and Georges and I g l e s i a almost k i l l a man while robbing him. Simon makes the connection between p r i v a t e disputes and m i l i t a r y aggression e x p l i c i t when he speaks of "ce f u r i e u x e t obscur dechainement de v i o l e n c e au s e i n de l a v i o l e n c e . . .".(p. 24);.; The p r i v a t e disputes run p a r a l l e l to the War but never become confused w i t h i t . The r e s u l t i s a u n i v e r s a l i z a t i o n of v i o l e n c e . C o n t r a s t i n g episodes are m i r r o r opposites of each other and, l i k e p a r a l l e l events, they suggest s i m i l a r i t i e s r a t h e r than i d e n t i t i e s . They g e n e r a l l y take the form of reverse d u p l i c a t i o n s which have t r a d i t i o n a l -l y been a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a turn of fortune that i n v e r t s i n i t i a l circum-stances i n order to a r r i v e at p o e t i c j u s t i c e . Although Faulkner i s fond of concepts l i k e " f a t e " and " d e s t i n y , " he makes s u r p r i s i n g l y l i t t l e use of the wheel of fortune t r a d i t i o n . However, Sutpen's r i s e from poverty to r i c h e s and h i s f a l l back to poverty i s a c l a s s i c example of a wheel of fortune. The change of fortune i n Sutpen's l i f e i s accentuated by two episodes. The p l a n t a t i o n owner t r e a t s the young Sutpen w i t h e x a c t l y the same d i s d a i n as Sutpen l a t e r e x h i b i t s towards Wash. The p r i c e Sutpen pays f o r h i s arrogance i s death, a f a t e he had, as a boy, considered i n f l i c t i n g on Pe t t i b o n e . The reverse d u p l i c a t i o n i s a l l the more p e r f e c t as the e a r l i e r i n c i d e n t marks the beginning and the l a t e r one the end of Sutpen's l i f e . Simon, too, r e s o r t s to some reverse d u p l i c a t i o n s . He i n c l u d e s 79 two incidents in which. Georges, i s , figuratively speaking, f i r s t on one side of the fence and then on the other. In the f i r s t incident, Georges cannot make out what some civilians y e l l at him but suspects h o s t i l i t y on their part (pp. 91-93). The reverse situation has Georges, dressed in c i v i l i a n clothes, running after a truck whose driver cannot hear his words and who believes, him to be hostile (pp. 210-11). The second incident relates to the animosity of a group towards an individual. A soldier who wishes to join Georges and his companions i s pushed back in much the same way as Georges is refused access to the back of a truck by some soldiers (pp. 227, 210-11). Reverse duplications contain of course a strong element of irony. Georges i s gradually reduced from a man in control of his circumstances (he is part of a group and owns a horse) to a soldier caught in the progressive disintegration of his world (he is an outcast who has no influence over the truck driver's action). Contrast puts difference into the foreground and conceals similarity, whereas parallelism works in the opposite direction. In both cases, how-ever, separate incidents are juxtaposed so as to suggest connections that are neither causal nor directly stated. Stories within-a-story and reverse duplications have always been popular devices in prose f i c t i o n . Their symmetry has much formal appeal and permits a clear and efficient organization of subject matter. What is perhaps less common is the near-identical repetition of certain pas-sages that we find in Absalom and La Route. They seem to f a l l into two general categories. Depending on how exactly the wording corresponds, i t i s either the extreme similarity or the slight differences between 80 passages that is significant. Whenever the repetition i s vi r t u a l l y exact, the passages denote ohsessive preoccupations as in the case of Georges' fascination with death and sex. Georges describes the eye of a dying horse in two places with the same words because the curved surface of the organ seems to conceal a secret understanding of death (pp. 67 and 130). Similarly, Corinne's status as a sex object in Georges' consciousness is affirmed when Corinne identifies herself twice with suggestive graf-f i t i (pp. 96 and 276). In these examples the repetition i s primarily emphatic. However,- slight differences can play off two nearly identical passages against each other. In Absalom a passage is often f i r s t related by a witness of the events and later quoted by one of the narrators while retelling the story. The exchange of words between Sutpen and Judith on the subject of Bon's murder is f i r s t reproduced by Rosa and later cited by Quentin (pp. 159 and 277). Sutpen's last dialogue with Wash is presented f i r s t through the midwife's eyes and then repeated within a conjectural account from Wash's point of view (pp. 286 and 288)..This method of direct and indirect reporting i s made possible by Faulkner's complex narrative technique. Since La Route depends on a similar narrator arrangement, i t resorts to near-identical repetitions in much the same way as Absalom. The adultery of the ancestor's wife is f i r s t described in terms of a "scene gallante" (p. 88) and later told as i f i t were actually happening (p. 199). The lost soldier's plea to join de Reixach.'s group is alluded to in an anticipatory summary and later taken up again as. a direct ac-count, complete with inverted commas for the dialogue (pp. 46-47 and 228-29).* In addition to these examples, i t happens occasionally that *Cf. also pp. 126 and 131 for a similar example. 81 a passage spoken by one character is later used by another one as i f i t were his own. In Absalom, Henry confronts Sutpen with the same words that Bon had-addressed to Henry at an earlier date Cpp- 349 and 354). Faulkner thereby shows Henry's tendency to ape Bon and, by making Henry's repetition less poetic than Bon's original speech, he points to Bon's innate superiority. Georges, too, comments on the social depravity of the aristocracy i n La Route with words that were obviously suggested by his father's philosophical musings (pp. 35 and 152). Differences in wording and context can thus be exploited for narrative distance and nuances of meaning. 2. b. Superimposition The superimpositions in Absalom and La Route derive from the coexistence of several time levels. Although these time levels maintain their autonomy, they always threaten to merge into each other. In Absalom the past and the present comment on each other as distinct en-t i t i e s at the same time as Quentin i s unable to separate his own l i f e from events that have happened before he was born. Quentin's sense of the past coexisting with the present establishes him as a credible nar-rator because he cannot help but become a part of the world he narrates. Faulkner introduces Quentin as a bridge between past and present when he speaks of two separate Quentins now—the Quentin Compson preparing for Harvard in the South, the deep South, dead since 1865 and peopled with gar-rulous outraged baffled ghosts. . . and the Quentin Compson who was s t i l l too young to deserve yet to be a ghost, but nevertheless having to be one for a l l that, since he was born and bred in the deep South. . . (p. 69). 82 Faulkner repeatedly points out that Quentin "knows" simply hecause he is a Southerner. This means that Quentin is endowed with the "eighty years' heritage of the same air which the man Sutpen himself had breathed between this September afternoon in 1909 and that Sunday morning in June in 1933 when he f i r s t rode into town. . ." (p. 11). Indeed, the past almost obliterates the present with i t s interchangeable ghosts, so that Faulkner can say of Quentin that "his very body was an empty h a l l echoing with sonorous defeated names; he was not a being, an entity, he was a commonwealth" (p. 12). Quentin's identification with the past f a c i l i t a t e s his role as narrator but imprisons him in a time from which he would like to escape in order to live his present destiny. The narrator's sense of imprisonment is a l l the more distressing as the Quentin of 1909 cannot measure up to the Supten of 1833. The past seems invariably more glorious than the present because, as Mr, Compson contends, the past was . . . integer for integer, larger, more heroic and the figures therefore more heroic too, not dwarfed and involved but distinct, uncomplex who had the g i f t of loving once or dying once instead of being diffused and scattered creatures drawn blindly limb from limb from a grab bag and assembled, author and victim too of a thousand homicides and a thousand copulations and divorce-ments (p. 89). If Quentin's obsession with the Sutpen legend is related to his own l i f e as i t is told in The Sound and the Fury, i t becomes clear that Quentin's tragedy is his ina b i l i t y to behave in the same uncompromising way in which Henry acts. Henry k i l l s Bon while Quentin f a i l s to protect the honor of his sister by not k i l l i n g her seducer Dalton Ames. The superimposition of *Cf. also: ". . .he already knew, since he had been born in and s t i l l breathed the same air in which the church bells had rung on that Sunday morning in 1833. . ." (p. 31). 83 time levels in Absalom asks us to judge the present in terms of the past at the same time as i t obliterates their distinction. This is not a paradox but an equivocation in that Quentin could never decide i f the past was a blessing or a curse. The superimpositions in Absalom are mainly concerned with the stratification of time. For Simon superimposition is a much more crucial concept as he makes clear when he describes his texts in terms of "meta-phoric associations, comparisons, superimpositions, contrasts, opposi-tions. . ."^ Simon's use of superimposition strives to achieve the effect of a palimpsest in that an image or a scene remains vi s i b l e while another one is inscribed on top of i t . The result i s that the relationship between superimposed elements "functions like a set of mirrors that reflect slight-ly modified images." On one level, of course, Simon superimposes time stratas in much the same way as Faulkner. On another, however, he further superimposes people, objects, or concepts through linguistic twists. Superimposition thus reveals i t s e l f as part of Simon's general method in La Route. The superimposition of the ancestor and de Reixach is relatively systematic and tends to fuse the experiences of the two men. Simon relates the ancestor and de Reixach in most explicit form as the following pas-sages i l l u s t r a t e : Comme 1'autre homme-cheval, 1'autre orgueilleux imhecile deja, cent cinquante ans plus tot, mais qui, l u i , s'est servi de son propre pistolet pour. . . (p. 73). . . . le dos sourd, aveugle et raide qui continuait a s'avancer devant l u i parmi les ruines fumantes de l a guerre, et 1'autre, de face, tout aussi immobile, solennel et raide dans son cadre terni, t e l que pendant toute son enfance i l avait pu le voir. . . (pp. 73-74). 84 . . . comme s i l a balle de pistolet tiree un siecle et demi plus tot avait mis toutes ces annees pour atteindre sa deuxieme cible mettre le point f i n a l a un nouveau desastre. . . (p. 79). Repetant, refaisant ce que cent cinquante ans plus tot un autre de Reixach. . . avait deja f a i t en se tirant volontairement une balle dans l a tete. . . (p. 84). Almost the same details—the p i s t o l , the immobile back and face, the hint at suicide—characterize these passages. Although the two men have lived 150 years apart, Georges and Blum impute the same defeats in war and bed to their suspected suicides. As the novel progresses, the fate and the personalities of the two men begin to merge more and more into'.each other. Since l i t t l e i s known about the ancestor's l i f e , the narrators attribute to him some of the events in de Reixach's experience. I n i t i a l l y the ancestor and de Reixach are superimposed because both of them may have committed a veiled suicide. After a while, however, Blum suddenly insin-uates that the ancestor is "cet autre cocu" (p. 186) and constructs a whole episode around the hypothetical i n f i d e l i t i e s of the ancestor's wife. The superimposition becomes s t i l l tighter when Blum asks provoca-tively i f the ancestor's wife "avait vingt ans de moins que l u i " (p. 195). Blum evidently transposes a fact from de Reixach's l i f e to that of his ancestor. The tendency to mix up facts extends to the story of s t i l l another cuckold. The lame man with the r i f l e is superimposed on the ancestor when Georges speaks of "le boiteux,.le disgraciado tenant ce f u s i l de chasse avec lequel j'avais toujours cru qu'il s'etait tue, un accident le coup partant tout seul 1'ensanglantant. . ." (pp. 122-23). The confusion between the ancestor who is dead and the man with the r i f l e who i s s t i l l alive i s intentional and pushed to further extremes when 85 Blum a s k s about t h e a n c e s t o r : " E s t - c e q u ' i l n ' e t a i t pas a u s s i b o i t e u x . . ." CP- 282). The s u p e r i m p o s i t i o n o f t h e a n c e s t o r and de R e i x a c h i s l a t e r c o m p l i c a t e d when Georges and Blum r e s o r t t o t h e i r own e x p e r i e n c e s t o complete t h e p i c t u r e o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s . A s i d e from b e i n g c u c k o l d s , the a n c e s t o r and de R e i x a c h s h a r e t h e d i s t i n c t i o n o f h a v i n g f o u g h t w i t h a l o s i n g army. The a n c e s t o r ' s d e f e a t i n S p a i n i s d e s c r i b e d i n terms o f de R e i x a c h ' s c i r c u m s t a n c e s and o f Blum's and Georges' adven-t u r e s . A l t h o u g h t h e "chemins de l a d e f a i t e " a r e i n d u s t y S p a i n , Blum speaks o f t h e a n c e s t o r as i f he moved t h r o u g h r a i n y F l a n d e r s and i m a g i n e s t h a t he, l i k e de R e i x a c h , had a l o y a l s e r v a n t w i t h him: . . . dans l e s i l e n c e n o c t u r n e , des b r u i t s , un p i e t i n e m e n t de s a b o t s , c a r sans doute n ' e t a i t - i l pas s e u l , a v a i t - i l l u i a u s s i a u p r e s de l u i , s ' e t a i t - i l f a i t s u i v r e d'un f i d e l e v a l e t , comme 1' a u t r e a amene avec l u i a l a g u e r r e pour p a n s e r son c h e v a l e t f o u r b i r s e s b o t t e s l e f i d e l e j o c k e y . . . (p. 1 9 7 ) . Blum s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e two R e i x a c h s become more o r l e s s one and t h e same i n h i s mind. Georges i s , more s u b t l e when he d e s c r i b e s t h e a n c e s t o r ' s r e t u r n home by i n c l u d i n g d e t a i l s o f h i s own s e n s a t i o n s d u r i n g t h e F r e n c h r e t r e a t : . . . done l u i l a i s s a n t l a . s e s t r o u p e s d e f a i t e s , l a p i e t a i l l e , l e s f u y a r d s g u e u l a n t sans doute eUx a u s s i a p l e i n s poumons a l a t r a h i s o n , en p r o i e a c e t t e p a n i q u e , c e t t e ' e s p e c e de d i a r r h e e m o r a l e ( a s - t u remarque qu'on a p p e l l e c e l a a u s s i l a c o u r a n t e ? ) i m p o s s i b l e , a c o n t e n i r , i r r a i s o n n e e . . . (p. 1 9 3 ) . A l t h o u g h Simon does n o t e x p l i c i t l y say s o , t h e p o i n t o f y i e w i n t h i s p a s -sage s w i t c h e s from t h a t o f an o u t s i d e o b s e r v e r t o t h a t o f an i n s i d e 86 participant.* The connection between.the ancestor and de Reixach is not limited to external sensations but extends to the personal consequences the military defeat has on their lives. Having lost their wives to rivals, they hope to regain their self-respect through military success. Although the family legend has i t that the ancestor k i l l e d himself in order to escape from the guillotine, Georges maintains that he did so because of disillusioned p o l i t i c a l hopes. De Reixach i s subject to a similar disillusionment when he discovers that the war does not conform to the lessons he has learned at the Saumur military academy. This line of argument f i t s into Georges' suicide theory and finds support i f not an actual source in the story of a general who commits suicide because the disintegration of his army does not follow the rules and reasons on which he had based his l i f e . Speaking of de Reixach and echoing the ancestor, Georges maintains that "le general l u i aussi s'est tue: non pas seulement l u i [de Reixach], cherchant et trouvant sur cette route un suicide decent et maquille, mais 1'autre [le general]aussi dans sa v i l l a , son jardin aux allees de gravier ratisse. . ." (pp. 202-203). The superimposition of various layers of experience provides the separate threads that f i n a l l y combine into a complete picture of military defeat. Each man's story not only complements but is_ each other man's story *Cf. also pp. 215-16 where the ancestor's "retraite par toutes les routes qui descendaient des Pyrenees," is described in terms of modern warfare such as "des fosses bordes de morts, des chevaux creves, des camions brules et des canons abandonnes. . ." (Especially the reference to "camions brules" belongs to Georges' own obsessive memories). See also p. 225 where the impression the end of the battle i s supposed to leave on the ancestor is imagined through Georges' own experience: "Nous avons vu, connu cela: ce ralentissement, cette progressive immobilisation." 87 since the superimpositions insure that, as in a palimpsest, a l l are simultaneously v i s i b l e . Simon thus enriches and complicates the l i f e story of each character by attributing to one man the traits and circumstances of another. He also comments on the process that goes into the construction of a fi c t i o n a l character. Instead of pretending that a fi c t i o n a l character corresponds to a livi n g person, Simon demonstrates how traits and experiences from different sources combine to give the i l l u s i o n of unity. The superimpositions in La Route that do not depend on time stratifications are the result of verbal plays. Two main centers of attention in the novel are women and horses. Although the three men who1 fascinate Georges have either lived at different times (the ancestor and de Reixach) or come from different social classes (de Reixach and Iglesia), their common interest in horsemanship and sex lends i t s e l f to conscious verbal confusion and ambiguity. De Reixach and Iglesia believe that Corinne can be mastered in the same way as a horse because her sexual instincts reduce her to the state of an animal. Suspicious that Corinne betrays him with Iglesia, de Reixach decides to replace Iglesia in a horse face in order to prove his sexual superiority. In describing the scene of the race, Mum imitates and exaggerates Iglesia's tendency to use the same terminology for both Corinne and the mare: Et alors i l . . . a voulu l u i aussi monter cette alezane, c'est-a-dire l a mater, sans doute parce qu'a force de voir un vulgaire jockey l a faire gagner i l pensait que l a monter c'etait l a mater. . . et que s ' i l parvenait a monter l'une i l materait l'autre, ou vice-versa, c'est-a-dire que s ' i l matait l'une i l monterait l'autre aussi victorieusement, c'est-a-dire qu'il l'amenerait e l l e aussi au poteau, c'est-a-dire que son poteau a l u i l'amenerait 88 victorieusement la. ou i l n'avait sans doute jamais reussi a l a conduire, l u i ferait passer le gout ou 1'envie d'un autre poteau. . . ou s i tu preferes d'un autre baton, c'est-a-dire que s ' i l reussissait a se servir de son baton aussi bien que ce jockey qui. . . (pp. 184-185). The plays on "mater," "monter," "poteau," and "baton" establish con-nections between human and animal categories that are usually distinct. This superimposition is reinforced in other parts of the novel as when Blum refers to an "alezane-femme" (p. 185) or when Iglesia alludes to both Corinne and the mare as being "en chaleur" (p. 154). A l l young women in La Route are depicted in ambiguous sexual terms. The equation woman-mare, for instance, functions as the main connection in the superimposition of Corinne and the ancestor's wife: " . . . pour peu qu'elle ait aussi partage en matiere sexuelle ces gouts plebeiens ou plu'tot chevalins, je veux dire les memes dispositions pour 1'equitation, je veux dire l a meme tendance a choisir ses amants du cote des ecuries. . ." (p. 190). A play on words is also at the bottom of a complex passage in which the lame man and de Reixach as well as the woman behind the curtain and Corinne are superimposed. This dual superimposition i s generated by a description of de Reixach's aloof attitude: . . . n'ayant pas meme l'idee de mettre son cheval au trot n'en-tendant meme pas ceux qui l u i criaient de ne pas continuer ne pensant peut-etre meme pas a la femme de son frere chevauchee ou plutot a l a femme chevauchee par son frere d'armes ou plutot son frere en chevalerie puisqu'il le considerait en cela comme son egal, ou s i l'on prefere le contraire puisque c'etait e l l e qui ecartait les culsses chevauchait, tous deux chevauchant (pu plutot qui avaient ete chevauch.es par) l a meme houri. . . (p. 296). The allusion to " l a femme de son frere chevauchee" aims at the lame man but "son frere d'armes" and "son frere en chevalerie" refer to Iglesia. 89 The whole passage turns on "cheval" or "chevaucher" and suggests that both Gorinne and the woman behind the curtain exhibit the sexual behavior of an animal. Such superimpositions make the women interchangeable. As a consequence, they establish the role women play in a world of men and contribute to an often disorienting layering of the text. 2. c. Substitution Substitutions in Absalom.and La Route are directly related to nar-rative point of view. The narrator in the two novels finds a double in a friend to whom he relates his story. The friend does not act as a pas-sive listener but as an active participant in the reconstruction of a legend. The doubling of narrators indicates that Faulkner and Simon are constantly struggling with the organization of fic t i o n a l material. If the fi c t i o n a l material is presented from a subjective point of view, the ensuing novel may be entirely different from one that treats the same material from an objective point of view.* Ideally, a writer should not have to make a choice between points of view since a l l such choices inevitably distort the facts. Although the dichotomy between subjective and objective narration can never be bridged satisfactorily, Faulkner and Simon try to make their novels both subjective and objective. The subjective element is usually provided by the person speaking and the objective counterpart by the reaction of the listener. This reaction can take the form of silent thoughts or actual rejoinders. Although the listener's presence i s often virt u a l l y forgotten, Absalom and La Route *See, for instance, the difference between Proust's Jean Santeuil and A l a recherche du temps perdu. 90 a r e b a s i c a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d as, a c o l l e c t i o n of c o n v e r s a t i o n s which, e l i m i n a t e the need f o r a n a r r a t o r i n a p r i v i l e g e d p o s i t i o n o f a u t h o r i t y . The i n t e r p l a y between an a s s e r t i v e speaker and a s c e p t i c a l l i s t e n e r i n v i t e s the r e a d e r to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the e v a l u a t i v e p r o c e s s t h a t i s t a k -i n g p l a c e b e f o r e his; eyes. F a u l k n e r ' s Q u e n t i n i s t e c h n i c a l l y s p e a k i n g an i d e a l n a r r a t i v e c o n s c i o u s n e s s . He i s the l i s t e n e r who does n o t need to l i s t e n because he has h e a r d i t a l l b e f o r e , and he i s the speaker who i s compelled t o t a l k i n s p i t e o f h i s r e l u c t a n c e . D u r i n g a p p r o x i m a t e l y the f i r s t h a l f o f Absalom, Q u e n t i n f u n c t i o n s m o s t l y as a l i s t e n e r . He r a r e l y argues o p e n l y w i t h M i s s Rosa and Mr. Compson but o f t e n r e a c t s s c e p t i c a l l y to t h e i r t a l e s . In the e a r l y p a r t s of the n o v e l , Q u e n t i n f o l l o w s i n the f o o t s t e p s of such n a r r a t o r s as Mr. Lockwood i n Wuthering H e i g h t s , Pes G r i e u x i n Manon L e s c a u t , and Marlow i n the n o v e l s of Conrad. H i s r o l e i s t h a t o f h i s t o r i a n and commentator. In the second h a l f o f Absalom, however, Q u e n t i n meets Shreve McCannon w i t h whose h e l p he r e c o n s t r u c t s the Sutpen l e g e n d as i f he had been a p a r t o f i t . Q u e n t i n i s now the a s s e r t i v e v o i c e and Shreve the s c e p t i c a l l i s t e n e r . But, where Q u e n t i n was d e f e r e n t i a l t o h i s f a t h e r and M i s s Rosa, Shreve o p e n l y c h a l l e n g e s and d i s p u t e s Q u e n t i n ' s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f the p a s t . As a n a r r a t o r , Shreve i s a t a d i s a d v a n t a g e because he has no d i r e c t access, to f a c t s and because he i s g e o g r a p h i c a l l y f a r removed from the s e t t i n g of the scene. But h i s d i s t a n c e from J e f f e r s o n and Sutpen a l l o w s Shreve g r e a t e r o b j e c t i v i t y because he i s . n o t hampered by Q u e n t i n ' s r e s p e c t f o r h i s e l d e r s and f o r the p a s t . U n l i k e Q u e n t i n , Shreve i s t h e r e f o r e i n a p o s i t i o n to c h a l l e n g e the n a r r a t i v e a u t h o r i t y 91 and to offer his. own alternative. From Quentin's point of view, the struggle for narrative dominance becomes a matter of survival. Quentin wants to impose his authority on Shreve in much the same way as his father had imposed his on him. In Quentin's quest for self-assertion, Mr. Compson and Shreve thus appear as a common enemy. This explains why Shreve acts as a substitute for Mr. Compson wheri..Quentin complains: "I didn't need to list e n then but I had to hear i t and now I am having to hear i t a l l over again because he sounds just like father" (p. 211; cf. also pp. 181, 207, 211). John T. Irwin, author of a Freudian analysis of Absalom and The Sound and the Fury called Doubling and Incest/Repetition and Revenge, describes the relationship between the narrators in oedipal terms and argues: "In terms of a generative sequence of narrators, Mr. Compson, Quentin, and Shreve are father, son and grandson (reincarnation 9 of the father)." In order to establish a clear sense of self, says Irwin, Quentin must revenge himself against his father "through a substitute—his roommate Shreve.""^ But instead of gaining an identity, Quentin seems to lose himself more and more in others: Maybe we are both Father. . . Yes, we are both Father. Or maybe Father and I are both Shreve, maybe i t took Father and me both to make Shreve or Shreve and me both to make Father or maybe Thomas Sutpen to make a l l of us. (pp. 261-62) The extent of Quentin's failure to develop into a mature and self-confident adult i s brought home by his suicide in The Sound and the Fury. The doubling of the narrator i s of course a technical success. The dialogue between Shreve and Quentin permits different views to coexist and forestalls any unequivocal conclusions about Sutpen. Open-ended solutions are only a f i r s t step towards a gradual erosion of certainties 92 in f i c t i o n . The doubling of the narrator lends i t s e l f not only to a division of a traditionally unified entity but also to its. opposite. In spite of their rivalry, Quentin and Shreve are often so carried away by the Sutpen legend that they speak as one voice': It was Shreve speaking, though-. . . i t might have been either of them and was in a sense both: thinking as one, the voice which happened to be speaking the thought only the thinking become audible, vocal; the two of them creating between them, out of the rag-tag and bob-ends of old tales and talking, people who perhaps had never existed. . . (p. 303). No clear separation between speaker and listener can be made and the resulting "happy marriage of speaking and hearing" (p.,316) eliminates a stable center of consciousness from which the characters and events in the novel can be evaluated. Faulkner thus exploits both doubling by division and doubling by multiplication. The doubling of the narrator in La Route has Georges and Blum behave towards each other in much the same way as Quentin and Shreve. Although Georges is the one who has access to information about the de Reixach family, Blum has a tendency to appropriate to himself the act of nar-ration so that their relationship oscillates between conformity and disagreement. Like Faulkner, Simon resorts to dialogue for alternative; viewpoints. Doubling hy division i s thus again used to create a sense of inconclusiveness at the same time as doubling by multiplication chal-lenges, the separation between speaking and listening. At the most explicit extreme, Simon doubles his. narrator by means, of parentheses: . . et Blum (pu Georges): 'C 1est f i n i ? ' , et Georges (pu Blum): 'Je pourrais conti-nuer,' et Blum (ou Georges): 'Alors continue,' et Georges (ou Blum): 'Mais je dois egalement apporter ma contribution, participer, ajouter au tas. . ." 93 Cp. 188). At times Georges seems to lose his sense of identity even more profoundly than Quentin. He sees himself as his own double and Blum as a substitute for this double: . . . a moins qu'il ne fut pas en train de dialoguer sous l a froide pluie saxonne avec un petit j u i f souffreteux. . . mais avec lui-meme, c'est-a-dire son double, tout seul sous l a pluie grise, parmi les r a i l s , les wagons de charbon, ou peut-etre des annees plus tard, toujours seul (quoiqu'il fut main-tenant couche a cote d'une tiede chair de femme), toujours en tete-a-tete avec ce double, ou avec Blum, ou avec personne. . . (p. 187). The impression that Georges is his own double is reinforced by Simon's alternation between a f i r s t and a third person narration. Although Georges is clearly both the "je" and the " i l " of La Routey Simon period-i c a l l y changes pronoun, even in the middle of a sentence. The segment that starts out with: "Et de nouveau i l me semblait voir cela. . ." (p. 22) suddenly switches to: "Georges se demandant. . ." (p. 27) in mid-sentence. Some of the "je" passages are set within inverted commas to indicate a direct dialogue. However, in some instances, the "je" appears without inverted commas (pp. 9-26, 155-169, 225-278, 287-314), that i s , in a reported context. There are 17 pronominal switches in La Route* and, although c r i t i c s are aware of them, they have not found a satisfactory explanation. The switches do not seem to follow any systematic pattern like a distinction between present and past or actual words and thoughts. It i s generally believed that Simon uses both "je" and " i l " in order to achieve a close involvement with the story and at the same time suf-*I am indebted to Ann Dybikowski for my statistics on pronominal switches. Her unpublished manuscript goes into greater detail on the nature and function of these switches. 94 ficient distance from i t . Roubichou and Genette further conclude that switches of this type represent a transgression of the narrative code.* In addition to these explanations, the pronominal switches are a form of narrative doubling and help to weaken the stability of the control-ling consciousness. The simple doubling of narrators moves a step further when the nar-rators act as doubles for characters. The result i s a doubling of doubles in which Quentin identifies primarily with Henry and Shreve with Bon. Faulkner argues repeatedly that "there was now not two of them but four" (p. 294); cf. also p. 334) in Mississippi because Quentin and Shreve become so involved with their story that they forget their own environment. The doubling of the doubles works mostly from the present back to the past but can in fact also move in the other direction: "Four of them there, in that room in New Orleans in 1860, just as in a sense there were four of them here in this tomblike room in Massachusetts in 1910" (p. 336). Through the act of narration, the past and the present are no longer locked into themselves but interact freely with each other. The "two of them, then four; now two again" (p. 345, cf. also p. 346) pattern becomes even more complicated when Quentin i s not just Henry and Shreve not just Bon but Quentin also Bon and Shreve also Henry: Shreve ceased again. It was just as well, since he had no listener. Perhaps he was aware of i t . Then suddenly he had no talker either, though possibly he was not aware of this. Because now; neither of them were there. They were both in Carolina and the time was forty-six years ago, and i t was not even four now but compounded s t i l l further, since now *Genette, pp. 253-54, 256-57; Roubichou, pp. 289-290. 95 both of them were Henry Sutpen and both of them were Bon, compounded each of both yet either neither, smelling the very smoke which had blown and faded away forty-six years ago. . . (p. 351). The doubling of doubles challenges the familiar boundaries between the story and i t s t e l l i n g . Once the separation between narrators and characters breaks down, the act of narration -itself becomes part of the story. Narrators and characters lose their autonomy and exist only in relation to each other. This is of course true of a l l f i c t i o n but the doubling of narrator and character brings i t out into the open. Faulkner thereby invites a reinterpretation of some traditional as-sumptions about f i c t i o n . Simon seems more fascinated with the simple doubling of narrators than with the doubling of doubles. His variation on doubling concerns not the relationship between narrator and character but that between narrator and listener. Georges is not always certain who he is speaking to because the people that, matter in his l i f e tend to get confused in his mind. Once in a while Georges asks himself where he is and realizes "que ce n'etait pas a Blum qu'il etait en train d'essayer d'expliquer tout ca en chuchotant dans le noir, et pas le wagon non plus. . . mais une seule tete maintenant, qu'il pouvait toucher en levant simplement l a main. . ." (p. 95). Like Quentin and Shreve, Georges loses his sense of the present and moves freely into the past. Corinne acts merely as a substitute for Blum who himself occasionally loses a l l clear features "Ce n'etait pas a son pere qu'il voulait parler. Ce n'etait meme pas a femme couchee invisible a cote de l u i , ce n'etait peut-etre meme pas a 96 Blum qu'il etait en train d'expliquer en chuchotant dans le noir. . ." (p. 100). In the f i n a l analysis, Georges always addresses himself so that his father, Corinne, and Blum become surrogate selves. The narrator addressing himself suggests the narcissistic nature of the narrative act; that i s , the author addressing himself. Simon thereby intimates that fi c t i o n is ultimately not written:..for a public but for i t s own sake. 3 . Repetition in the Overall Structure A novel is an artifact that follows an overall plan. It has a beginning that stands in some relation to the end and a middle that supports this relation and, at the same time, postpones i t s revelation. A popular maxim has i t that each part of a novel participates in the whole and is in turn determined by this whole. The aesthetic value of a novel seems to be in direct proportion to i t s overall composition. The simplest organization is a chronological account of causal con-nections between events. Deviations from this simple pattern often leave holes in the story or replace chronological sequence with sym-metrical arrangement. The straight line of the narrative is disturbed and repetition may or may not intrude. According to Roland Barthes, the narrative generally maintains suspense by addressing an enigma whose solution i s withheld u n t i l the end. The text progresses at the same time as i t does everything in i t s power to frustrate that progress: La dynamique du texte. . . est done paradoxale: e'est une dynamique statique: le probleme est de mainteriir l'enigme dans le vide i n i t i a l de sa reponse; alors que les phrases 97 pressent l e "deroulement" de l ' h i s t o i r e et ne peuvent s'empecher de conduire, de deplacer cette h i s t o i r e , l e code hermeneutique exerce une action c o n t r a i r e : i l d o i t disposer dans l e f l u x du discours des retards (chicanes, a r r e t s , devoiements); sa structure est essentiellement reactive, car i l oppose a l'avancee i n e l u c t a b l e du l a n -gage un jeu echelonne d'arrets: c'est, entre l a question et l a reponse, tout un espace d i l a t o i r e , dont l'embleme pourrait etre l a "reticence", cette f i g u r e r h e t o r i q u e ^ qui interrompt l a phrase, l a suspend et l a devie. . . Barthes r e f e r s to the kind of text that describes Absalom more accurately than La Route. The structure of Faulkner's novel i s r e l a t e d to the detective mystery whose main i n t e r e s t concerns the suspended s o l u t i o n to an enigma. However, unlike the conventional detective story, Absalom provides information about the novel's outcome r i g h t from the beginning. I t concentrates on a process of discovery that f i l l s in. connections and motivations about i n i t i a l l y stated f a c t s . The s o l u t i o n to the enigma i s thus anticipated from the s t a r t but can only be f u l l y understood i n retrospect. Repetition functions as one form of r e t a r d a t i o n and manipulates the i n t e r p l a y of f a c t and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The same fact s surface again and again i n order to be analyzed i n the l i g h t of new information. Absalom therefore presents i t s e l f as an excellent i l l u s t r a t i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between suspense and r e p e t i t i o n . The many s i m i l a r i t i e s between Absalom and La Route tend to obscure the r a d i c a l differences i n t h e i r composition. Although La Route p o s i t s an enigma not unlike the one i n Absalom, i t never attempts to explain i t . Stating the enigma appears to be the sole i n t e r e s t i n La Route. The desire for knowledge i s i n e v i t a h l y n e u t r a l i z e d by the r e a l i z a t i o n that knowledge i s impossible. La Route i s therefore not b u i l t on suspense but on sym-98 metry. Barthes's "dynamique statique" s t i l l applies but, rather than to slow down progress, the forms of retardation become the main focus of the narrative so that progress becomes tolerated as a necessary e v i l . Repetition i s , of course, an integral part of symmetry. According to Webster's, symmetry "implies correspondence in the form, size, ar-12 rangement, etc. of parts on either side of a median line or plane." Symmetrically opposed parts can thus never be contiguous and must be separated by an intermediary term which implies narrative progress. In order to understand the symmetrical structure of La Route, i t s relation-ship with narrative progress must be analyzed. 3. a. Repetition and ..suspense (Faulkner) Suspense operates on a principle of "retardation," the intentional withholding of pertinent information. The reader may be made aware of withheld information through anticipatory allusions or he may, with a shock of sudden recognition, become conscious of i t only after the mis-13 sing facts have been provided. Gerard Genette, in Figures III, characterizes gaps in the narrative and the ways in which they may or may not be f i l l e d in later as "anachronies." Genette specifies that "anachronies narratives" touch on the various "formes de discordance • 14 entre l'ordre de l'histoire et celui du r e c i t . " He describes the various categories of "anachronies" in great detail, but for the present pur-poses only his more general points need to be stressed. "Anachronies" are divided into "analepses." (retrospections) and "prolepses" (anticipations). An "analepse" often f i l l s in either an ellipse or a "prolepse." Ellipses ' 99 are gaps i n the n a r r a t i v e which may he simply i m p l i e d or st a t e d e x p l i c i t -l y . Implied e l l i p s e s leave out a n a r r a t i v e segment without saying so, whereas e x p l i c i t e l l i p s e s s p e c i f y that a gap has occured at a given p o i n t i n the t e x t . Both e l l i p s e types refuse to supply any inf o r m a t i o n about the content of the l e f t out segment and thereby tease the reader's c u r i o s i t y . Aware that a suspense n a r r a t i v e u s u a l l y contains a number of e l l i p s e s — t h e most important one i n the t r a d i t i o n a l d e t e c t i v e s t o r y being the k i l l e r ' s i d e n t i t y — t h e reader i s impatient to dis c o v e r what they conceal. Once a gap i n d i c a t i o n i n c l u d e s an a l l u s i o n to the content that w i l l be f i l l e d i n l a t e r , i t i s no longer an e l l i p s e but a "prolepse." In the course of the n a r r a t i v e , miost "prolepses" w i l l e v e n t u a l l y be completed e i t h e r by the main n a r r a t i v e or by an "analepse." The r e l a t i o n -ships between e l l i p s e s , "prolepses," "analepses," and the main n a r r a t i v e can become extremely complicated. One of the most complicated p o s s i b i l i t i e s concerns "anachronies doubles" whose e x p l i c i t f o r m u l a t i o n would read: " ' I I d e v a i t a r r i v e r p l u s t a r d , comme nous l'avons deja vu. . .', ou: ' I I e t a i t deja a r r i v e , comme nous l e verrons plus t a r d . . . ' i n Genette's system, "anachronies doubles" f a l l between "prolepses" and "analepses" because they answer simultaneously to two questions: "Annonces r e t r o -16 spectives? Rappels a n t i c i p a t o i r e s ? " Since "anachronies doubles" are i n -d e f i n i t e , Genette c a l l s them "achronies." Suspense.in f i c t i o n i s o f t e n the r e s u l t of "achronies" which p a r t i a l l y f i l l i n an i n i t i a l prolepse but do not complete i t u n t i l the n a r r a t i v e segment i n question meets.,up w i t h the main n a r r a t i v e l i n e . "Achronies" depend h e a v i l y on r e p e t i t i o n . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between repeated and new informat i o n i n a t e x t b u i l t on 100 "achronies" represents an important control mechanism for narrative progress. "Retardation" in suspense f i c t i o n i s thus a< question of how much information the text supplies at any;given time and how much i t conceals. 3 . a. i . The role of repetition in a proleptic opening Absalom i s a b r i l l i a n t example of sophisticated suspense f i c t i o n . Faulkner handles retardation s k i l l f u l l y and makes particularly clever use of "achronies'." The opening pages of Absalom indicate already that Faulkner's method of presentation w i l l tax both the reader's concentration and patience. They introduce a number of narrators, refer to different time levels within the Sutpen legend, and make many ambiguous allusions to mysterious characters and events. In retrospect the reader realizes that the opening pages contain an advance summary of a l l the major crises and situations later elaborated on. Dallenbach, speaking specifically about the practice of placing a "mise en abyme" at the beginning of a novel, makes a point that applies to a l l proleptic openings: "Pre-posee a l'ouverture de ce recit, l a mise en abyme prospective 'double' l a fic t i o n afin de l a prendre de vitesse et de ne l u i laisser pour avenir que son passe'.""''7 The opening of Absalom plunges the reader immediately into the thick of things, enlightening him only gradually about the significance of Rosa's cryptic ramblings. These pages not only anticipate an enormous amount of information hut the criss-crossing of Quentin's narration level and of the narrative about Sutpen makes orientation more d i f f i c u l t s t i l l . Dallenbach argues that the advantages of an abrupt proleptic i n i t i a t i o n include the following: 101 Toutefois, 11 faut voir que cette fonction revelatrice et matricielle en emporte d'autres avec e l l e . Pour nous en tenir aux plus importantes, rappelons qu'en exposant l a fic t i o n en raccourci la reflexion rassemble des episodes et des traits epars doht la perception quasi simultanee, au seuil du l i v r e , n'est pas sans influer sur son mode de dechiffrement: averti d'un parcours dont i l a une connaissance synthetique, le lecteur sait au-devant de quoi i l va et peut sans hesitation imposer des scansions a son itineraire, reconnaitre des temps forts dans sa marche, rester maitre de son avancee.18 An advance summary of the novel thus contains both thematic and structural implications. Aside from arousing interest and curiosity, i t suggests how the narrative should be approached and interpreted. The opening of Absalom anticipates how different time levels inter-act with each other. The distinction between Quentin's and Sutpen's time marks the largest time gap. However, the most confusing time shifts occur "V-within the story of Sutpen. Faulkner introduces Sutpen's l i f e in a frag-mented and remarkably repetitive form. With only an unspecified "he" as a transition, the reader f a l l s , virtually without a warning, from Rosa's "dim hot airless room" (p. 7) in 1909 into an account of Sutpen's arrival in Jefferson around 1833: "Out of quiet thunderclap he would abrupt (man-horse-demon) upon a scene peaceful and decorous. . ." (p. 8). Rosa follows up her ominous introduction of the main character by dwelling on certain key events associated with Sutpen's early years in Jefferson. We learn that Sutpen arrived with, a "hand of wild niggers" and a French architect in order to "drag house and formal gardens violently out of the soundless Nothing. . ." (p. 8). After a short digression,. Rosa returns to Sutpen's sudden appearance and obscure a c t i v i t i e s . This time we are told Sutpen's name and reminded that he "came out of nowhere." At the same time the 102 construction of the mansion is mentioned again and we are informed that he married Ellen who had a "son and a daughter." This new information is a l l the more intriguing as we are given two important hints about the family's future: "Only they destroyed him or something or he destroyed them or something. And died" (p. 9). Approximately two pages later the same biography is offered again but in more elaborate terms: . •• . that Sunday morning in June in 1833 when he f i r s t rode into town out of no discernible past and acquired his land no one knew how and built his house, his mansion, apparently out of nothing and married Ellen Coldfield and begot his two children—the son who widowed the daughter who had not yet been a bride—and so accomplished his allotted course to i t s violent. . . end. (p. 11) The date of Sutpen's arrival, the family name of the wife, and the violent nature of his death are the only new facts, and the rest of the passage either duplicates what we know already about Sutpen's establishment in Jefferson or increases the mystery surrounding the children's fate. The chapter repeats several more times that Sutpen "came out of nowhere" and built his house "out of nothing." It also supplies two more important insights into the children's fate. The f i r s t states bluntly that Henry "would return but once: :more before disappearing for good, and that as a murderer and almost a fratricide. . ." (p. 15). The second one has Rosa explain: ". . .1 saw Henry repudiate his home and birthright and then return and practically f l i n g the bloody corpse of his sister's sweetheart at the hem of her wedding gown. . ." (p. 18). The scattered facts about the children only intensify the mystery surrounding them. Although i t becomes reasonably clear that.the brother has k i l l e d the sister's fiance, the c i r -cumstances and motivations concerning the: murder are intentionally withheld. 103 The remaining pages of the opening chapter elaborate on Sutpen's ar r i v a l , the construction of the plantation, the marriage, Sutpen's early influence on his children, and his fights with the negroes. Sutpen's early years in Jefferson are thus described in some detail, although the second chapter is needed to complete the picture. The "retardation" effect i s strongest in the opening pages and in in the passages concerned with the central episode of the fratricide. Lammert summarizes the method Faulkner employs as follows: Zur konsekutiven Verkniipfung gehort es, dass vor Auflosung aller Ratsel zahlreiche Einzelereignisse zunachst in einer ge-heimnisvollen Korrelation zu stehen scheinen, ehe sich ihre kausale Abhangigkeit herausstellt.^ Faulkner makes entry into Absalom d i f f i c u l t in order to discourage the lazy and to promise those who persevere an often frustrating but ultimate-ly rewarding passage through the novel. 3. a. i i . The role of repetition in misleading information The misleading information we find particularly in the early parts of Absalom is quite often qualified as such. In Roland Barthes1 terms, we are dealing more with "leurres" than with "fausses reponses." Barthes describes the "leurre" as a "sorte de devoiement delibere de l a verite" which is related to "1'equivoque," this "melange de verite et de leurre ^ 2 0 qui, bien souvent, en cernant l'enigme, contribue a l'epaissir." The reader knows that he is not always being told the truth or at least not the whole truth. Mr. Compson assumes that Henry's disapproval of Bon's octoroon wife motivated the fratricide. It later becomes clear that this i s not so and Mr. Compson himself is aware that his facts do 104 n o t always add up: I t ' s j u s t i n c r e d i b l e . I t j u s t does.not e x p l a i n . Or perhaps t h a t ' s i t : t h e y don't e x p l a i n and we a r e n o t supposed t o know. . . They a r e t h e r e , y e t s o m e t h i n g i s m i s s i n g ; t h e y a r e l i k e a c h e m i c a l f o r m u l a exhumed a l o n g w i t h the l e t t e r s f r om t h a t f o r g o t t e n c h e s t . . . you b r i n g them t o g e t h e r i n t h e p r o p o r t i o n s c a l l e d f o r , b u t n o t h i n g happens; you r e - r e a d , t e d i o u s and i n t e n t , p o r i n g , making s u r e t h a t you have f o r g o t -t e n n o t h i n g , made no m i s c a l c u l a t i o n ; you b r i n g them t o g e t h e r a g a i n and a g a i n n o t h i n g happens. . . (pp. 100-101). I n B a r t h e s ' t e r m s , Mr. Compson's a d m i s s i o n c o n s t i t u t e s a " b l o c a g e 21 ( c o n s t a t d ' i n s o l u b i l i t e ) . " However, i n s p i t e o f " l e u r r e s " and b l o c a g e , " Mr. Compson's n a r r a t i o n c o n t a i n s enough t r u t h t o deepen t h e r e a d e r ' s u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the s o c i e t y and c i r c u m s t a n c e s i n w h i c h t h e e v e n t s i n Absalom t o o k p l a c e . I t i s f o r t h i s r e a s o n t h a t Q u e n t i n and S h r e v e , o f -f e r i n g what seems a more a c c u r a t e r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e s t o r y , r e s o r t t o Mr. Compson's i n t e p r e t a t i o n whenever i t i s s u i t a b l e . Mr. Compson's f a l s e l e a d r e p r e s e n t s t h e most c o n s p i c u o u s example o f " l e u r r e " and " e q u i v o q u e . " O t h e r i s o l a t e d i n s t a n c e s r e s o r t t o t h e same method i n l e s s s y s t e m a t i c ways. I t happens o c c a s i o n a l l y t h a t f a c t s a r e i n t e r p r e t e d i n a way t h a t i s l a t e r c o n t r a d i c t e d . The argument t h a t Sutpen b u i l t h i s mansion " a p p a r e n t l y out o f n o t h i n g " i s a good c a s e i n p o i n t . The q u a l i f i c a t i o n " a p p a r e n t l y " a l r e a d y a l e r t s us t o t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a " l e u r r e . " I n d e e d , Rosa's c l a i m seems h i g h l y e x a g g e r a t e d when we c o n s i d e r t h a t F a u l k n e r d e s c r i b e s i n g r e a t d e t a i l how Sutpen f o r c e d t h e F r e n c h a r c h i t e c t and t h e negroes t o work f o r him. E q u a l l y e q u i v o c a l i s t h e s t a t e m e n t t h a t Sutpen " a c q u i r e d h i s l a n d no one knew how" (p. 1 1 ) . Rosa h e r s e l f i n d i c a t e s a l i t t l e l a t e r i n t h e same c h a p t e r t h a t Sutpen t o o k h i s l a n d " f r o m a t r i b e o f i g n o r a n t I n d i a n s " (p. 16) and Mr. Compson adds 105 that "the Chickasaw Indian agent" (p. 34) oversaw the transaction. The retrospective nature of the narrative permits. Faulkner to manipulate the level of knowledge his narrators impart. By never clearly d i f -ferentiating between Rosa's knowledge of 1833 and her fuller under-standing in 1909, Faulkner maintains Rosa's supernatural explanations at the same time as he accounts for the same events in logical terms. Misleading information slows down the narrative by forcing the text to return to the same facts in always slightly altered form. 3. a. i i i . The role of repetition in the overall narrative progression Absalom turns around a number of mysterious events whose level of enlightenment is carefully controlled. The central enigma concerns the fratricide because structurally everything else i s either leading up to i t or i s a consequence of i t . The fratricide i s the hole that each nar-rator tries to f i l l according to his or her own knowledge and temperament. Faulkner delays revelations to such an extent that the reader feels that nothing ever happened. Guetti, for instance, concludes his study of Absalom with the suspicion that there was perhaps never a story to be told in the f i r s t place. The oscillation between what is known and un-known in Absalom.creates a complicated and forbidding structure in which everything seems to overlap without ever f i l l i n g in any holes satisfactori-ly. Joseph W. Reed describes the overall structure in the novel with great 22 accuracy, and I therefore base my own analysis on his work, supplementing i t only when necessary.' Chapter One;, as I have shown already,• concentrates on Sutpen's arrival and early years in Jefferson. Chapter Two then goes over Sutpen's arrival again but focuses primarily on the marriage between 106 Sutpen and Ellen Coldfield. Chapter Three covers a l l the major events in Sutpen's l i f e , from his arrival in Jefferson to his death. Chapter Four discusses the events that lead up to the fratricide, that i s , the friend-ship between Bon and Henry as well as Sutpen's conflict with this two sons. Chapter Five takes up Sutpen's marriage once more, focuses on his relationship with Rosa Coldfield, and ends with his death. Chapter Six alludes to some of the main events in Sutpen's l i f e but emphasizes the fate of the Sutpen descendants after his death. Chapter Seven delves into Sutpen's past before his arrival in Jefferson and then touches again on some special points of interest like the Christmas events of 1859 and Sutpen's proposal to Rosa. Chapter Eight turns once more to spots of interest, especially Bon's background, the relationhip between Bon and Henry after Henry leaves his home, and Sutpen's death. Chapter Nine brings the story up to 1910, the time of narration, and depicts the burning of Sutpen's Hundred, Rosa's death, and the survival of the idiot Jim Bond. By Chapter Three, then, the core events of Absalom are firmly established. If the overlapping structure of the novel is represented in diagram form, Faulkner's halting and repetitive method reveals i t s e l f clearly: 1 0 7 Chapter Narrative segments Legend: I B 1 1 B C III B C^  D E IV C V B ::D ::E VI B C E F G VII A B C D E VIII C G IX G A Sutpen's past B Sutpen's early years i n Jefferson C Events leading up to the murder D Events following the murder E Sutpen's death F Sutpen's descendants G Quentin's v i s i t to Sutpen's Hundred (The underlined letters indicate that this particular segment re-ceives the most extensive treat-ment in the chapter.) The events the narrative comes back to most often are those that were established in the early chapters (B). Sutpen's arrival in Jefferson af-fects the whole town and disturbs the lives of those closest associated with him. This, combined with the fascination of Quentin and Shreve with Sutpen's disruptive intrusion, accounts for the prominence of Sutpen's early years in Jefferson. Another area of interest that is discussed repeatedly centers around the events leading up to and growing out of the murder of Bon (C and D ) . The mystery enveloping the fratricide invites various explanations because each participant and spectator sees i t di f -ferently. The. more puzzling an event i s , the more i t is discussed. Sutpen's death "(E) , an event of relative c l a r i t y , therefore receives proportionately less attention than the actions of the living man. The least repetitive and most straightforward sections of Absalom l i e outside the core situation. They concern mainly Sutpen's past (A) and the fate of his descendants (F). The time of narration, stretching roughly from September 1 9 0 9 to the winter 108 of 1910, rounds out the chronology. It i s interesting to note that Sutpen's past, explaining the motivation for many apparently irrational acts later in his l i f e , is withheld as long as possible. It is not introduced un t i l Chapter Seven and, in violation of normal chronology, i t comes after the fate of Sutpen's descendants has been discussed. Faulkner delays motiva-tional information in order to keep the central enigma alive. The nar-rative flow is impeded by the repeated tracing of the same situations and strategically placed partial answers. Although the narrative seems to jump from place to place, i t never-theless follows a carefully worked out plan. When a question i s raised and then answered, a new question is immediately introduced to engage the reader's attention. Answers are rarely given in one concentrated effort but are extended over several chapters. Some chapters provide information about different questions simultaneously. Although holes in the nar-rative are not f i l l e d in at expected places and in linear succession, they follow a logic of timed revelations which Reed describes as follows: Chapter 2 f i l l s in one hole of 1 (how Sutpen got Mr. Coldfield's daughter), 3 creates new ellipses (the Christmas interview, the death of Henry., Sutpen's proposal to Rosa). Chapter 4 takes off on one of these traces (Bon's miscegenation), 5 takes another (the proposal). Chapters 6 and 7 provide endings for these which embody some new questions and some new beginnings—including one very big suspended question (Bon's parentage), to be puzzled over and resolved in 8 (the incest). Chapter 8 also takes up a l l the unresolved ellipses of 3, 4, 5, and 6. Chapter 9 :moves the basic action of 1910 to i t s climax in the discovery of Henry and.beyond in the burning of Sutpen's Hundred, Rosa's death, and Shreve's questioning of the whole thing.23 The alternation of holes and repetitions makes us read for solutions. The f i n a l twist of the narrative i s , of course, that a l l solutions reveal 109 themselves as unsubstantiated hypotheses. The. whole novel thus turns out to be a partial answer to a not always clearly stated question. Faulkner obviously believes that the success of Absalom depends on the narrative structure. He therefore takes the "game" with timed revela-tions very seriously. At the same time, he does occasionally have fun with i t . At one point he teases the reader by leaving the last sentence of one chapter open until the end of the following one. Chapter Three ends with Wash riding up to Rosa's gate, shouting to her: "Hello, Hello," at intervals u n t i l she'came to the door; whereupon he lowered his voice somewhat, though not much. "Air you Rosie Coldfield?" he said (p. 87). We are both baffled and intrigued by the obviously incomplete scene and perhaps even midly outraged by Faulkner's violation of sacred chapter unities. It is not unti l the end of Chapter Four that the scene i s com-pleted : . . . and then Wash "Jones sittin g that saddleless mule before Miss Rosa's gate, shouting her. name into the sunny and peace-fu l quiet of the street, saying, 'Air you Rosie Coldfield? Then you better come on out yon. Henry has done shot that durn French f e l l e r . K i l t him dead as beef.' (p. 133) The suspended scene i s reminiscent of Sterne's Tristram Shandy where characters are l e f t standing on stairways while the narrative digresses. What Faulkner's joke brings out most clearly i s the role of repetition in an interrupted narrative sequence.. The repetition of "Air you Rosie Cold-field?" spans and at the same time accentuates the digression that consti-tutes the narrative between the two chapter endings. The staggered process of revelation forces 'the narrative to retrace the same raw material again and again. It thereby disrupts the text's 110 horizontal movement and gives the impression that the story i s not going anywhere. This impression i s reinforced by the fact that the most impor-tant situations in Absalom seem to be simultaneously present from begin-ning to end. In spite of a strong spatial i l l u s i o n , the novel nevertheless exhibits an underlying, indirect linearity. Although dislocations and overlappings make the narrative structure d i f f i c u l t to trace, each major situation i s treated extensively at some point in the novel. The preceding diagram can be rearranged to reflect the general order in which the major situations are emphasized: B The core events of the Sutpen saga (B-E) are indirectly arranged in chronological succession. The fate of Sutpen's descendants, situating i t s e l f outside the core situation, follows logically after Sutpen's death so that the only substantial violation of chronology concerns Sutpen's past (A). Faulkner cleverly overshadows the basic story progression by I l l means of a c o m p l i c a t e d i n t e r p l a y o f a n t i c i p a t i o n s , r e t r o s p e c t i o n s , p a r t i a l s o l u t i o n s , and main n a r r a t i v e . The n a r r a t i v e p r o g r e s s i o n makes t h e d i g r e s s i o n s and f r a g m e n t a t i o n s more d i s t r u b i n g b ecause i t al w a y s h o l d s t h e hope f o r an u l t i m a t e meaning o r s o l u t i o n . Why s u c h a complex s t r u c t u r e ? The answer has t o do w i t h t h e r e l a t i o n -s h i p between r e a l i t y and i t s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n a r t . E v e r y l i t e r a r y move-ment has al w a y s c l a i m e d t h a t i t c o r r e s p o n d s more a c c u r a t e l y t o r e a l i t y t h a n i t s p r e d e c e s s o r s . T h i s c o r r e s p o n d e n c e c o u l d t a k e t h e form o f an e x t e r n a l copy o r an i n t e r n a l a n a l o g y . D u r i n g t h e h e i g h t o f m i m e t i c a r t i n the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , " r e a l i s m " p o s t u l a t e d an " i d e n t i t y between t h e sense o f t y p i c a l and t h e sense o f a c c u r a t e l y r e p r o d u c e d " w h i c h i s , a c -c o r d i n g t o Raymond W i l l i a m s , n o t a n e c e s s a r y c o n n e c t i o n b u t " a . l o c a l h i s t o r i c a l a s s o c i a t i o n ; M i m e t i c o r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l a r t i s to d a y t h e b u t t o f p o l e m i c a l arguments f o r l i t e r a t u r e as a s e l f - e n g e n d e r i n g f o r m a l p r o c e s s whose c o n n e c t i o n w i t h a n a t u r a l o r s o c i a l r e f e r e n t i s more o r l e s s i n c i d e n t a l . I n o t h e r w ords, a t e x t ' s r e f e r e n c e t o a " r e a l i t e e x t r a -l i n g u i s t i q u e , " t h a t i s , "un u n i v e r s r e e l ou i m a g i n a i r e " i s s e c o n d a r y 25 t o i t s p r i m a r y " . e f f e c t de l'agencement s c r i p t u r a l . " The dynamism o f a t e x t i s a q u e s t i o n o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l o p e r a t i o n s . These o p e r a t i o n s t a k e p l a c e w i t h i n and between c e r t a i n codes w h i c h R o l a n d B a r t h e s d i v i d e s i n t o f i v e m ajor c a t e g o r i e s : "code h e r m e n e u t i q u e , " "code t h e m a t i q u e , " "code 26 s y m b o l i q u e , " "code p r o a i r e t i q u e , 1 1 and "code c u l t u r e l . " A t e x t i s a p l u r a l i s t i c s ystem w h i c h c a p i t a l i z e s on o f t e n c o n t r a d i c t o r y t e n s i o n s : . . . un "bon r e c i t " a c c o m p l i t a l a f o i s l a p l u r a l i t e e t l a c i r c u l a r i t e des c o d e s ; c o r r i g e r sans c e s s e l e s c a u s a l i t e s de 1'anecdote p a r l a metonymie des symboles, e t i n v e r s e m e n t 112 l a simultaneity des sens par les operations qui entralnent et consument l'attente vers sa fin.27 Barthes demonstrates that even a story written in the mimetic code (like Balzac's Sarrasine) depends far less on an imitation of reality than i s generally assumed because formal operations are largely responsible for the i l l u s i o n of l i f e - l i k e "accuracy." Contemporary fi c t i o n , being more conscious of i t s a r t i f i c i a l i t y , accentuates formal properties. In Absalom the tension between continuity and discontinuity i s particularly pronounced and repetition serves to impede the forward progression of the narrative at the same time as i t suggests layers of understanding that work on an ana-logical level. The effect of these layers leads less to a deepening than to a broadening of the text's meaning. Repetition appears as a powerful anti-representational device,.embracing decentralization, dispersion, and d i f -fusion as well as a challenge to causality and teleology. Guetti, expres-sing some misgivings about Absalom, concludes that: . . . as Sutpen's active force and Quentin's imaginative v i t a l i t y arise from and are exhibited in their failure, the greatest success of language i t s e l f is to create a potential of meaning that must remain unrealized, a tension between order and disorder that cannot be resolved but only repeated, and repeated.28 Faulkner's anti-representational: stance also explains the refusal of Absalom to conform to predictable dramatic expectations: Narrative intensity, textual density and suspense mechanisms ought to underline crises or lead up to revelations—-here they seem to heighten what leads up to crises or, anticlimactically, to draw out what leads away from them. What we expect to take a lot of time takes very l i t t l e , and what we expect w i l l just go bang, goes on and on. The book's rhythm refuses to be dramatic; indeed, i t is almost insistently antidramatic and anticlimactic.29 The complex.structure of Absalom, with i t s fragmentations and redundancies, expresses i t s e l f against conventional forms of f i c t i o n . This h o s t i l i t y to 113 conventions, in turn, relies heavily on the manipulations that repeti-tive patterns make possible. 3. a. iv. The role of repetition ih point of view Faulkner lessens the shock of the innovative narrative structure in Absalom by justifying i t s existence psychologically. He intimates that the repetitive structure was necessitated by the fact that numerous narrators give a more or less different version of the same events. The stress here is on the way in which subjective experience inevitably colors objective facts and events. More radically, the multiple points of view eliminate the possibility of shared knowledge and assert the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of f i c t i o n . An important precursor to Absalom, at least in this respect, is Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim. Marlow collects and interprets what witnesses contribute to the cumulative picture of Jim's character and situation. But no matter how many pieces Marlow adds to the portrait of Jim, he is "fated never 30 to see him clearly" because any f i n a l "meaning" of Jim remains elusive. Faulkner adopts a similar witness technique in Absalom. Both Marlow and Quentin act as a single consciousness that collects information. But where Marlow is careful not to distort the facts, Quentin often changes them to suit his purposes. Marlow therefore deplores that language can depict the "truth" only inadequately and Quentin uses language freely, believing that fic t i o n has a truth of i t s own. With this attitude, Absalom stands at the threshold of experimental contemporary fi c t i o n . In contemporary f i c t i o n , contradictory or highly disparate versions of an event are not always distributed among different narrators. Often a single voice presents multiple interpretations, or the narrative voice is dispensed with, so 114 that" contradictory events stand on their own, without being fi l t e r e d through an identifiable consciousness (cf. Simon's Tfyptique). The trend i n f i c t i o n i s definitely away from psychological motivation towards autonomous and self-generating texts. If the multiple narrator organization ih Absalom i s viewed more from a structural and less from a psychological point of view, Faulkner's achievement in narrative technique can be more clearly understood. The narrators in Absalom relate differently to each other and to the story they t e l l . Quentin can be said to be in charge of the narrative, although he gleans his information from other narrators who may temporarily take over from him. The result is a layered narrative which can become as complicated as when "Shreve hears of the architect-hunt from Quentin, he hears him t e l l what his father told him that his father told him that 31 Sutpen told him." The d i f f i c u l t i e s with point of view arise not only from the layered voices but also from the fact that the time of narration progress-es at the same time as the story of Sutpen is moving along. Instead of a relatively stable retrospective point of view, as we find i t in A la recherche, Absalom confounds us with time shifts in the narrative frame. Similarities and differences between Absalom and A l a recherche help to clarify this point. Both novels t e l l a story retrospectively in such a way as to make the end of the story and the beginning of the narration nearly coincide. At the end of A l a recherche, Marcel i s presumably ready to begin writing the novel we have just finished reading. Similarly, the story of Sutpen eventually brings the events of 1833 up to the time of narration in 1909 and 1910, especially when Quentin's v i s i t to Sutpen's Hundred and Rosa's death are described. 115 However, there are significant differences, between the basic structures of the two novels. Marcel writes retrospectively from one point in time, which l i e s in an unspecified future. We only know that the narrator is suffering from insomnia and that this insomnia reminds him of the sleep-less nights in his childhood which open Du cote de chez Swann. Proust indicates neither when the narrator begins to write nor how long i t takes him to accomplish his task. Faulkner, on the other hand, pays much at-tention to the time of narration. He provides detailed information and actual dates concerning Quentin's temporal movement from September 1909 to the winter of 1910. Quentin is in fact such a pronounced presence that c r i t i c s have often asked themselves whether Absalom is not the story of Quentin rather than of Sutpen. The question as to whose story Absalom really is should not be dis-missed too easily. The relationship between the story and the narrator or frame level plays a:.crucial organizing role. Faulkner is too conscious a writer to confuse main story and frame without knowing what he is doing. Basing myself on Genette's analysis of the narrative structure in A l a recherche, I intend to decipher Faulkner's reasons for this confusion. Genette's study focuses on "les rapports entre l'ordre temporel de succes-sion des evenements dans l a diegese et l'ordre pseudo-temporel de leur dis-position dans le recit. . ." (p. 32) In other words, Genette arrives at some intriguing results by juxtaposing the succession and duration of events as they would appear in clock time and their arrangement and relative ex-pansion and contraction in the novel. One of Genette's important discoveries concerns his interpretation of the famous opening sentence in' A l a recherche— 116 "Longtemps, . je me suis couche de bonne .heure" J J—as a "position-cle" J t + which mediates between the narrator-Marcel's insomnia and the hero-Marcel's sleeplessness as a child. The "drame du coucher" controls the opening part of A l a recherche by offering the zig-zag movement of the text a fixed base to which i t can periodically return. Quentin's presence as a listener and narrator in Absalom f u l f i l l s a similar "position-cle" function. But unlike the fixed situation of the "drame du coucher" and the narrator's insomnia, the "position-cle" in Absalom is flexible. The f i r s t chapter establishes already what the main stages in'Quentin's progress w i l l be. We f i r s t meet him in Rosa's office, a setting that includes two allusions to the room at Harward (p. 9) which represents the 1910 stage of Quentin's narrative odyssey. The chapter then moves to Mr. Compson's house, where Quentin receives more information about the Sutpen saga in the evening of the same day as his v i s i t to Rosa's office took place. This background appears in parentheses and alludes to s t i l l another time of narration. When Quentin speaks of "his promise to return for her in the buggy" (p. 12) and when Mr. Compson hints that "no matter what hap-pens out there tonight. . ."' (p. 13), Faulkner anticipates Quentin's v i s i t to Sutpen's Hundred with Rosa later that same night. Afternoon, evening, and late night of a day in September of 1909 and a day at Harvard in the winter of 1910 are thus singled out as four separate times of narration. The point of view in A l a recherche permits Proust to present his story simultaneously from Marcel-hero's limited knowledge and from Marcel-narrator's extensive retrospective vision. In Absalom.narrator, and hero are not the same person so that the retrospective pattern is not a.question 117 of memory but only a shared investment in the same past. Quentin's know-ledge is therefore always partial and hypothetical. Where Marcel-narrator is always there to interpret the actions of Marcel-hero, Quentin has no such check on his understanding of Sutpen's behavior and motivations. The process of making sense out of information fragments often threatens to usurp the central position of the story. The time of narration i s no longer unequivocally subordinate to the time of the story. Although Quentin was not even born by the time Sutpen was k i l l e d , Sutpen's present is also Quentin's past just as Quentin's present is in some sense Sutpen's future. The two time levels are continuous at the same time as they have an autono-. mous existence. The "position-cle" in A l a recherche is virtually forgotten after the "drame du coucher" and does not move back into the foreground un t i l Le temps retrouve.* In Absalom, however, the time of narration and the time of the narrative are constantly vying for attention. Genette argue that i f the narrator's insomnia can be called the "recit premier," the whole of A l a recherche acts as one large "analepse." The story of Sutpen is perhaps a much more obvious "analepse" than the apprenticeship of Marcel but the "recit premier" reveals i t s e l f as a disturbingly unstable entity. On the vertical axis, the narrative function is distributed among several voices and on the horizontal one, the narrator in charge moves along in time. Instead of unifying the narrative, Faulkner's experiment with point o view provides more evidence for his dissatisfaction with conventional literary devices. His success, of course, depends heavily on repetition * Certain s t y l i s t i c and subtle structural patterns do, of course, point to the novel's retrospectiveness and thereby recall the "position-cle." 118 because the layered narrator arrangement requires that each narrator es-tablish what he knows and how he knows i t . Similarly, Quentin's progres-sion through time forces him to specify how much he knew at each point in the narrative. The famous c r i t i c a l controversy about how Quentin learned of Bon's exact parentage testifies to the importance readers attach to sources of information. It is for this reason that Faulkner monitors the tension between what is familiar and what is new with so much care. 3.ra. v. The role of repetition within narrative levels Many temporal dislocations in Absalom take place between the levels of the story and the narration. But within both of these levels further dislocations occur. In the early chapters, up to Chapter Five, the most active dislocations happen within the Sutpen story, whereas the narrator level remains relatively stable. After the i n i t i a l introduction of the various narrators, we find Quentin listening either to Rosa or to Mr. Compson in 1909. In Chapter Six, the story continues to fluctuate but the narrator level also becomes more unstable. Quentin t e l l s Shreve at Harvard in the winter of 1910 what his father had told him earlier. There is thus constant back and forth movement between the two narrator frames. IhvGhapt Seven dislocations situate themselves almost entirely within the narrator level. The Sutpen story progresses in relatively linear fashion through Sutpen's youth and l i f e in Jefferson, whereas Quentin t e l l s Shreve what his grandfather had told his father what Sutpen had i n i t i a l l y told him. General Compson's conversations with Sutpen take place on two separate occasions: in 1833, during the architect chase, and in 1864, in General Compson's office. Although we hear Sutpen himself speak, the narrator 119 and his subject are at the greatest distance from each other and com-municate through two intermediaries. The narrative dislocations in this chapter force us to pay more attention to the act of narration than in earlier chapters. In Chapter Eight, the narrator and story levels virtually merge because Shreve and Quentin identify with Henry arid Bon to the point of turning into a composite "I" or "we": "So that now i t was not two but four of them riding the two horses. . ." (p. 334). In the last chapter, the novel turns to Quentin's own reactions to the burning of Sutpen's Hundred, Rosa's death, and the survival of the idiot Jim Bond. Absalom gradually moves from the facts of the Sutpen saga to their effect on Quentin and Shreve u n t i l the novel does in fact become their story. The fratricide acts as a focal point which controls what happens before and after i t . On the one hand, i t ends Sutpen's hopes for a worthy heir and, on the other, i t looms as a stumbling block in Quentin's desperate attempt to escape from the past. Faulkner identifies the f o l -lowing dialogue as the point Quentin "couldn't pass": Now you cant marry him. Why cant I marry him? Because he's dead. Dead? Yes. I k i l l e d him, (p. ,172) It is at this point that the story of the Sutpen children becomes Quentin's own; his relationship with Caddy and Dalton Ames in The Sound and the Fury reflects that between Henry, Judith, and Bon. Once Quentin and Shreve become doubles of Henry and Bon, they obsessively repeat the now familiar facts about the Sutpen family again and again in order to find reasons and motivations. 120 3. a. v i . The role of repetition in the struggle between fact and f i c t i o n It i s generally agreed that the version Quentin establishes in col-laboration with Shreve is the most believable and complete. In view of the highly hypothetical and often blatantly contradictory nature of the Quentin/Shreve account, this consensus is rather surprising. Shreve, for instance, invents a lawyer who is supposed to have manipulated Bon into the role of Sutpen's adversary, and Quentin moves the Christmas library scene to a spring setting. Shreve even claims that i t was Henry rather than Bon who was wounded at Shiloh. Why are we so ready to accept the Quentin/Shreve version? The answer is partially hidden in the way i n which Faulkner uses repetition to control reader response. By repeating the same facts from various and often contradictory points of view, Faulkner deprives the reader of any certainty. Certainty, however, is a basic human need. In her a r t i c l e "Risk and Redundancy," Liane Norman makes the following observations: The reader, deprived of any workable certitude, i s , on the one hand, at the disposal of the author and must depend on him; on the other hand, his need for something he can depend on increases as i t i s withheld.35 In the early parts of the novel, Faulkner withholds and contradicts facts to such an extent that the reader is ready to accept the Quentin/Shreve version not so much because i t is innately more plausible but because the need for certainty becomes an overriding desire. Paradoxically, then, the reader embraces the version offered by the narrator team that situates i t s e l f at the greatest distance from the story. Indeed, Malcolm Cowley, in one of his earliest statements about Absalom, finds the Quentin/Shreve reconstructions so superior to the others that he suggests: 121 I would say that "Absalom, Absalom" would be better i f cut by about a third, maybe a l l the early parts of i t omitted, leaving only Quentin's story to his roommate.36 Cowley, showing a preference for the least factual version,* indicates that f i c t i o n can be more convincing than fact. The redundancies in the early parts of Absalom prepare the way for the reader's almost un-questionable acceptance of a fi c t i o n a l version that never tires of t e l l -i n g us that i t is indeed f i c t i o n . 3. a. v i i . Conclusion to repetition and suspense Suspense and repetition work hand in hand to control a narrative puzzle which always promises but never completely delivers a f i n a l mean-ing or interpretation. Although repetition destroys many conventional pat-terns, such as the boundaries between events, characters, and narrators, i t offers in return a new kind of narrative space in which complex and even contradictory segments coexist analogically. The reader, accustomed to a stable and unobtrusive narrative voice, finds i t d i f f i c u l t at f i r s t to concentrate simulta-neouly on both story and narration. Although c r i t i c s usually praise the powerful impact of Sutpen's story and compliment Faulkner on his excellent grasp of the narrative process, they tend to voice serious reservations about Absalom as a totality. Slatoff sums up the main impression Absalom conveys in his t i t l e a "Quest for Failure." The failure he attributes to the novel takes two major forms: lack of formal coherence and f a l l i n g short of showing adequately the deficiencies *Cowley later assures us that he would no longer dispense with the earlier sections of Absalom. His i n i t i a l reaction shows, however, that the Quentin/ Shreve part strikes most people as the most intriguing one. 122 of language. Reed, too, concludes his excellent analysis of the narrative structure in Absalom"with the qualified assessment: The achievement of Absalom is better judged in i t s soaring, i t s complex ambition and the grand scale of i t s attempt at a total understanding of the narrative process, than in i t s emotional impact or formal perfections. 3? He also speaks of the novel's "ambition" and "overreaching" as standing 38 alone "in the grandeur of their attempt." Guetti-.'s criticism duplicates Reed's general impression but stresses Faulkner's ina b i l i t y to achieve what he set out to do: It is not simply that Absalom,.Absalom! is possibly one kind of novel or another but that i t is possibly no novel at a l l . Faulkner's insistence that the imagination must f a i l complete-ly can never be evaluated because i t can only remain an i n -sistence. The supposed struggle that i t implies could only be revealed metaphorically and thus cannot be revealed—given the insistence—at a l l . 3 9 What Guetti evidently expects of Faulkner is that he " t e l l " rather than "show" the apparent failure of language. He is in fact saying that rational argument is preferable to imaginative persuasion. Moreover, he assumes that Faulkner's intention was indeed to demonstrate the failure rather than the success of the imagination. It seems to me that Faulkner manipulates the novel's patterns in such a way that f i c t i o n w i l l emerge as "a might-have-been which is more true than truth" (p. 143). Unlike Guetti, Faulkner appreciates that language is the only accessible reality and hence represents a much stronger influence on experience than advocates of unmediated sensation are willing to accept. Guetti may, of course, be correct in speculating that Absalom is "possibly no novel at a l l " i f by "novel" he means a coherent (rational) development towards a more or less unequivocal resolution. However, the 123 novel's repetitive progress aims neither at a clear factual outcome nor at a complete understanding of motivations. Reed touches on at least one effect the repetitive structure in Absalom has on reader response: Yet the repetition i s not primarily to serve rhythmic or revelatory structures but to expose us to a sequence of narrators using the same raw material. The narrative advances (indirectly) in a linear chronology, but at the same time—by i t s beginning in medias res and by i t s over-lappings—suggests layers of knowledge, of understanding, of meaning.40 Indeed, as we have seen, the facts and motivations for the fratricide are suggested early in the novel so that subsequent discussions of the same material, adding only nuances of meaning, are not really necessary. Aside from adding depth to our knowledge, the repetitive patterns serve s t i l l another purpose. Faulkner's emphasis on the narrative process shows a serious concern with epistemological matters. What interests Faulkner beyond the immediate f i c t i v e process is the related question of inter-pretation. The central event in Absolom, the fratricide, assumes a:..dif-ferent significance for each narrator. For Rosa i t is determined by the same e v i l force that later inspires Sutpen's proposal, for Mr. Compson i t is the tragic outcome of a father/soncconflict, for Quentin/Shreve i t is a struggle between son and father as well as a question of incest, and for General Compson, whose narrative focuses on Sutpen's past and the social circumstances that have molded his character, i t is symptomatic of Southern blindness. With each repetition of the same events, the Sutpen saga becomes at some level a new story. Each interpretation exists on i t s own and does not only amplify but actually change the original events. Faulkner focuses on the imaginative transformation of events rather than 124 on their essence. The "meaning" of Absalom thus l i e s in the oscillation between the facts of Sutpen's l i f e and their impact on other people's consciousness. What Faulkner asserts is that the very attempt to under-stand Sutpen's l i f e necessarily creates a f i c t i o n because a l l perception (interpretation) i s selective and arbitrary. The meaning Rosa and Mr. Compson attribute to Sutpen's story, even i f i t is often manifestly contrary to later information, is nevertheless as much a part of Absalom as the more convincing Quentin/Shreve version. The reciprocal relation-ship between what happens and how i t is perceived reverberates far beyond immediate witnesses. Faulkner points to this i n f i n i t e echo effect by saying: Maybe nothing ever happens once and is finished. Maybe happen is never once but like ripples maybe on water after the pebble sinks, the ripples moving on, spreading, the pool attached by a narrow umbilical water-cord to the next pool which the f i r s t pool feeds, has fed, did feed, let this second pool contain a different temperature of water, a different molecularity of having seen, f e l t , remembered, reflect in a different tone the i n f i n i t e un-changing sky, i t doesn't matter: that pebble's watery echo whose f a l l i t did not even see moves across i t s surface too at the original ripple-space, to the old ineradicable rhythm. . . (p. 261) The repetitions in Absalom indicate that the original event continues to ex-i s t in always different forms in the minds of others. The narrative struc-ture in Absalom i s not so much designed to help us penetrate an incomplete-ly understood event as i t represents an affirmation of i t s many repercus-sions. The novel never claims directly that one version is more correct than another. Not only could the townspeople of Jefferson add further versions to Absalom, but, beyond the novel, each reader repeats again not only the story of Sutpen but also that of the narrators repeating i t . The pebble's reverberations continue i n f i n i t e l y and i t is in this act of the 125 participating imagination that Faulkner celebrates the validity of f i c t i o n . 3. b . Repetition and fragmentation ('Simon) La Route is in some ways an even more d i f f i c u l t novel than Absalom, for where Faulkner's novel is only digressive, Simon's is decidedly fragmentary. Simon dispenses with many of the narrative devices that give Absalom i t s coherence, expecting the reader to supply missing links and to follow circuitous paths. Along with other new novelists, Simon is extremely suspicious of representation (mimesis) in literature and prefers a formal aesthetic which concentrates on language and the f i c t i v e process. The narrative appears in the form of fragments which are linked together by formal analogies rather than by causal or mnemonic connections. Nar-rative fragments relate to each other through formal associations which, in turn, rely heavily on repetition. Indeed, repetition complements fragmentation because i t draws attention to discontinuities at the same time as i t facilitates a compensatory analogical reading. This analogical reading moves the narrative into symmetry. The primary narrative organiza-tion in La Route does in fact favor symmetrical patterns. But, because La Route was written during Simon's middle or transitional period, i t s t i l l contains a definite "story line." The result is a strong tension between representational and purely formal devices. Around the time of La Route,- Simon expressed his aesthetic ambition as follows: La question n'est plus de decrire successivement des choses qui se produisent successivement dans une duree, mais de decrire un tas de sensations ou d'images simultanees, et cela avec le seul.instrument que nous ayons a notre disposi-tion: le language, c'est-a-dire dans une duree.41 126 This statement contains a f a i r amount of "psychologizing" which Simon later deplores. It does, however, demonstrate an accute awareness of how Janus-faced the literary medium really i s . This awareness inspires many of Simon's experiments with narrative form and leads him to find new uses for literary repetition. 3. b. i . Some basic observations about the narrative structure in "La Route" Before the tension between symmetrical (static) and temporal (progressive) patterns in La Route can be analyzed, a few remarks about Simon's choice of narrative seem appropriate. La Route turns i t s back on some conventions in prose fi c t i o n which had enjoyed a long period of popularity and which have only recently come under attack. One of these conventions concerns the writer's attempt to imitate the chronological order of "real" events. Strict narrative chronology, or course, has been gradually eroded un t i l the precipitous opening and the flashback have become typical rather than exceptional. What differentiates La Route from the flashback tradition i s the extreme to which Simon takes radical violations of chronology. The conventional flashback novel works gradual-ly towards some "present time" which is then either both the beginning and the end of the novel (A l a recherche) or"constitutes a point from which a "present time" narration continues (Lord Jim). In La Route, however, the narrative moves constantly and quite arbitrarily between various time levels. Different episodes from de"Reixach's l i f e before the war, the ancestor's suspected suicide a 150 years earlier, Georges' war experiences and later encounter with Corinne, a l l intersect and overlap throughout the novel. Although i t is possible to work out the 127 chronological sequence of "real" events, the novel does not privilege any particular time level. Moreover, the narrative units within large time periods are again arranged ar b i t r a r i l y . Georges.' war experience, for instance, alternates freely between the "phoney war," the German attack, and the imprisonment. Clock time is thus not so much violated as systematically eliminated. The organizing power of clock time in f i c t i o n was gradually under-mined by the emergence of a psychological concept of time. The stream-of-consciousness novel in particular brought with i t a revolution in nar-rative structuring that is continuing to this day. For writers like Proust, Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Faulkner and others, man's perception of himself and the world is controlled by memory. Through memory, widely disparate experiences are evoked simultaneously and f i c t i o n i s supposed to reflect this mnemonic activity. Simon's own career grows out of this tradition. La Route, for instance, exhibits residual concessions to the organizing capacities of memory. The structure of La Route appears most coherent when the meeting between Georges and Corinne is viewed as a point in time ("recit premier") from which a l l other episodes are remembered. The novel both invites and rejects this interpretation. In Absalom, Quentin's narrative settings are constantly referred to so that the reader is not allowed to forget that the Sutpen story is told retrospectively. In La Route there are only occasional and often i n -direct allusions to the "recit premier." Although the reader can work out the retrospective arrangement of the text, most of the time he experiences i t as a present-time narration. Moreover, when a story 1 2 8 loses the sense of happening in the present, like the l i f e and death of the ancestor, i t is told by narrators (Georges and Blum) who act as i f they were in charge of the "recit premier" (which actually centers on Georges and Corinne some years later). Indeed, the conversations between Georges and Blum make up the most "present" portions of La Route and function in much the same way as Quentin's conversations with Rosa, Mr. Compson, and especially Shreve. The Georges/Blum setting overshadows the Georges/Corinne "recit premier" to such an extent that the "recit premier" loses most of i t s authority. This challenge to the "recit premier" is at the same time a challenge to mnemonic interpretations of La Route. Georges' consciousness does not lend coherence to the text because i t is not anchored in any definite time and place. Simon himself argues that La Route "developed in no way as an imitation of memory, but only in-': 4 2 terms of what Tynianov calls the 'necessities of construction. . .'" The 'necessities of construction' are intricately bound up with Simon's concept of "simultaneity in duration." In an interview with Bettina L. Knapp, Simon declares that Flaubert was the one who intro-duced "pour l a premiere fois dans le roman les notions de simultaneity 4 3 et de discontinuity: 'a la fois' et 'par tableaux detaches.'" The formal decisions growing out of Flaubert's discovery of this paradox were i n i t i a l l y a solution to the problem of how to arrange events that take place at the same time. If, for instance, the writer describes a murderer who approaches his victim, he must make a choice between analyzing f i r s t what the murderer sees and what the victim experiences. In real l i f e the two minds are working at the same time. In f i c t i o n 129 the preference accorded to one or the other point of view is fi n a l l y a formal decision. Considered in this light, "simultaneitylin duration" remains a representational problem because f i c t i o n is supposed to copy a real l i f e situation. Flaubert solved the problem with solutions like the rapid alternation of conversations taking place at the same time during the famous "cornices agricoles" scene. Simon, however, i s no longer concerned with the representational aspects of "simultaneity in duration." For him the formal decisions take on independent importance arid transcend the mimetic starting point. The representational reasons for the discontinuities and fragmentations are largely forgotten and only the formal consequences growing out of them remain. 3. b. i i . The relationship between repetition and fragmentation Simon identifies repetition and fragmentation as major formal sources when he maintains that "challenge, fragmentation, repetition. . . 44 are the characteristics of my texts. . ." Fragmentation defies traditional forms of fi c t i o n but is neither formless nor chaotic. Nar-rative fragments owe nothing to spontaneous arbitrariness and everything to careful craftsmanship. Formal discipline prevents La Route from dis-integrating into incomprehension. A careful balancing of repetition and fragmentation represents one way of counteracting the risk of incomprehension. In order for a fragment to be meaningful, i t must combine elements of both known and unknown facts. Since repetition provides an easy way for making familiar facts available, i t produces an imbrication pattern that helps to relate fragments. Repetition thus introduces continuities into the text that compensate for the discontinuities of 130 f r a g m e n t a t i o n . However, t h e s e same d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s a r e a c c e n t u a t e d because r e p e t i t i o n d i s t o r t s t h e n a r r a t i v e p r o g r e s s i o n . As we have s e e n , a s i m i l a r p r i n c i p l e i n f o r m s Absalom. The d i f f e r e n c e L a Route i n t r o d u c e s i s t h a t t h e r e p e a t e d n a r r a t i v e segments do n o t b r i n g a d i g r e s s i n g n a r r a t i v e back t o a c o n t i n u o u s s t o r y l i n e . I n Absalom t h e r e p e t i t i o n s work towards t h e g r a d u a l emergence o f some "meaning" whereas i n L a Route t h e y f o r c e t h e t e x t i n t o o f t e n s t r a n g e and u n e x p e c t e d a s s o c i a t i o n s . R e p e t i t i o n i n L a Route does n o t o n l y c o n t r o l b u t a c t u a l l y t r a n s f o r m t h e t e x t . I f f r a g -m e n t a t i o n i s seen as a f i r s t s t e p i n t h e n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e , r e p e t i t i o n i s i t s n e c e s s a r y companion. 3. b. i i i . Temporal s t o r y p r o g r e s s i o n The f r a g m e n t a r y s t r u c t u r e o f L a Route i m m e d i a t e l y draws a t t e n t i o n t o a n a l o g i c a l a s s o c i a t i o n s . They do, of c o u r s e , r e p r e s e n t t h e n o v e l ' s major o r g a n i z i n g p r i n c i p l e . However, t h e p r e s e n c e o f s p a t i a l p a t t e r n s a l o n e would be q u i t e m e a n i n g l e s s . A s u c c e s s f u l n o v e l l i k e L a R o u t e , i n t e g r a t i n g f o r m a l p e r f e c t i o n and e x c i t i n g s t o r y m a t e r i a l , depends on t e n s i o n s between s p a t i a l and t e m p o r a l a s p e c t s o f t h e n a r r a t i v e . I t i s t h e r e f o r e n e c e s s a r y t o a n a l y z e how f r a g m e n t a t i o n and r e p e t i t i o n work a g a i n s t t h e bac k g r o u n d o f an u n d e r l y i n g s t o r y p r o g r e s s i o n . B e f o r e con-c e n t r a t i n g on s y m m e t r i c a l p a t t e r n s i n L a Ro u t e , I i n t e n d t o p i n p o i n t t h e ways i n w h i c h t h e n a r r a t i v e moves t h r o u g h t i m e . I n o r d e r t o do s o , I pro p o s e t o r e c o n s t r u c t e v e n t s i n t h e i r c h r o n o l o g i c a l o r d e r , an a c t i v i t y t h a t Simon d i s c o u r a g e s n o t o n l y t h r o u g h t h e n o v e l i t s e l f b u t a l s o i n i n t e r v i e w s and c o n f e r e n c e s . Simon opposes c h r o n o l o g i c a l r e c o n s t r u c t i o n s because t h e y a r e symptomatic o f a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l r e a d i n g . B u t , s i n c e 131 i t i s impossible to analyze the narrative structure without some re-constructions of the actual sequence of events, I w i l l have to apologize to the author and nevertheless proceed with such a plan. The easiest way to analyze temporal progression i s to divide La Route into three major parts. Each of these parts serves an entirely different purpose in the overall structure. The f i r s t part consists of Georges' experiences at the Flanders front during the "phoney war" and the German attack. The second concerns the narrative frames of conver-sations between Georges and Blum in the prisoner train as well as in the prison camp in Saxony and between Georges and Corinne some time after the war. The third part includes the imaginative reconstructions of de Reixach's l i f e before the war and the circumstances that have supposedly led to the ancestor's suicide 150 years earlier. The narrative moves i n -discriminately between these three parts and initiates abrupt and notice-able temporal dislocations. Fragments taken from war action, narrative frames, and reconstructions of the past entail compensatory actions by repetition. Negotiating between levels with different structural functions, they show l i t t l e or no evidence of temporal progression. The relationship between Wack's death (war action) and Georges' fights with Corinne (frame), for instance, i s , from a temporal point of view, purely arbitrary. Any progression in the novel would therefore have to be located within each of the three parts rather than in between them. Each of the three parts exhibits i t s particular pattern of progres-sion and slowing devices. From a temporal perspective, the reconstructions of the Reixach family legend are perhaps the least significant. Simon draws 132 a "tableau" in which fragments confront and complement each other in a way that does not make time a strong factor. In other words, the scenes are mostly exemplary (iterative) and refer to an indeterminate past. The temporal relationship between fragments is rarely an issue and what progression we find in the lives of the ancestor and de Reixach is so obvious that i t does not merit much discussion. The sequence of.events is never in question since i t is perfectly clear that the ancestor's exploits in Spain, for instance, must have preceded his return home. Time in the reconstruction part is thus either too vague or too apparent to matter much. The two frame settings, the conversations Georges holds f i r s t with Blum and then with Corinne, raise more complex temporal questions. The mere fact that they are more "present" than the reconstructions makes the passing of time more significant, especially since Simon includes several allusions to time and the changing seasons. During the second encounter with Corinne, for instance, Georges remembers "ce premier jour trois mois plus tot ou j'avais ete chez el l e et avais pose ma main sur son bras. . . (p. 295). At other points we learn that i t was "a peine l'automne, celui qui avait suivi le dernier ete de paix. . ." (p. 69), that three days went by in the prisoner train (p. 278) and that one year has passed since Georges' capture the preceding f a l l (pp. 290-91). Although the sequence of events is never too clear, we have a sense of movement through time. But, in their capacity as background to the reconstructions and the war action, the frame settings hold very l i t t l e interest in themselves. There is therefore no greater compulsion to work out the temporal progression than there was for the reconstructions of the past. 133 It is during the war action parts that we feel the need to analyze what happened when. We find i t both d i f f i c u l t and essential to understand how Georges moves from the "phoney war" episodes to the arrival of the Germans. This movement is a l l the more tantalizing as fragments not only are arranged without respect for sequence but also use similar words and images to describe events that take place at different times and under different circumstances. A rough sequence of events could be divided into the following categories: Phoney war Rest period at farm house belonging to lame man Georges' v i s i t to village cafe Attack of Germans Annihilation of squadron Wack's death Georges, de Reixach, Iglesia and lieutenant ride through war-torn landscape Death of de Reixach Arrival of Germans Georges and Iglesia change into c i v i l i a n clothes and get drunk Georges and Iglesia hide from the Germans The interested reader learns and then "unlearns" this sequence in order to appreciate the complexity and formal achievement of La Route. The frag-mented structure tends to obscure the progression of events which never-theless influences our reactions to the text. It is perhaps only after being thoroughly familiar with the sequence of events during the war that the interplay of fragments begins to make sense. Simon makes us conscious of temporal progression without actually t e l l i n g us where i t is located. Contrary to f i r s t impressions, i t cannot be found in the interaction of war action, frame, and reconstruction but takes place within each of these. In other words, progression manifests 134 i t s e l f only within the fragments themselves and not in their sequential arrangement. The most obvious examples of progression within individual fragments concern relatively long passages that are devoted to specific episodes like the horse race (pp. 137-155^ , and 174-183) , the ambush (pp. 155-166), the ancestor's story (pp. 186-205), l i f e in the prison camp (pp. 216-222), etc. Such passages organize fragmentary information and permit a more intelligent interpretation of smaller fragments center-ing around the same events. It would, however, be dangerous to interpret these passages as culminating explanations. Similar passages in Absalom tend to give long-awaited partial answers in order to satisfy some of our curiosity about facts and interpretations. They usually bring some area of interest to a close and do not appear again except as short retrospective allusions. "Explanatory" passages in La Route do not appear in strategic positions where they could enlighten previous confusion. They have no culminating effect and the information they contain crops up again and again in later sections of the novel. Simon seems to place such passages according to formal rather than revelatory considerations. Instead of an accretive deepening of meaning as in Absalom, temporal pro-gression in La Route serves transformational processes and formal balance. 3. b. iv. Formal narrative patterns The symmetrical narrative pattern of La Route works against the background and in opposition to the story progression. Symmetry operates on a principle of formal balance, a principle Simon singles out as a primary feature of his literary output. Speaking of the d i f f i c u l t i e s he encountered when organizing La Route, Histoire, La Bataille de Pharsale 135 he. t e l l s ah Interviewer: In each of these three cases I was able to solve my problem only by giving each theme and character a color (pink, green, red, blue, etc.) that I colored in opposite the summary of each page. I then tacked these strips to the wall near my desk, trying out various orders, seeing how the various colors (the various themes) alternated, re-appeared or.combined together. I was sometimes obliged, therefore, and this i s very important, to develop certain themes for no other  reason than that I was missing, here or there, a l i t t l e or a lot of one color or another. Thus, as you can see, certain pages were writ-ten for "formal" reasons of balance or composition. More important, and to my mind extremely significant, these new pages—these imposed additions—are among the best passages of the novel.^5 In Simon's own mind, then, the 'necessities of construction' take precedence over a l l other considerations. Ideally, the "color" diagram Simon describes should be reproduced i f 'the construction of La Route is to be understood. However, since i t is d i f f i c u l t to establish with absolute certainty where Simon would place the boundaries between color strips, such a reproduction could never be accurate. It is nevertheless possible to give some idea of how formal symmetries operate in La Route. If each of the three parts (war action, frame, reconstruction) is given a different color, the .novel is put together in roughly the following manner: Legend: Action part ===== (phoney war, ambush, disorder of retreat, death of de Reixach, etc.) Frame setting (prisoner train, prison camp, Corinne and Georges after the war) Reconstruction of the past (de Reixach's l i f e with Corinne before the war, the ancestor's suicide) 136 Section I (pp. 9-101) =5=•==—**—: == «=_. Section II (pp. 105-252) =jr= === = ".^^Z = 2J* Section III (pp. 255-314) ==•--£_ ==. ^ - x . r . ^ j c _ r ^ = - . This diagram shows only the larger narrative sections; i t does not include short allusions to themes which may occur within these sections. More-over, episodes that f a l l outside the core events, such as Georges' v i s i t to his father, are not taken into consideration. The diagram, although not accurate or complete in every detail, nevertheless demonstrates suf-ficientl y how strongly Simon is committed to principles of formal sym-metry. Asked again and again about the genesis of his novels, Simon never tires of giving the same answer. With reference to La Route, he describes and diagrams a structural design based on geological stratifications. In interviews and especially in the Cerisy presentation "Fiction mot a mot," he stresses that each major episode in La Route is embedded within others in the manner of geological stratas: Ainsi dans La Route des Flandres, redoublant l a composition en forme de trefle dont j ' a i parle, s'organise un jeu des elements autour d'un point central: le roman s'ouvre et se ferme sur l a chevauchee mortelle de Reixach sur l a route, le centre exact du li v r e etant occupe par 1'episode de 1'aneantissement de l'escadron surpris par une embuscade, episode lui-meme "cadre" par le debut et la f i n de l a course d'obstacles que dispute et perd Reixach (s'aneantissant ainsi, ou se perdant, aux yeux de Corinne). Divers episodes, differents themes (comme celui des paysans du cantonnement) apparaissent et reapparaissent de part et d'autre de 1'element central, 1'ensemble se presentant en somme un peu comme ces coupes de terrain au centre desquels se trouve un puits artesien et dont les differentes couches superposees (sableuses, argileuses, etc.) decrivant une courbe sous-jacente, toujours presentes, done, en profondeur, affleurant a la 137 surface de part et d'autre dupuits. 46 Mert 4e fierxacK sur /a rou-te Sur la rou-fe An£arv/-i'sse»T>e''^ We cesca ctron A. Simon's diagram refers to the novel's overall pattern; i t describes the sequence of events without distinguishing between action, frame, and re-construction. But the geological metaphor need not end with the overall pattern since i t applies equally well to the sequence of events within the war action part. If episodes are arranged according to two focal points, namely the annihilation of the squadron and the death of de Reixach, the following pattern emerges:* death of R events before events after ambush after death before death ambush death of R (ride through (changing night, stable into c i v i l -and cafe ian clothes, scenes) etc.) B of R ambush /of.-R (arrival of (stable Germans, scene) etc.) Even the hypothetical reconstruction part exhibits a less complex but never-theless symmetrical arrangement. If de Reixach's past and the ancestor's story are juxtaposed, they alternate quite regularly: a) de Reixach's past b) ancestor's story a b a b a The only part of the novel, when taken in isolation, that does not follow *This diagram focuses again on the novel.! s larger segments and leaves out short allusions. 138 a definite symmetrical pattern is the frame. Although the three frame set-tings (train, camp, Georges/Corinne) alternate constantly, they sometimes merge with each other and thereby eliminate clear boundaries between them. Moreover, the frame segments are of extreme..lengths. Almost the whole of the novel's middle section, for instance, makes use of the prison camp whereas the last section depends on rapid alternations between a l l three settings. Although the frame settings in La Route make their presence more fel t than i s the case with other novels, they remain an adjunct to the main events. They do not only merge with each other but are often total-ly eclipsed by the events during the phoney war and the German attack as well as by the hypotheses concerning de Reixach and the ancestor. It would therefore be unreasonable to expect the frame settings to conform to a sym-metrical formula. The geological metaphor applies to the overall structure of La Route at the same time as i t describes the organization of smaller structural units. Simon's commitment to formal principles expresses i t s e l f in as rigorous an application of symmetrical stratification as his text permits. Color balance and geological stratification in La Route coexist with s t i l l another formal pattern,. Simon has repeatedly described the composition of La Route in terms of a clover leaf. The most detailed description of this structural metaphor appears again in "La Fiction mot a mot": Cette consideration des proprietes d'une figure et de ses derives ou subordonnees constitue en somme une exploration du terrain au-tour d'un camp de base, d'un point de reference permanent, comme, par exemple, dans La Route des Flandres, les cavaliers dans leur errance (ou le narrateur errant dans la foret d'images) repassent par ou reviennent toujours a ces points fixes que sont Corinne ou, topographiquement, le cheval Imort ;^ au bord de la route, suivant ainsi un trajet f a i t de boucles qui dessinent un trefle, semblable 139 a celui que peut tracer l a main avec une plume sans jamais l u i faire quitter l a surface de la f e u i l l e de papier.47 The clover leaf image is an extension of the simpler claim that La Route works like a figure eight. In an interview with Knapp, Simon singles out the obstacle course of Auteuil, where the horses keep passing the same point in a figure eight movement, as a model for the novel's structure. Both the figure eight and the clover metaphor apply to the text's surface (topology) and i t s deeper structure (network of images). The soldiers are always returning to the same spot just as the text keeps coming back to the same images. Since the maze in which soldiers and writer move has neither purpose nor exit, the value of living and writing must be found within the maze. This explains why Simon makes language and narrative structure in La Route as d i f f i c u l t as possible. Instead of offering a hope beyond the maze, he imbues the maze i t s e l f with excitement and significance. 3. b. v. Conclusion to repetition and fragmentation Simon's amazing capacity for integrating various formal patterns shows a particularly good sense of symmetry and therefore of repetition. Symmetry and repetition have been associated in the aesthetics of art and music 48 for a long time. In The Rise of Romance, Eugene Vinaver makes some par-ticularly pertinent observations about symmetry and repetition in thirteenth-century art and literature. He points out, for instance, that the "poetry of 140 interlace" and the "ribbon" ornament in art contain "the same seemingly 49 impossible combination of aceritficity and cohesion." Supporting his point with a number of illustrations, Vinaver describes the interlace as follows: The interlace proper consists of threads superimposed upon one another in such a way as to make i t impossible to separate them: the onlooker's eye does not normally travel along each thread, but moves either horizontally or v e r t i c a l l y — o r both—embracing a l l the threads as they come within the f i e l d of vision.50 A constant tension between digression and recurrence insures against a center of interest or dominance. Interlace designs use repetition as an energetic force: "A continuously increasing activity without pauses or accents i s set up, and repetition aims primarily at giving each particular motive a potential infinity.""' 1 This potential i n f i n i t y i s part of a me-dieval epistemology which argues that everything i s a reflection of every-thing else. No limits can therefore curb the f i e l d of possible combinations and associations. Recent trends in literature and philosophy, breaking with the causal epistemology of Western c i v i l i z a t i o n since Descartes, are rediscovering analogical interpretations of reality. The French avant-garde of Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, and others disputes that the notion of essence has any currency. For them even the self lacks an entity (Lacan, Derrida) and can be defined only in terms of i t s relations with others. It i s , however, in language that relational patterns manifest themselves best. Indeed, i f there i s any one thing that these avant-garde thinkers have in common, i t is the contention that a l l systems are structured like a language. What the French avant-garde offers the world is a methodology, literary i n origin, that permits us to read or decipher the world like a text. This analogical orientation i s , of course, not without impact on literature i t s e l f . 141 If language is. reality, words, should not he used as vehicles for referential meaning hut as carriers of their own significance. Simon's language and narrative technique certainly reflect this new attitude towards word.'.and text. For him words are interesting because they can be combined with other words. It is therefore not surprising that Simon is particularly fond of quoting a statement by Jacques Lacan: "Le mot 52 n'est pas seulement signe mais noeud de signification." The literary text, as a sort of extended sentence, is composed of units that share this characteristic of words. The image of a "noeud" (knot) is especial-ly appropriate because i t expresses the tension between continuity and discontinuity we find in f i c t i o n . On the one hand, a knot gathers various thematic threads. On the other, i t also represents a point from which different threads venture out towards relatively undetermined destinations. Each thread can either fold back on i t s e l f or latch on to other threads. In both instances the knot marks the point at which a line has been disturbed. For Simon,J:the movement of a narrative " i s always a case of metaphoric relationships. The important thing. . . is for the chain to close back in upon i t s e l f , or better s t i l l , to intersect i t s e l f continuous-53 l y . " Although a knot can never escape the line, i t can disturb i t to such an extent that i t virtually destroys i t . Simon's bias for knots forces temporal progression to exist underground while a new respect for language elevates, formal narrative patterns to special heights and necessitates a relational approach to textual interpretation. 142 4. R e p e t i t i v e B e h a v i o r a l P a t t e r n s S t r u c t u r a l i s m and s e m i o t i c s a r e g e n e r a l l y more i n t e r e s t e d i n . p l o t t h a n c h a r a c t e r . They tend to s t u d y c h a r a c t e r s i n terms o f n a r r a t i v e f u n c t i o n s ( l i n e s o f c o n n e c t i o n s ) r a t h e r t h a n as p s y c h o l o g i c a l e n t i t i e s . Propp's 54 M o r p h o l o g y , t h e p r o t o t y p e f o r c h a r a c t e r as a f u n c t i o n o f p l o t , has i n f l u e n c e d v a r i o u s s c h e m a t i z e d and o f t e n r e d u c t i o n i s t s t r u c t u r a l models. More r e c e n t l y t h e s e models have come under a t t a c k and have been r e p l a c e d by b e h a v i o r a l systems l i k e Bremond's"^ c o n c e n t r a t i o n on " t h e q u a s i - b e h a v i o r a l c a p a c i t y of each f u n c t i o n t o g e n e r a t e i t s own subsystem and a l s o t o a l t e r t h e v e r y c o u r s e 56 o f t h e n a r r a t i v e w i t h each t u r n o f e v e n t s . " B u t , as B l a r i c h a r d s u g g e s t s , n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e i n g e n e r a l has become " t o o s o p h i s t i c a t e d t o be coded o r p r e - c o d e d p r i m a r i l y as a r o l e s t r u c t u r e . " " ' ' ' I t seems t h a t t h e r a d i c a l a n t i -p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a n c e of s t r u c t u r a l i s m and s e m i o t i c s d i s t o r t s t h e r e a l i m p a c t o f c h a r a c t e r b e h a v i o r on n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e . The s o l u t i o n t o t h e s t r u c t u r a l i s t - s e m i o t i c impass must t a k e a more f l e x i b l e a p p r o a c h w h i c h i n - : " . e l u d e s b o t h p s y c h o l o g i c a l and s t r u c t u r a l methods. I n F r a n c e , t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l 58 c l i m a t e c r e a t e d by works l i k e K o j e v e ' s I n t r o d u c t i o n a l a l e c t u r e de H e g e l , 59 fin G i r a r d ' s Mensonge r o m a n t i q u e e t v e r i t e romanesque, and L a c a n ' s E c r i t s i s p a v i n g t h e way f o r s u c h an a p p r o a c h . These F r e n c h t h i n k e r s and t h e A m e r i c a n G r e g o r y B a t e s o n f o c u s on p s y c h o a n a l y t i c s t r u c t u r e s between t h e s e l f and o t h e r s . They deny, t h a t t h e s e l f has an e s s e n c e and p o s t u l a t e t h a t i t i s t h e p r o d u c t o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s i t e s t a b l i s h e s w i t h o t h e r human b e i n g s . U n l i k e S a r t r e , who a r g u e s t h a t a l i e n a t i o n i s imposed from w i t h o u t , L a c a n a s s e r t s t h a t t h e s e l f i s a l i e n a t e d w i t h i n i t s e l f b e c a u s e , t h r o u g h i d e n t i -f i c a t i o n , i t l o s e s i t s e l f i n o t h e r s . The " O t h e r " t h u s a c t s as an a l t e r ego 143 o r a d o u b l e o f t h e s e l f . T h i s d o u b l i n g i m p l i e s t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s a c h a r a c t e r e n t e r s i n t o w i t h o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s r e f l e c t on h i m s e l f . I n f i c t i o n , t h e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e i n t r i g u i n g n o t o n l y f r o m a p s y c h o l o g i c a l " , b ut a l s o from a s t r u c t u r a l p o i n t o f v i e w . The b e h a v i o r o f c h a r a c t e r s o f t e n d e t e r m i n e s how t h e p l o t i s a r r a n g e d j u s t as p l o t r e q u i r e m e n t s may i n t u r n i n f l u e n c e how c h a r a c t e r s d e c i d e t o a c t . Some b e h a v i o r p a t t e r n s a r e p r e d o m i n a n t l y s y n c h r o n i c whereas o t h e r s a r e more d i a c h r o n i c . T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n w o u l d g e n e r a l l y t r a n s l a t e i t s e l f i n t o e i t h e r s p a t i a l o r t e m p o r a l p l o t o r d e r s . I n Absalom and L a Route b o t h t y p e s o f b e h a v i o r p a t t e r n can be f o u n d . I t i s t h e r e f o r e e s s e n t i a l t o i n v e s t i g a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s between t h e s e l f and o t h e r s as t h e y m a n i f e s t them-s e l v e s b o t h i n d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r c l u s t e r s and i n t h e c o u r s e o f an i n d i v i d -u a l ' s l i f e . My a n a l y s i s of s y n c h r o n i c and d i a c h r o n i c forms of d o u b l i n g p r o f i t m o s t l y from r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of F r e u d and H e g e l by t h e F r e n c h a v a n t - g a r d e . There i s , however, one t r a d i t i o n a l F r e u d i a n a p proach t o F a u l k n e r ' s works by John T. I r w i n c a l l e d D o u b l i n g and I n c e s t / R e p e t i t i o n a n d Revenue w h i c h d e s e r v e s a t t e n t i o n . B e f o r e p r e s e n t i n g an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Absalom and L a Route based on t h e F r e n c h i n t e l l e c t u a l a v a n t - g a r d e , I w i l l q u i c k l y summarize I r w i n ' s i n g e n i o u s b l e n d of s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s and t r a d i t i o n a l F r e u d i a n t e r m i n o l o g y . 4. a. D o u b l i n g as a t r a d i t i o n a l F r e u d i a n phenomenon Joh n T. I r w i n ' s D o u b l i n g and I n c e s t / R e p e t i t i o n and Revenge c o n c e n t r a t e s on t h e c l o s e c o n n e c t i o n between " i n c e s t , n a r c i s s i s m , t h e Oedipus complex, t h e c a s t r a t i o n complex, r e p e t i t i o n , sameness and d i f f e r e n c e , r e c o l l e c t i o n , r e p r e s -s i o n , r e v e n g e , s u b s t i t u t i o n , r e v e r s a l , s a c r i f i c e , and m e d i a t i o n . " ^ 1 A l t h o u g h , as M a l c o l m Cowley p o i n t s o u t , I r w i n ' s book " i s by f a r t h e most s t i m u l a t i n g o f 144 recent Faulkner s t u d i e s , " i t i s "the most t r o u b l i n g , too, p a r t l y because of i t s i n s i g h t s , which w i l l persuade many Faulkner students, i n c l u d i n g myself, to change some of t h e i r judgments, and p a r t l y because of i t s omis-62 sions and outrageous overstatements." What d i s t i n g u i s h e s Irwin's study from other Freudian approaches i s the a t t e n t i o n he pays to s t r u c t u r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between ch a r a c t e r s . He discusses these r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n terms of doubling and d i f f e r e n t i a t e s between two types: We should at t h i s p o i n t make a c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n between the s p a t i a l aspect of d o u b l i n g — t h e way i n which one person can be a s p a t i a l r e p e t i t i o n ' of another person who i s contemporary—and the temporal aspect of d o u b l i n g — t h e way i n which one person l a t e r i n time r e -cognizes another person e a r l i e r i n time as a double of himself and thus sees h i s own c o n d i t i o n as a fated r e p e t i t i o n of that e a r l i e r l i f e , or the way i n which one p a i r of doubles l a t e r i n time repeats another p a i r of doubles e a r l i e r i n time.63 I r w i n uses " s p a t i a l " and "temporal" i n a more l i m i t e d sense than my own references to these terms imply. And, although I r w i n pays some t r i b u t e to " s p a t i a l " • d o u b l i n g , the bulk of h i s study i s dedicated to the temporal aspect which he r e l a t e s to Nietzsche's concept of "the e t e r n a l recurrence of the 64 same." What f a s c i n a t e s I r w i n about Nietzsche's p o s i t i o n i s the paradox t h a t the endless recurrence of d i f f e r e n c e c o n s t i t u t e s sameness, that the ceaselessness of becoming c o n s t i t u t e s being, that the continuance of m u t a b i l i t y c o n s t i t u t e s the immutable, that the endless f l u x of time c o n s t i t u t e s e t e r n i t y . 6 5 As f a r as temporal doubling a p p l i e s to Absalom, i t does so i n terms of gen-e r a t i o n c o n t i n u i t i e s which l o c k the i n d i v i d u a l i n t o "those i n e v i t a b l e r e p e t i -66 t i o n s inherent i n the c y c l i c nature of time." Faulkner's tendency to use the same characters i n d i f f e r e n t novels and s t o r i e s lends i t s e l f e s p e c i a l l y w e l l to a temporal doubling i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . These reappearing characters lead I r w i n to argue that Absalom can only be understood i n connection w i t h 145 The Sound and the Fury. I r w i n consequently i n t e r p r e t s Absalom as the s t o r y of Quentin and b e l i e v e s the crux of the novel to be Quentin's f a i l u r e to escape from repeating the f a t e of Bon and Henry. The f e e l i n g that "an ancestor's a c t i o n s can determine the a c t i o n s of h i s descendants f o r gen-r 6 7 e r a t i o n s to come by compelling them p e r i o d i c a l l y to repeat h i s deedV must th e r e f o r e account f o r Quentin's obsession w i t h the Sutpen legend. .'. According to I r w i n , Quentin i s mostly concerned wit h . the danger of i n c e s t and the Oedipal s t r u g g l e between f a t h e r and son. Henry's incestuous wishes and jealousy p a r a l l e l Quentin's own f e e l i n g s towards Candace and Dalton Ames. Within each of the t r i a n g u l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the young people i n Absalom and The Sound and the Fury c e r t a i n r e v e r s a l s and sub-s t i t u t i o n s do of course complicate matters. Moreover, the i n c e s t question already touches on the f e a r of c a s t r a t i o n and the Oedipus complex, which are concerns that occupy the major pa r t of Irwin's study. The o e d i p a l s t r u g g l e f o r mastery between f a t h e r and son takes place over s e v e r a l gen-e r a t i o n s and thereby represents an e x c e l l e n t i l l u s t r a t i o n of temporal doubling. The son experiences the f a t h e r ' s a u t h o r i t y as an a f f r o n t that must be avenged i f the son i s to a t t a i n an i d e n t i t y of h i s own. The son must usurp the f a t h e r ' s p o s i t i o n by becoming a f a t h e r h i m s e l f . Sutpen's s p i r i t u a l f a t h e r i s the p l a n t a t i o n owner (Pettibone) who r e j e c t s him. In order to avenge h i m s e l f , Sutpen plans to become a p l a n t a t i o n owner and f a t h e r i n h i s own r i g h t . However, as a f a t h e r he must p r o t e c t himself agains h i s son who i n t u r n intends to usurp h i s p l a c e : "Sutpen can only prove that he i s a b e t t e r man than h i s f a t h e r i f he proves that he i s a b e t t e r man than h i s son, s i n c e Sutpen's f a t h e r would have been defeated by h i s son i n that 146 very act." In order to triumph, Sutpen must destroy both his father and his son. The defeat of the son accomplishes both tasks at the same time: The son is a substitute for his grandfather so that his subjugation re-presents Sutpen's revenge against his father and protection against his son. Sutpen's dilemma is thus that he must destroy the offspring which symbolizes his victory over the father in order not to be destroyed him-self. Sutpen's son Bon later repeats Sutpen's own struggle against his father. Bon approaches Sutpen in much the same way as Sutpen had approached Pettibone and is similarly rejected. Bon challenges Sutpen's authority by threatening to marry Judith. Sutpen counters this attack by t e l l i n g Henry the secret that w i l l make the younger son k i l l the older one. In oedipal terms, then, Bon is not murdered by his brother but by his father. However, as in the b i b l i c a l account of King David and Absalom, Sutpen's position continues to be in p e r i l since Henry's act of k i l l i n g usurps the authority of the father: Absalom k i l l s his brother Amnon because David w i l l not k i l l him, and this usurpation by Absalom of the father's authority to punish incest is as well the murder of the eldest son by a younger son, the acting out on a substitute of Absalom's death wish against his father.69 The oedipal struggles ih Absalom are so fierce that the sons on whom Sutpen has built his hopes for a dynasty destroy each other u n t i l only the idiot Jim Bond is l e f t . Irwin analyzes in oedipal terms not only the stories in the Bible, Absalom, and The Sound and the Fury but also the narrative act in Absalom. He establishes a genealogical order based on narrative authority in which Mr. Compson represents the father, Quentin the son, and Shreve the grand-147 son. Since Mr. Compson possesses most facts about Sutpen's l i f e , he i s at f i r s t in control of the narrative. But Quentin supplants and "takes revenge against his f a t h e r " ^ when he discovers evidence about Bon's murder that neither his father nor General Compson have known. Through his v i s i t to Sutpen's Hundred with Rosa, Quentin thus establishes himself as a nar-rative authority. However, his authority is constantly challenged by Shreve who "sounds .just like father" ((p. 181) . .„Quentin's obsession with the Sutpen legend therefore reveals i t s e l f not only as a fascination with the past or an identification with Henry but also as a battle ground on which he usurps his father's narrative authority and defends himself against Shreve's at-tempt to dethrone him in turn. Irwin translates most human relationships i n Absalom into oedipal terms. He thereby illuminates certain psychological connections and explains the reasons for some structural choices. His analysis does, for instance, provide additional justification for the presence of Shreve and makes clear why Faulkner withholds information concerning Bon's background unt i l Quentin can discover i t for himself. However, Doubling and Incest/Repetition and  Revenge makes us uneasy because Irwin takes his Freudian approach beyond it s limits. At the same time, his interpretation leaves out much that plays a part in the personal relationships between characters. According to Malcolm Cowley, the most serious flaw in Irwin's approach is no doubt the following: When Irwin "oscillates" to Absalom, Absalom'., he makes Quentin, not Colonel Sutpen, the center of the story, and thus transforms i t into a private drama of doubling and revenge. It thereby gains something in psychological depth. . ., but the gain is made at the cost of denying that the novel is also a tragic fable of southern history. That suggests my central grievance against the meta-Freudian method as applied to f i c t i o n . It rules out every-^^ thing historical or regional or communal or merely public;. . . 148 It seems that Irwin's flashes of insight as well as his p i t f a l l s are inherent in a method that explains Absalom from a limited and very specific point of view. The value of Doubling and Incest/Repetition and Revenge for a study of repetition l i e s in i t s a b i l i t y to uncover connections between characters that have only too often gone unnoticed. It also suggests just how heavily Faulkner relies on doubling in the form of characters identifying with each other and of similar (triangular) patterns recurring throughout the novel. 4. b. Doubling as a synchronic phenomenon Human behavior, no matter how individual in specific cases, is punc-tuated by certain patterns that manifest themselves over and over again. Such patterns are usually concealed but, once someone uncovers them, they immediately strike everybody as obvious and true. Kojeve's reading of Hegel, Girard's discovery of mimetic rivalry, and Lacan's reinterpretation of Freud a l l represent visions that bring hidden truths to the surface. Kojeve, for instance, stresses the universal struggle for power over others that motivates achievement and change. Girard points to mimetic rivalry as a particularly pernicious influence on a l l close relationships bet-ween people. And Lacan's analysis of the "stade du miroir" describes how each child moves through three major phases before he or she can enter into intersubjective communication. On an intuitive level, literature has of course always understood and exploited the tensions and conflicts arising from such behavior patterns. Among other influential thinkers, Hegel and Freud therefore draw heavily on literary examples for their theories. Similarly, Girard finds the most convincing illustrations of mimetic rivalry in works like Don Quixote, Shakespearean drama, Le Rouge et le noir, 149 A l a r e c h e r c h e du temps p e r d u . The u n i v e r s a l n a t u r e o f some b e h a v i o r p a t -t e r n s becomes p a r t i c u l a r l y o b v i o u s when a w r i t e r d e c i d e s t o d e p i c t d i f -f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r s a c t i n g i n t h e same b a s i c manner. I n s t e a d o f c o n c e n t r a t -i n g on n a r r a t i v e development, t e x t s o f t h i s t y p e t e n d t o p r o c e e d i n l a y e r s . N a r r a t i v e f r a g m e n t a t i o n and r e p e t i t i o n i n Absalom and L a Route t h e r e f o r e go hand i n hand w i t h b e h a v i o r t h a t i s r e p e a t e d by d i f f e r e n t c h a r a c t e r s . I n o r d e r t o u n d e r s t a n d how such b e h a v i o r p a t t e r n s work, t h e t h e o r e t i c a l p o s i t i o n s o f K o j e v e , G i r a r d , and L a c a n must be c l a r i f i e d . 4. b. i . T h e o r e t i c a l b a c k g r o u n d K o j e v e ' s s e c t i o n "En g u i s e d ' i n t r o d u c t i o n " i n h i s I n t r o d u c t i o n a l a l e c t u r e de H e g e l d i s c u s s e s t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e s e l f and t h e o t h e r i n terms o f a m a s t e r / s l a v e d i a l e c t i c . H e g e l ' s d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s d i a l e c t i c c e n t e r s around human c o n s c i o u s n e s s as i t e x p r e s s e s i t s e l f t h r o u g h human d e s i r e . F o r K o j e v e , t h e s t a r t i n g p o i n t o f H e g e l ' s argument i s t h a t L e D e s i r humain. . . d i f f e r e . . . du D e s i r a n i m a l ( c o n s t i t u a n t un e t r e n a t u r e l , s e u lement v i v a n t e t n'ayant qu'un s e n t i m e n t de sa v i e ) p a r l e f a i t q u ' i l p o r t non pas s u r un o b j e t r e e l , ' p o s i t i f , donne, mais s u r un a u t r e D e s i r . 7 2 What makes us human i s thus t h e a b i l i t y t o d e s i r e a d e s i r e . O b j e c t s a r e o f t e n not d e s i r e d f o r t h e i r i n t r i n s i c v a l u e b u t f o r t h e v a l u e t h e y r e p r e s e n t f o r a n o t h e r human b e i n g : . . . l e D e s i r q u i p o r t e s u r un o b j e t n a t u r e l n ' e s t humain que dans l a mesure ou i l e s t ' m e d i a t i s e ' p a r l e D e s i r d'un a u t r e p o r t a n t s u r l e meme o b j e t : i l e s t humain de d e s i r e r ce que d e s i r e n t l e s a u t r e s , p a r c e q u ' i l s l e d e s i r e n t . 7 3 K o j e v e argues t h a t t h e v a l u e t h e s e l f a t t a c h e s t o h i m s e l f i s d e t e r m i n e d by t h e c o i n c i d e n c e o f h i s d e s i r e w i t h t h a t o f a n o t h e r . I f t h e s e l f d e s i r e s an o b j e c t t h a t i s a l s o d e s i r e d by a n o t h e r , t h e s e l f b e l i e v e s 150 t h a t h i s d e s i r e i s v a l i d because i t i s a c c e p t e d by the o t h e r as such. By d e s i r i n g the same o b j e c t as a n o t h e r , the s e l f i s r e c o g n i z e d as a human b e i n g . However, the s e l f wants to be r e c o g n i z e d by another s e l f who i s n o t i n a p o s i t i o n t o demand the same r e c o g n i t i o n from him. I n o r d e r to determine who i s the M a s t e r — t h e s e l f who i s r e c o g n i z e d by a n o t h e r — a n d who the S l a v e — t h e s e l f who r e c o g n i z e s a n o t h e r — , a b a t t l e f o r d o m i n a t i o n ensues. T h i s b a t t l e i s a s t r u g g l e f o r l i f e and d e a t h . However, i f one or b o t h s u b j e c t s a r e k i l l e d , the purpose of the s t r u g g l e i s d e s t r o y e d . I n o r d e r f o r the r e c o g n i t i o n to have any v a l u e f o r the Master, the S l a v e must have v a l u e i n the eyes of the M a s t e r . The M a s t e r needs the S l a v e because, i f he k i l l s him, t h e r e i s nobody l e f t to r e c o g n i z e him as M a s t e r . The S l a v e must t h e r e f o r e remain a l i v e but g i v e up h i s autonomy i n o r d e r t o s e r v e the M a s t e r . T h i s new s i t u a t i o n now g i v e s r i s e to a paradox because "l'homme n ' e s t humain que dans l a mesure ou i l v e u t s'imposer a un a u t r e homme, se f a i r e r e c o n n a i t r e par l u i " 7 ^ but "pour que c e t t e r e c o n n a i s s a n c e p u i s s e l e s a t i s f a i r e , i l , ' f a u t q u ' i l sache que l ' a u t r e e s t un e t r e hu-main." 7"' The M a s t e r ' s d e s i r e f o r t o t a l r e c o g n i t i o n can c o n s e q u e n t l y n e v e r be s a t i s f i e d f u l l y . The S l a v e , on the o t h e r hand, d e s i r i n g to become Mast e r i n h i s own r i g h t , can r e a l i z e h i s d e s i r e . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between Master and S l a v e i s not d i r e c t b u t mediated through o b j e c t s , t h a t i s , the work which the S l a v e performs f o r the b e n e f i t of the M aster. The S l a v e can a c t i v e l y work to change the c o n d i t i o n s t h a t make him .a S l a v e and the o t h e r a Master, whereas the Master m a i n t a i n s h i s p o s i t i o n o n l y as l o n g as the s t a t u s quo i s p r e s e r v e d . The master i s t r a p p e d i n a r i g i d system and cannot a c t i v e l y d e s i r e to change i t ; the S l a v e t r a n s f o r m s the w o r l d i n 151 the process of actualizing his desire to become a Master. In conclusion, then, i t is the Slave who emerges as the truly self-conscious human being because he continues to desire a desire. Iii Mensonge romantique et verite romanesque Girard clearly bases himself on Kojeve's elucidation of Hegel's essay. He is particularly intrigued by the idea that human beings desire objects not in themselves but only insofar as they are desired by another. Discussing literary figures like Don Quichotte, Madame Bovary, Julien Sorel, and Proust's Marcel, Girard argues that they are motivated by "un Desir selon 1'Autre qui s'oppose au desir selon Soi dont la plupart d'entre nous se targuent de jouir,."^ Speak-ing of the connection between the desiring subject and the desired object, Girard points to the necessity of a mediation: La ligne droite est presente, dans le desir de Don Quichotte, mais elle n'est pas l'essentiel. Au-dessus de cette ligne, i l y a le mediateur qui rayonne a la fois vers le sujet et vers 1'objet. La metaphore spatiale qui exprime cette t r i p l e relation est evidemment le triangle. L'objet change avec chaque aventure mais le triangle demeure.77 The mediator is incidental and can be replaced by other objects or persons. What remains constant is the desire of the other which functions as a model or ideal for the subject's behavior. In Le rouge et le noir, the women in Julien Sorel's l i f e are not desired for themselves but function as mediators in a triangular relationship: Tous les desirs intenses de Julien sont des desirs selon 1'Autre. Son ambition est un sentiment triangulaire qui se nourrit de haine pour les gens en place. C'est aux maris, aux peres et aux fiances, c'est-a-dire'aux rivaux, que vont les dernieres pensees de cet amant lorsqu'il pose son pied sur les eehelles; ce n'est jamais a la femme qui 1'attend sur le balcon.78 The other is always both a model and an obstacle to the subject's own 152 desire. Girard comments that "on a toujours affaire a deux desirs concur- rents . Le mediateur ne peut plus jouer son role de modele sans jouer ega-lement, ou paraitre jouer, le role d'un obstacle."^9 The result is mimetic rivalry: Pour qu'un vaniteux desire un objet i l s u f f i t de le convaincre que cet objet est deja desire par un tiers auquel s'attache un certain prestige. Le mediateur est i c i uh r i v a l que l a vanite a d'abord suscite, qu'elle a, pour ainsi dire, appele a son existence de r i v a l , avant d'en exiger l a defaite.^O The rivalry w i l l be more or less intense depending on how close the contact between model and subject i s . In the case of Don Quichotte, there is no contact because the model is literary (Amadis). Girard would c a l l this a "mediation externe" as opposed to a "mediation interne" where "cette meme distance est assez reduite pour que les deux spheres penetrent plus 81 ou moins profondement l'une dans 1'autre." The Age of Romanticism signals a change in attitude towards such mediated relationships. During the Classical period, writers and artists were content to imitate the ancients, but now the "vaniteux romantique ne se veut plus le disciple de personne. 82 II se persuade qu'il est infiniment original." However, the new and ap-parently spontaneous individualism of the romantic does in fact only conceal rather than eliminate the process of imitation. The romantic is convinced that he desires an object for i t s own sake and not because i t is desired by another. Consequently he believes that his self is created ex nihilo, without suffering the influence of others. Indeed, the romantic assumes mistakenly that "desirer a partir de 1'objet equivaut a desirer a. partir 83 de soi-meme. . ." The mediator is no longer openly acknowledged but concealed by the cult for the object. In certain works of literature 153 the concealed mediator i s designated as such. G i r a r d t h e r e f o r e d i f f e r -e n t i a t e s between "oeuvres romantiques," which never openly acknowledge the mediator, and "oeuvres romanesques," which r e v e a l h i s presence. For G i r a r d , only the "oeuvres romanesques" are i n t e r e s t i n g , and he concentrates p r i m a r i l y on the way i n which love and jealousy i n Stendhal and Proust manifest the process of mediation. B u i l d i n g on the framework of Mensonge romantique et v e r i t e romanesque, G i r a r d l a t e r develops the n o t i o n of the mediator as a scapegoat. He st r e s s e s that c o n f l i c t does not a r i s e from d i f f e r e n c e but from mimetic r i v a l r y . V i o l ence or c o n f l i c t erupt because d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i s introduced i n t o a t r u l y u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d r e l a t i o n s h i p : "Myth and r i t u a l t e l l us that d i f f e r e n c e s are generated from that s t a t e of u n d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n which we now i d e n t i f y w i t h the r e c i p r o c a l v i o l e n c e of the doubles. The c r u c i a l p o i n t i s that c o n f l i c t does not a r i s e between people who are so d i f f e r e n t as to have nothing i n common; i t a r i s e s between those who share the same d e s i r e s . G i r a r d turns to Shakespeare f o r h i s d e f i n i t i o n of the doubles and, going one step f u r t h e r , argues that "doubles can be r e c o n c i l e d only 85 at the expense of a common v i c t i m " or a scapegoat. I t i s t h e r e f o r e through the exp u l s i o n of a randomly chosen v i c t i m that the i n i t i a l s t a t e of u n d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i s r e s t o r e d . Moving i n the same d i r e c t i o n as Kojeve and G i r a r d , Lacan focuses on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the s e l f and the other from a p s y c h o a n a l y t i c a l p o i n t of view. He argues that the ego i s not a source of h e a l t h , as t r a d i t i o n a l Freudian i n t e r p r e t e r s have i t , but the seat of ne u r o s i s . Lacan reaches t h i s c o n c l u s i o n because f o r him the ego i s the product of 154 alienating identifications with, others rather than an autonomous entity. In his central essay "Le stade du miroir comme formateur de l a fonction 86 du Je," Lacan descrihes how the child moves from an "Imaginary" into a "Symbolic Order." The "Imaginary Order" finds i t s paradigm in the child's earliest identification with the mother. At this point, "the subject 87 identifies his sentiment of Self in the image of the other." Imaginary relationships are immediate and dual because the child wants to lose him-88 self in the mother and "wants to actually complete" her. As Wilden points out, "Imaginary" in Lacan's terminology is "not in the least imaginary; i t is the realm of images, doubles, mirrors and identifications 89 with particular Others." Lacan realizes, as does Girard, that "ag-gressivity is intimately linked to identifications" since the "dual relationship between moi and the other as a dual relationship of ob-ject i f i c a t i o n (and, inevitably, of aggression)" takes place "along the lines of Sartre's analysis of our sado-masochistic relationship to the 90 other who is an object for us, or for whom we make ourselves an object." Indeed, Lacan asserts that he shows up "l'aggressivite qui sous-tend 1'action du philanthrope, de l'idealiste, du pedagogue, voir du reforma-91 teur." The child is from the beginning an alienated subject. The form of this alienation changes as the child moves from i t s immediate identifica-tion with, the mother to the mediated one with the father. When the mother introduces the father, the child becomes aware that what the mother most wants is what she is: lacking: the phallus.* The child enters into the *For Lacan the phallus stands ultimately for any desire that cannot be satisfied. 155 "Symbolic Order"because i t s "desire to be i t s mother's desire gives way to 9 2 an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the father." The father's mediation thus i n t e r -feres with the mother's immediate r e l a t i o n s h i p , and the c h i l d steps into the"Symbolic Order" that i s the order of language and society. Imaginary r e l a t i o n s h i p s are p a r t i c u l a r l y a l i e n a t i n g because the subject i s subor-dinated to the image of others. I t i s , however, impossible to escape from a l i e n a t i o n . Even a f t e r making h i s t r a n s i t i o n into the "Symbolic Order," the subject continues to enter into the old imaginary i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s of the mirror phase. His experience i s always "of 'something missing'" because 9 3 "the 'absolute desire for the Other'. . . can never be s a t i s f i e d . " A l l Imaginary i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s w i t h others are only substitutes f o r the absolute Other, and the ego or moi i s the bearer of neurosis because i t i s made up of a l i e n a t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s . In other words, entry into the "Symbolic Order" cannot transcend a l i e n a t i o n completely because r e a l i t y ( l e reel) i s i r -reducible to language so that "knowledge and the absolute, f i n a l truth are 9 4 irrevocably cut o f f from each other." Lacan attaches much importance to language. Not only i s language the "Symbolic Order" par excellence but one of Lacan's most famous pronouncements 9 5 maintains that the "unconscious i s structured as a language." Like the s t r u c t u r a l i s t s , Lacan concentrates on the s i g n i f i e r ( s i g n i f i a n t ) rather than 9 6 on the s i g n i f i e d ( s i g n i f i e ) . In his "Le seminaire sur 'La l e t t r e volee'", Lacan discusses the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the compulsion to repeat and the "chaxne s i g n i f i a n t e . " The "object," that i s the l e t t e r i n Poe's story, i s i n i t s e l f of l i t t l e importance (as f a r as the content goes); i t i s each p a r t i c i p a n t ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p with the l e t t e r that controls the development 156 of the plot. The letter functions only as a mediator in the power play between the ministers, the police, and the Queen. Possession of a symbolic object would effectively eliminate the subject's participation in the "Symbolic Order": "Since the function of symbolic exchange is not ac-cumulation, but the maintenance of the relation between the exchangers, 97 actual possession of the object would break the c i r c u i t . " This implies that the letter would lose i t s symbolic or manipulative power i f i t were returned to the Queen or i f one of the other participants should admit possession and/or reveal i t s content. In conclusion then, i f , as Hegel maintains, the subject is human only insofar as he desires a desire, he must constantly renew triangular relationships in which the mediator can be replaced while the mediation remains constant. In the event that a l l desire for a desire should cease, either through possession or some other circumstances, the subject would suffer i f not a physical then a spi r i t u a l death. 4. b. i i . Application to 'Absalom' The relationships between the self and others, discussed by Kojeve, Girard, and Lacan, explain to various degrees why characters behave as they do. The tragedy of Faulkner's characters must be traced back to behavior patterns that leave them no room for adaptation to unforeseen circumstances. What hinders almost a l l attempts at communication in the novel i s the inability of characters to enter into direct, b i l a t e r a l relationships with each other. Their displaced and mediated associations always exhibit the patterns of attraction and,aggression described by Girard. Mediation expresses i t s e l f through a complex assortment of 157 t r i a n g u l a r c o n n e c t i o n s between p e o p l e . These t r i a n g l e s t e n d to o v e r l a p because t h e same c h a r a c t e r can p a r t i c i p a t e i n s e v e r a l t r i a n g l e s i n d i f -f e r e n t c a p a c i t i e s . T h i s means t h a t i t i s sometimes n e c e s s a r y to s t u d y t h e same c h a r a c t e r as he o r she f u n c t i o n s as t h e s u b j e c t , o b j e c t , o r m e d i a t o r i n s e p a r a t e t r i a n g l e s . The most i m p o r t a n t t r i a n g l e s i n Absalom c o n c e r n S u t p e n , H e n r y , J u d i t h , and Bon. I n the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , Q u e n t i n and Shreve a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t r i g u e d by t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s between Henry, J u d i t h , and Bon. F a u l k n e r i n d i c a t e s , o f t e n t h r o u g h s h o r t and c r y p t i c s t a t e m e n t s , t h a t each o f t h e t h r e e young p e o p l e l o v e s t h e o t h e r two: "Because Henry l o v e d Bon" (p. 8 9 ) ; "Because he [Bon] l o v e d J u d i t h " (p. 9 4 ) ; ". . . he [Bon] l o v e d Henry t o o . . ." (p. 1 0 8 ) ; and " . . . between Henry and J u d i t h t h e r e had been a r e l a t i o n s h i p c l o s e r t h a n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l l o y a l t y o f b r o t h e r and s i s t e r even. . ." (p. 7 9 ) . J u d g i n g from t h e s e pronouncements, we c o u l d c o n c e i v a b l y , draw a t r i a n g l e c o n s i s t i n g o f r e c i p r o c a l and harmonious a f f i n i t i e s : J u d i t h T h i s t y p e o f t r i a n g l e w o u l d be f e a s i b l e i f each c h a r a c t e r would r e l a t e d i r e c t l y t o t h e o t h e r two. B u t , t h e s e a p p a r e n t l y b i l a t e r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s a r e r e a l l y a lways m e d i a t e d by t h e t h i r d p e r s o n . F a u l k n e r p r o v i d e s a number o f h i n t s about t h e m e d i a t e d c ommunication p a t t e r n s between t h e Sutpen c h i l d r e n . Bon f u n c t i o n s as t h e m e d i a t o r between J u d i t h and Henry because " i t was Henry who seduced J u d i t h : n o t Bon. . ." (p. 9 7 ) . J u d i t h , 1 5 8 on t h e o t h e r hand, m e d i a t e s t h e a s s o c i a t i o n between Henry and Bon i n much the same way as Henry o c c u p i e s t h e t h i r d t erm i n t h e B o n - J u d i t h c o n n e c t i o n . F a u l k n e r s u g g e s t s t h a t Bon, Henry, and J u d i t h cannot r e l a t e t o each o t h e r d i r e c t l y because each i d e n t i f i e s w i t h t h e o t h e r s t o such an e x t e n t t h a t t h e y come c l o s e t o what Shreve c a l l s t h e " p e r f e c t i n c e s t " : Henry. . . may have been c o n s c i o u s t h a t h i s f i e r c e p r o v i n c i a l ' s p r i d e i n h i s s i s t e r ' s v i r g i n i t y was a f a l s e q u a n t i t y w h i c h must i n c o r p o r a t e i n i t s e l f an i n a b i l i t y t o endure i n o r d e r t o be p r e c i o u s , t o e x i s t , and so must depend upon i t s l o s s , absence, t o have e x i s t e d a t a l l . I n f a c t , p erhaps t h i s i s t h e p u r e and p e r f e c t i n c e s t : t h e b r o t h e r r e a l i z i n g t h a t t he s i s t e r ' s v i r g i n i t y must be d e s t r o y e d i n o r d e r t o have e x i s t e d a t a l l , t a k i n g t h a t v i r g i n i t y i n t h e p e r s o n o f t h e b r o t h e r - i n - l a w , t h e man whom he would be i f he c o u l d become, metamorphose i n t o , t h e l o v e r , t h e husband; by whom he would be d e s p o i l e d , choose f o r d e s p o i l e r , i f he c o u l d become, metamorphose i n t o t h e s i s t e r , t h e m i s t r e s s , t h e b r i d e , (p. 96) I n a c t u a l f a c t , t h e n , t h e r e a l c o n n c e c t i o n s between Bon, Henry, and J u d i t h r e v e a l t h e m s l e v e s as f o l l o w s : The d o t t e d l i n e r e p r e s e n t s t h e b i l a t e r a l s u r f a c e c o n n e c t i o n whereas t h e s o l i d l i n e i n d i c a t e s t h e c o n c e a l e d m e d i a t i o n . Once t h e h i d d e n p a t t e r n emerges, i t becomes c l e a r t h a t t he l o v e d one i s always l o v e d o n l y because th e l o v e r d e s i r e s what a n o t h e r d e s i r e s . The one who t h i n k s he/she i s l o v e d e x i s t s o n l y as an o b j e c t w h i c h f u e l s t h e r i v a l r y between t h e s u b j e c t and the m e d i a t o r (model). F a u l k n e r r e f e r s t o t h i s k i n d o f d i s p l a c e m e n t when . Bon J u d i t h Henry he s a y s : . . . i t was n o t J u d i t h who was t h e o b j e c t o f Bon's l o v e o r o f Henry's s o l i c i t u d e . She was j u s t t he b l a n k shape, t h e empty v e s s e l 159 i n w h i c h each o f them s t r o v e t o p r e s e r v e , n o t t h e i l l u s i o n o f h i m s e l f n o r h i s i l l u s i o n o f t h e o t h e r b u t what each con-c e i v e d the o t h e r t o b e l i e v e him t o b e - — t h e man and t h e y o u t h , s e d u c e r and seduced, who had known one a n o t h e r , seduced and been seduced, v i c t i m i z e d i n t u r n each by t h e o t h e r , c o n q u e r e r v a n q u i s h e d by h i s own s t r e n g t h , v a n q u i s h e d c o n q u e r i n g by h i s own weakness. . . (pp. 119-20). C o n s c i o u s o f t h e m s e l v e s o n l y i n t h e image o f t h e o t h e r , t h e y a r e hope-l e s s l y t r a p p e d i n t h e " I m a g i n a r y O r d e r . " I n h i s c a p a c i t y as s u b j e c t , Henry v i e w s Bon as b o t h o b j e c t and m e d i a t o r . Bon b l o c k s Henry's d e s i r e i n two ways. S h o u l d Bon marry J u d i t h , Henry would n o t o n l y l o s e t h e s i s t e r t o t h e b r o t h e r - i n - l a w b u t he would a l s o l o s e t h e man he l o v e s t o t h e s i s t e r . Henry i s c o n f r o n t e d w i t h two p r o h i b i t i o n s : he c a n n o t marry h i s s i s t e r and he cannot marry someone o f h i s own sex. I t i s , however, Bon's r o l e as a G i r a r d i a n model and o b s t a c l e t h a t i n t e r e s t s F a u l k n e r most. From t h e e a r l i e s t s t a g e s o f h i s a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h Bon t o t h e moment when he p u l l s t h e t r i g g e r , Henry t r i e s t o emulate th e o l d e r f r i e n d and b r o t h e r . He "apes h i s c l o t h i n g and s p e e c h " (p. 102) and a d m i t s : " I am t r y i n g t o make m y s e l f i n t o what I t h i n k he wants me t o be. . ." (p. 3 3 0 ) . Henry makes h i m s e l f i n t o an o b j e c t o r S l a v e . But Bon's d e c i s i o n t o marry J u d i t h g r a d u a l l y f o r c e s Henry t o abandon h i s s u b o r d i n a t e r o l e . S t r u g g l i n g t o a c c e p t Bon's i n t e n t i o n s , Henry f i n d s h i m s e l f b e i n g pushed towards a m o r a l impasse t h a t compels him t o change h i s a t t i t u d e . Once Bon i s ready t o pass t h r o u g h t h e g a t e t o Sutpen's Hundred, he t r a n s -forms h i m s e l f from i d e a l model i n t o r e a l o b s t a c l e . Henry's d e c i s i o n t o k i l l Bon i s p e r f e c t l y consonant w i t h t h e o s c i l l a t i o n between i m i t a t i o n and a g g r e s s i o n i n s i t u a t i o n s o f r i v a l r y . Henry and Bon o p e r a t e w i t h i n a s y m b o l i c c i r c u i t as l o n g as n e i t h e r o f them a c t s out the t h r e a t t h a t c o n t r o l s t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p . But when Bon i s about t o make t h e t h r e a t r e a l , Henry has t o 160 destroy the r i v a l . At some point, then, the dominance of imitation is broken and replaced by aggression. Bon, as the perceiving subject, participates in a slightly modified triangle in which Sutpen functions as the mediator and Henry/Judith as the object. Bon is introduced as a fatherless son in search of a father. The success of his search is predicated on the father acknowledging the existence of the son. Bon manipulates the lives of Henry and Judith because he realizes that i t is only through them that he can establish contact with Sutpen. When Bon looks at Henry, he does not see the younger brother but "the face of the man who shaped us both. . ." (p. 317). Henry functions as an object that reflects the father and represents a gateway to him. Bon agrees to v i s i t Sutpen's Hundred because "I shall penetrate. . . and  look not on my brother's face whom I did not know I possessed and hence  never missed, but my father's. . ." (p. 317). And, contrary to Henry's assumption, Bon accompanies Henry "not to see the sister. . . but thinking 'So at least I shall see him, whom i t seems I was bred up never to expect  to see, whom I had even learned to live without. . ."' (p. 319). The figure of the father acts as an ideal model which the son must f i r s t imitate and then reject in order to mature into an autonomous self. In his capacity as an ideal model, Sutpen i s not required to behave as a "real" father; no share of an inheritance or even public acknowledgment i s demanded of him. Bon would be satisfied with a private sign of recognition which would in fact have transformed the ideal or symbolic relationship between father and son into a real one. The power of the "Symbolic Order" Lacan discusses in "Le seminaire sur 'la Lettre volee'" would thereby be broken since 161 "possession" of the father would end the search for an ideal father. How-ever, Sutpen does not allow this transformation to take place. He refuses to admit to a flaw in his design and makes his sons pay for his blindness and obstinacy. Shreve argues that, as a Master, Sutpen depends on the status quo and cannot adapt to an unforeseen situation: Maybe he [Bon] knew then that whatever the old man had done, whether he meant well or i l l by i t , i t wasn't going to be the old man who would have to pay the check; and now that the old man was bankrupt with the incompetence of age, who should do the paying i f not his sons, his get, because wasn't i t done that way in the old days? the old Abraham. . . (p. 325). Bon and Henry agree to be sacrificed to Sutpen's design because neither of them can exist outside Sutpen's presence. Henry's l i f e acquires i t s meaning from Sutpen's moral system and Bon's survival depends on a sign of acknowl-edgment from Sutpen. Indeed, Bon is so totally trapped within an Imaginary relationship with Sutpen as the Other that he doesn't hesitate to destroy himself and Henry, in an effort to e l i c i t at least Sutpen's posthumous recognition. Bon realizes that the murder proves to Sutpen that he was his son because otherwise Henry could not have been provoked into k i l l i n g him. Mediated relationships, especially when they are not recognized as such, are destructive because one person in the triangle is always treated as an object rather than as a human being. Faulkner makes this point not only with his major actors but also with his supporting cast. Henry's identification with Bon through Judith, for instance, finds i t s counterpart in Rosa's "vicarious bridal" (p. 77). Rosa loves Bon not because she has been seduced by him but because Judith loves him. In fact, Rosa never even sees Bon alive; he enters into her l i f e only as an abstraction: 162 ". . . i t would only need vague inference of some walking flesh and blood desired by someone else i f only in some shadow-realm of make-believe" (p. 147). Indeed, more than any other character in the novel, Bon appears in other peoples' lives as a mere object. Ellen speaks of him "as i f he were three inanimate objects in one," namely a "garment which Judith might wear," "a piece of furniture" attesting to Ellen's social position, and "a mentor and example" for Henry (p. 75). Moreover, in the story Quentin and Shreve construct around him, Bon i s manipulated by his mother amd her lawyer (p. 306). Sutpen, of course, treats not only his sons as objects but also his women. He discards his f i r s t wife, drives his second one into madness, insults Rosa, and indirectly k i l l s Milly. Glytie and Wash fi n a l l y make themselves into objects and acquiesce to being mistreated by Sutpen. In a rigidly hierarchical and class-conscious society like the South, maintaining the status quo necessarily implies a general acceptance of a Master/Slave division. The mediated relationships between individuals in Absalom is therefore symptomatic of a whole way of l i f e . 4. b. i i i . Application to'La Route' Patterns of mediated relationships in La Route are less frequent than in Absalom. Nevertheless, the the women in Simon's novel function almost entirely as objects desired by two male riv a l s . The rivals, who in some cases are explicitly portrayed as doubles, exhibit aggressive attitudes ranging from open threats to unacknowledged misgivings. The lame man with the gun and the mayor's assessor he threatens are described as wearing "ces semblables bottes" (p. 124) so that de Reixach seems to stand between twins: 163 II [de Reixach] f i t un pas de.cote et.se trouva de nouveau entre les deux hommes, c e l u i a u f u s i l et 1'autre qui se te-nait maintenant derriere son dos avec les deux sous-officiers et qui semblait, a une imperceptible nuance pres, l a replique exacte du fermier. . . (p. 61). In accordance with Girard's theory, the violence between the two rivals i s a direct result of their similarity, a similarity that makes them desire the desire of the other. A less obvious similarity exists between Iglesia and de Reixach whose rivalry centers on Corinne. The two men manifest the kind of close but un-acknowledged interdependence that forces them to conceal their aggression under a constant show of equanimity. Although de Reixach is the Master and Iglesia the Slave, " i l s ne pouvaient pas se passer l'un de l fautre, tout autant l u i de de Reixach que celui - c i de l u i , cet attachement hautain du maxtre pour son chien et de bas en haut du chien pour son maxtre. . ." (p. 46). Since the class difference is tacitly understood but never verbalized, their rivalry exists mostly below the surface. In de Reixach's eyes, then, " l a passion ou plutot l a souffranee avait l a forme non d'un de ses semblables de ses egaux mais d'un jockey a. tete de polichinelle contre lequel nous ne l'avions jamais entendu seulement elever la voix et dont i l se fai s a i t suivre comme son ombre. . ." (p. 124). The rivalry manifests i t s e l f primarily in two areas, areas in which de Reixach and Iglesia face each other as equals: horsemanship and sex. Georges singles out the care for horses as "le seul sujet la seule chose peut-etre qui en definitive les passionnait tous deux" (p. 125) so that de Reixach and Iglesia not only discuss but also ride horses on equal terms. It is therefore not surprising that the only overt confrontation between the two men concerns a horse race 164 and, indirectly, Corinne. When de Reixach challenges Iglesia's profes-sional authority by entering a race as jockey, the real object of contention is of course the woman who w i l l presumably give her heart to the winner. The host i l i t y between the rivals manifests i t s e l f only i n -directly. De Reixach and Iglesia exchange only practical instructions concerning the race and let Corinne mediate the emotional or real mean-ing of the situation. Corinne argues alternately with de Reixach and with Iglesia about the fol l y of her husband's action, and i t is through her that the reader understands that, for de Reixach at least, losing the race would symbolize losing Corinne. In love and horsemanship, two areas in which social advantage does not protect de Reixach, Iglesia functions as a respected and victorious r i v a l . Girard's theory of mimetic rivalry explains also why the soldier Georges keeps thinking about a woman he has never even met. Georges ob-viously desires Corinne primarily because she is desired by both de Reixach and Iglesia. It is her abstract shape that influences the relation-ships Georges entertains with the captain and the former jockey. Corinne, standing for the desire of a desire, sustains Georges throughout the war years but loses her power when Georges becomes her lover after the war. By possessing her, Georges destroys her symbolic significance. Corinne soon realizes that Georges does not love her but only an image of her. Indeed, Georges himself comes to understand the false hopes he had set on possessing Corinne. Comparing his hopes with his father's faith in the symbolic power of words, Georges asks himself: " . . . qu'avals-je cherche en elle espere poursuivi jusque sur son corps dans son corps des mots 165 des sons aussi fou que l u i avec ces illusoires feuilles de papier. . ." (p. 274). Patterns of mediation thus repeat themselves in different relationships between characters in La Route. They demonstrate that synchronic doubling represents a pervasive feature of the novel and influences i t s narrative structure by imposing a repetitive arrangement of material. 4. c. Doubling as a diachronic phenomenon Synchronic doubling acts as a sort of archetypal manifestation of pat-terns in a l l human behavior. However, certain patterns also repeat them-selves in a single individual's l i f e . Irwin's notion of temporal doubling concentrates on the reappearance of the same situation over several gen-erations. This type of temporal doubling isolates instances in a time spectrum without, however, paying attention to temporal progress or continuity. Instead of showing how the same pattern manifests i t s e l f in similar situations, temporal doubling should also demonstrate how a character interprets different situations according to the same preconcep-••• tions. Repetitive behavior in the face of changing contexts implies a dis-torted view of reality and forces an individual to make the wrong decisions. Faulkner and to a lesser degree Simon portray obsessive characters who destroy themselves because they are unable to interpret the world around them correctly. Their behavior corresponds to responses that Gregory Bateson discusses as double bind situations. Bateson adds to the discov-eries about relationships between Self and Other by Kojeve, Girard, and especially Lacan by studying the accumulative effect of such relationships on the individual. He begins by investigating the child's early relation-166 ships within the family and argues that the patterns i t learns w i l l determine the adult's later behavior. Bateson, lik e Lacan, approaches his subject matter as a text that needs to be deciphered and sees the value of his studies i n epistemological rather than c l i n i c a l terms. But the double bind theory distinguishes i t s e l f from Lacan's approach in that i t discusses the process of identification in a more specifically temporal context. 4. c. i . Theoretical Background 98 Gregory Bateson discovered the double bind theory while studying the family situations of schizophrenic patients. He found that, as a child, schizophrenic adults were subjected to contradictory messages which offered no avenues of escape and therefore produced great emotional stress. The conditions for a double bind situation are usually the following: The child is trapped within an intense personal relationship with parents or other persons of authority on whom his survival depends. It is imperative that the child interpret messages from such persons correctly. However, the child i s confronted with two messages that contradict each other. The contradiction is not easily recognized because the two messages are of a different logical type (different level). Bateson illustrates the dilemma this contradiction creates with an example. The mother feels hostile towards her child but does 99 not want the child to know "that she is withdrawing" because she wants to think of herself as a loving mother. She therefore simulates "loving behavior" which " i s then a comment on (since i t is compensatory for) her hostile behavior and consequently i t is of a different order of message 167 than the hostile behavior. . .""LVJU The result is that the child "must not accurately interpret her communication"1^1 since she wants him to see her simulated behavior as her true feelings. The child is forced to "distort 102 his perception of metacommunicative signals" in order to reinforce the mother's deception for otherwise he w i l l lose her affection. Bateson summarizes the situation by saying: "The child is punished for discriminat- ing accurately what she is expressing, and he is punished for discriminating 103 inaccurately—he i s caught i n a double bind." The dilemma of the "you are damned i f you do an damned i f you don't" situation is aggravated by the child's subordinate position in the family context which does not permit him to metacommunicate (for instance by pointing out to his mother that she is presenting him with a double bind) and thereby neutralize the double binding environment. If the child, and later the adult, is repeatedly subjected to double binding situations, he w i l l learn "to perceive his 104 universe in double bind patterns." Double binds do.in fact manipulate the power distribution in a l l hierarchical relationships. As long as an individual remains within an emotional or otherwise expedient state of dependence, he can neither respond adequately to circumstances nor can he metacommunicate about the conditions that force double binding patterns upon him. Temporal doubling in Absalom and La Route takes the form of accumulative double binds which explain the behavior of character and influences the repeti-tive nature of the narrative. 168 4. c. i i . Application to .'Absalom' In Chapter Eight Faulkner turns to Sutpen's childhood.in order to ac-count for the adult's behavior. He has Sutpen grow up in the mountains of West Virginia where l i f e was typified by self-sufficiency rather than surplus value. The land belongs to everybody and "everybody had just what he was strong enough or energetic enough to take and keep" (p. 221). During his adolescence, the family moves into the f l a t land where Sutpen " f a l l s " into a world of social distinctions. He learns that objects are not measured in terms of their innate quality but according to the value they represent to other people. He didn't know, for instance that there existed a l l the objects to be wanted which there were, or that the ones who owned the objects not only could look down on the ones that didn't, but could be supported in the down-looking not only by the others who owned objects too but by the very ones that were looked down on that didn't own objects and knew they never would, (p. 221) Sutpen assumes that i t is luck that determines the social order and cannot conceive of people who look down on others because luck was on their side. This innocent view of reality is one day irrevocably destroyed by a traumatic experience. Sutpen is around fourteen years old but is presented as a man without identity because he "knew neither where he had come from nor where he was nor why" (p. 227). In Lacan's terms, Sutpen is s t i l l in a primordial state of self-consciousness. He enters the mirror phase when he is sent to Pettibone's plantation where he identifies with the plantation owner who has the power to send him to the backdoor. Pettibone functions as the "Imaginary Other" who becomes both a model and obstacle to Sutpen's desires. In accordance with Girard's description of mimetic rivalry.and Lacan's discovery that "aggressivity is intimately linked to identification,""'"^ 169 Sutpen considers shooting Pettibone. However, in terms of Hegel's concept of the Master/Slave dialectic, the boy realizes that "That wouldn't do no good" (p. 235) because by k i l l i n g the r i v a l he would eliminate the Other on whose recognition his own self image depends. Sutpen must force the class of plantation owners to acknowledge and respect him. Sutpen reaches this conclusion after deciding that in his present position his actions have no impact on Pettibone's existence. Although Pettibone w i l l not receive the message Sutpen was to deliver, he w i l l not incur any loss on account of i t . Sutpen voices his despair in terms of a double bind situation: "I not only wasn't doing any good to him by telling i t or any harm tO him by not t e l l i n g i t , there aint any good or harm'either in the liv i n g world that I can do to him" (p. 238). Having accepted Pettibone as an "Imaginary Other," Sutpen has created for himself a state of emotional dependence which does not permit him to move outside the double binding situation. Instead of analyzing and fighting against the social system that gives Pettibone his power, Sutpen decides to remain within the system: "So to combat them you have got to have what they have that made them do what the man did. You got to have land and niggers and a fine house to combat them with" (p. 238). Sutpen does not desire the land and the house he eventually obtains for their intrinsic value but because they represent the desire of the Master class. By desiring a 106 desire, Sutpen condemns himself to "find a hole to f i l l up a hole." Sutpen encounters a similar double bind when he tries to establish himself in Jefferson. In order to become part of the Southern aristocracy to which Pettibone belongs, Sutpen must create for himself both a past and a future. Choosing an appropriate wife could satisfy.both requirements. 170 Devoid of a respectable past, in Jefferson the equivalent of an established name, Sutpen has to acquire one through marriage. However, this solution presents him with a double bind: by marrying Ellen Coldfield he demonstrates that he has an acceptable past because no father-in-law would otherwise consent to the marriage. At the same time he shows that he has no ac-ceptable past since he has to acquire one by marrying Ellen. No matter what efforts Sutpen puts into turning himself into a respected member of Jefferson, the town "had agreed never to forgive him for not having any past. . ." (p. 52). By endorsing the status quo, Sutpen automatically excludes himself from the social position he desires. The stronghold of the Southern aristocracy is of course made up of families whose ancestors had once been in much the same situation as Sutpen. It i s only through the power of money that names have become respectable and the past has conveniently been forgotten. Sutpen's only real chance to join the ruling class therefore rests with his descendants. If he can found a dynasty, the future will.eventually exonerate the past. Moreover, aside from his "father" Pettibone, a son is the only person who can recognize Sutpen as the Master and s t i l l be worthy of respect. Henry f u l f i l l s a paradoxical role in that he is both a Slave (he is subordinate to the father) and a potential Master (he is a part and image of the father). Marriage to Ellen thus provides Sutpen not only with an almost acceptable past but also with a son who w i l l ensure a promising future. Sutpen rejects his f i r s t son becauseJhis black blood makes him socially inferior. Bon could never earn Sutpen's respect, so the son's acknowledgment of the fatherlloses significance. Having discarded Bon, Sutpen puts a l l his hopes on Henry. But, 171 at a time when Sutpen has reached the height of h i s economic p o s i t i o n and counts on Henry as h i s h e i r , Bon appears as "the face he believed he had paid o f f and discharged twenty-eight years ago" (p. 265). Bon threatens Sutpen's design because Sutpen accepts the r a c i a l values of the s o c i a l system. I t i s only within t h i s emotional context that Bon forces another double bindoon Sutpen: Yet I am now faced with a second necessity to choose, the curious factor of which i s not, as you pointed out and as f i r s t appeared to me, that the necessity for a new choice should have arisen, but that either choice which I might make, either course which I might choose, leads to the same r e s u l t : either I destroy my design with.„my own hand, which w i l l happen i f I am forced to play my l a s t trump card, or do nothing, l e t matters take the course which I know they w i l l take and see my design complete i t s e l f quite normally and n a t u r a l l y and su c c e s s f u l l y to the public eye, yet to my own i n such fashion as to be a mockery. . . (pp. 273-74). Sutpen decides to play h i s " l a s t trump card" and tells^Henry that Bon i s not only h i s brother but also part negro. When Henry k i l l s Bon and becomes a f u g i t i v e , Sutpen's plan, "to which he had given f i f t y years of h i s l i f e " (p. 272), suffers a serious setback and he i s forced to "make a t h i r d s t a r t toward that design" (p. 273). The t h i r d s t a r t towards a Sutpen dynasty i s f i r s t of a l l f r u s t r a t e d by Rosa's r e f u s a l to cooperate with Sutpen's proposed test breeding. By misjudging Rosa's character, Sutpen Is betrayed once again by the "old impotent l o g i c and morality which had betrayed him before. . ." (p. 279). Indeed, t h i s l o g i c and morality b l i n d him also to the fe e l i n g s and possible reactions of Wash Jones. Having seduced M i l l y , Jones' granddaughter, Sutpen dismisses her as c a l l o u s l y as his f i r s t wife when she bears him a daughter rather than a son. Jones, u n t i l then Sutpen's most l o y a l admirer, cannot 172 accept Sutpen's dishonorable action and k i l l s him. Sutpen, of course, could not have treated Jones differently. Once in the shoes of a landowner, Sutpen has to act as a Master: he must treat others as inferiors or Slaves. Sutpen's self-image depends on the system within which he has established himself as a Master. If Sutpen had treated Jones as a human being, he would have indicated that a member of the landowning class could behave di f -ferently from Pettibone who has become Sutpen's "Imaginary Other." The af-front the fourteen year old Sutpen suffered at the hands of Pettibone should then have been treated as a private rather than a social matter, and the boy should have k i l l e d the landowner instead of imitating him. Wash Jones thus symbolizes Sutpen's ultimate double bind. If Jones deserved to be treated as a human being, then the system was wrong and Sutpen's l i f e struggle without meaning. In rather exaggerated form Sutpen exemplifies behavior patterns that also hold t r u e for other characters in Absalom. Certain parallels between these characters focus attention on the fact that their decisions are often constrained by a moral code which traps them i n double bind situations. On some levels, Mr. Coldfield, Henry, and Rosa, for instance, clearly act as doubles for each other. Not only do a l l three of them hide away in their own houses, but Henry i s described as "the Coldfield with the Coldfield cluttering of morality and rules of right and wrong. . ." (p. 120). Mr. Coldfield sins against his moral principles f i r s t when he enters into a speculative business proposition with Sutpen, and again when he permits "his daughter to marry this man of whose actions his conscience did not approve" (p. 51). Later on, Mr. Coldfield i s opposed to war not so much,, because i t 173 leads to loss of l i f e but because i t is a general waste (p. 83). Since he could not condone war in any circumstances, Mr. Coldfield could fight neither for nor against his country. When the Confederates loot his store, Mr. Coldfield nails himself into his attic becaus his goods had unwittingly supported the war effort. His death is a comment on the "contemporary scene of folly and outrage" and symbolizes the f i n a l expression of his "cold and inflexible disapproval" (p. 84). Similarly, because of her moral ri g i d i t y , Rosa attributes inordinate importance to Sutpen's insult. She nurtures her outrage even after Sutpen's death. Indeed, his death leaves the insult a l l the more alive because, no matter what Rosa does or.doesn't do, Sutpen is "the man whom she could neither forgive nor revenge herself upon. . ." (p. 13). In other words, Sutpen acts as an obstacle that gives Rosa's l i f e i t s meaning; his death removes the tangible obstacle and leaves her nothing but frustrated outrage. Henry's double bind is bf course more complex. He cannot accept that what his father t e l l s him about Bon is true because i t would mean that he would have to k i l l the friend. But, Henry knows that what his father t e l l s him is true and "that he was doomed and destined to k i l l " (p. 91). The probation time, as Henry well knows, could only delay but not avert the inevitable. Bon puts Henry into a position in which he "must either betray himself and his entire upbringing and thinking, or deny the friend for whom he had already repudiated home and kin and a l l . . ." (p. 114). Since Henry and Bon are motivated by different principles, their behavior towards each other has to be masked by pretense. The result i s a rather paradoxical relationship: "Bon who didn't know what he.was going to do and had to say, pretend, he did; and Henry who knew what he was going 174 to do and had to say he didn't" (p. 341). Adherence to principles precludes any pragmatic solutions to the dilemma the brothers face. This is why Henry has to prevent a secret marriage between Bon and Judith, the only possible way out of the dilemma, for otherwise "he (Henry) would have to liv e for the rest of his l i f e with the knowledge that he was glad he had been so betrayed, with the coward's joy of surrendering without having been vanquished. . .".(p. 119). Rigid codes of behavior thus force Mr. Coldfield to choose death, Rosa to nurture her outrage, and Henry to k i l l Bon. The parallels between Mr. Coldfield, Rosa, and Henry, mirroring Sutpen's own obsession with a design which eventually compels him;to play his last trump card, are further reinforced by situations i n the lives of Bon and Wash Jones. In fact, the situations in which Bon and Jtines find themselves repeat Sutpen's own experiences as a young man. Bon, for instance, "came into that isolated puritan country household almost like Sutpen him-self came into Jefferson: apparently complete, without background or past or childhood. . ." (p. 93). Moreover, at least i n metaphorical terms, Bon is turned away from the front door by Sutpen in much the same way as Sutpen was at Pettibone's plantation. Giventhis situation, Bon is condemned to remain fatherless whether he simply leaves things as they are or tries to force Sutpen into recognizing him. Like Sutpen, Bon decides to act although he knows that he w i l l destroy himself in the process. Wash Jones i s perhaps an even better mirror image of Sutpen. He comes from a poor white background and is satisfied with his lot unt i l Sutpen awakens'his social self-consciousness. Throughout the years, Jones speaks of Sutpen as a "fine figure" (p. 282) in spite of the fact that Sutpen's black daughter w i l l not 175 even let him enter the kitchen door at the back of the house. When Sutpen seduces Milly, Jones is confident ..that he " w i l l make hit right" (p. .284) in the end. Jones thus subscribes to a morality "that was a good deal like Sutpen's, that told him he was right in the face of a l l fact and usage. . ." (p. 287). When Sutpen discards Milly with insulting words, Jones can at f i r s t not believe that he heard right. But once the truth sinks in, Jones' faith i n the established order crumbles with the same suddenness as had Sutpen's at Pettibone's front door. Jones now realizes that the Master/Slave relationship, a relationship Sutpen had dominated and Jones accepted, has lost i t s val i d i t y . Quentin points out that Jones recognized that he could never run "far enough to escape beyond:the boundaries of earth where such men lived, set the order and rule of living. . ."..(p. 290). Confronted with a similar double bind as Sutpen, Jones decides to act and k i l l s his Master. Where Sutpen had opted for the system, Jones pronounces himself against i t : "Better i f his kind and mine  too had never drawn the breath of l i f e on this earth" (p. 290). K i l l i n g Sutpen represents the most radical solution to Jones' dilemma. Indeed, this solution corresponds to the Hegelian murder where the death of either Master or Slave results i n the annihilation of both. 4. c. i i i . Application to 'La Route1 Temporal doubling plays a relatively limited role in La Route because Simon is hostile to both psychological patterns and narrative continuity. Nevertheless,, the superimposition of the ancestor and de Reixach results in a sort of compound character who i s repeatedly caught in. double binds. 176 Both the ancestor and de Reixach share a certain amount of idealism and a relatively r i g i d adherence to social codes. The ancestor's double bind arises from a contradiction between Rousseau's ideas on equality and the established feudal order to which the ancestor belongs. As an aristocrat and a Rousseau sympathizer, the ancestor can neither l i v e within his own cast nor can he transcend i t : Et l u i deux foix traitre,—d'abord a cette caste dont i l etait issu et qu'il avait reniee, desavouee, se detruisant, se sui-cidant en quelque sorte une premiere fois, pour les beaux yeux (s i l'on peut dire) d'une morale larmoyante et suisse dont i l n'aurait jamais pu avoir connaissance s i sa fortune, son rang ne l u i en avait donne les moyens, c'est-a-dire le l o i s i r et le pouvoir de l i r e , — t r a i t r e ensuite a. l a cause qu'il avait embras-see, mais cette fois par incapacite, c'est-a-dire coupable. . . d'avoir voulu melanger—ou c o n c i l i e r — courage et pensee, mecon-nu^cet irreductible antagonisme qui oppose toute reflexion a toute action. . . (pp. 193-94). The injunction he receives from caste loyalty contradicts the injunction he must follow according to his reading of idealist literature. He w i l l there-fore destroy himself whether he acts or does not act. If he does not fight for his ideas, he w i l l lose his self-respect. If he does fight for his ideas, he bites the hand that has fed him and continues to claim him. There is no solution to the conflict between the rig i d rules of the aristocracy' and the social mobility Rousseau's democratic ideal i n i t i a t e s . The irony of the ancestor's situation is of course that his wife's adultery puts the democratic ideal into action. By having an af f a i r with a servant, she transgresses against the laws of her class and encourages social equality. The ancestor's double bind is thus reinforced by his inability to condone his wife's transgression at the same time as he himself fights a war that advocates the abolishment of his caste. Suicide f i n a l l y offers i t s e l f as the 177 only solution to a position that becomes increasingly untenable. De Reixach finds himself in a similarly untenable situation. In the-context of the sexual battle for Corinne, de Reixach is faced with two equally undesirable alternatives. His aristocratic code t e l l s him that he must face an adversary in a f a i r contest at the same time as i t does not allow him to recognize a social inferior as his equal. The race thus means that he has to either lower himself to the jockey's position br forego the race and l e t Iglesia triumph over him i n the sexual domain. Moreover, l i k e his ancestor, de Reixach faces not only a sexual but also a military chal-lenge. As a graduate of the Saumur, he is forced to fight a war that w i l l end the world in which the Saumur stands as a/symbol for the established order. It follows that, whether he fights or not, he transgresses against his class. Like the ancestor, de Reixach f i n a l l y opts for suicide as the only way out of his dilemma. 5 . Conclusion In this chapter on narrative structure, I have tried to show how Absalom and La Route turn their back on many conventional narrative devices and replace them as much as possible with innovative formal choices that encourage a p l u r a l i s t i c approach to both fi c t i o n and reality. Through juxtapositions, superimpositions, and substitutions the two novels tend to blur distinctions between such conventional entities as character, nar-rator, listener, main story, frame story, story time, time of narration. Moreover, Faulkner and Simon manipulate the narrative in such a. way that i t w i l l not lead to traditionally expected factual or motivational solutions. 178 The suspense mechanism in Absalom, for instance, never delivers an always promised climax; i-t1. maintains instead' a,f r u i t f u l tension.between the known and the unknown as well as the factual and the imagined. -As- an open-ended novel, Absalom remains alive and challenging by inviting constant reinter-pretations of facts and motivations. Faulkner thereby succeeds i n preserv-ing the complexities of perception and experience at the same time as he requires an active participation in the process of fiction' on the part of the reader. Simon takes an even more radical stance against conventional fi c t i o n . Fragmentation and repetition in La Route prevent dominant themes, time levels, and narrative authorities. Simon's strong commitment to nar-rative discontinuity expresses his ho s t i l i t y to a causally determined one-directional story, line. His narrative structure, based on symmetrical and analogical patterns, conveys a conviction that everything in the world i s potentially a reflection of everything else. The metaphor for this type of novel i s no longer the gr a i l but the maze. And, as John Barth contends in Chimera, "The key to the treasure i s the t r e a s u r e , t h a t i s , the answer to the maze in La Route i s the maze. Ideally, then, the significance of Simon's novel should arise from linguistic and structural connections rather than from references to a "world out there." An anti-representational bias, stronger in La Route but nevertheless already present in Absalom, extends also to the psychological treatment of characters. Characters are no longer approached as fixed entitites but as links in a network of relations. The theories of Kojeve, Girard, Lacan and Bateson help us understand how the individual creates a.self-image through various identifications with others. Absalom and La Route exemplify the 179 pernicious but inevitable effects of mediated relationships and draw at-tention to the fl u i d i t y of the self as i t participates, in different capacities, in several triangular configurations. The character loses his s t a b i l i t y both from the outside, because his narrative function has been blurred, and from within, because his self dissolves i t s e l f in others. If a character functions in mediated terms, he/she inevitably exists as a more or less exact double of other characters. There i s always an area in which characters overlap and hence repeat aspects of each other's lives. Faulkner and Simon try.to do f u l l justice to complex patterns of behavior and communication at the same time as they exploit these patterns for narrative purposes. The f l u i d i t y of character re-presentation corresponds and contributes to the f l u i d i t y of the nar-rative process. Simon sums up the d i f f i c u l t i e s arising from an ambition to capture a complex and multi-dimensional reality when he commiserates with Georges' need for "une glace a plusieurs faces" (p. 313). Faulkner and Simon share the same aspiration to provide a comprehensive picture of reality and ways to transcend the conventional limitations of language, the fic t i o n a l process, and human perception in general. 180 CHAPTER IV REPETITION AND . INTERTEXTUALITY 1. Introduction After the discussion of repetitive patterns on the levels of word arrangement, sentence organization, and narrative structure, there remains one level of repetition to be analyzed: intertextuality. Although literary texts are often regarded as self-contained, autonomous constructs, i t i s obvious that they share at least their language, themes, and structural devices with a long tradition of other literary texts. The aesthetic criterion of originality compels most texts, especially those written in the mimetic mode, to conceal their debt to their precursors. Before the Age of Romanticism, at a time when literature was constrained by many conventions, imitation of established models (the Classics) was natural, acceptable, and to be encouraged. It was only when literature-was sup-posed to depict reality accurately and from immediate experience that references to models came to denote a lack of imagination, a deplorable borrowing of foreign ideas, or an unnecessary affectation of cultural knowledge. These prejudices are now slowly being eroded. Recent at-titudes towards literary references indicate a new awareness of the possibilities inherent in a practice that depends for i t s effects on a gap between a stable entity (tradition) and i t s use in different contexts. The semantic component of a literary allusion i s always the same, whereas i t s varying syntactic placements determine i t s significance in particular instances. Literary allusions are especially popular with 181 s e l f - c o n s c i o u s t e x t s t h a t l i k e t o comment on t h e i r own t e x t u a l i t y . S i n c e l i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s a r e al w a y s e x c e s s i v e , i n t h a t t h e y have t h e i r s o u r c e o u t s i d e the a u t h o r ' s own s t y l e , t h e y draw a t t e n t i o n t o t h e m s e l v e s and t o the c u l t u r a l s ystem t o w h i c h e v e r y w r i t t e n t e x t b e l o n g s . I t i s i n t h i s a r e a o f i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y , t h e r e p e t i t i o n o f an a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g s y s t e m o f s i g n s , t h a t t h e p r e s e n t c h a p t e r w i l l c o n c e n t r a t e . The " o u t s i d e , " t o w h i c h i n t e r t e x t u a l s i g n a l s r e f e r , s i t u a t e s i t -s e l f n o t i n t h e n a t u r a l w o r l d b u t i n a c u l t u r a l system. A t e x t t o u c h e s " r e a l i t y " o n l y t h r o u g h the m e d i a t i o n o f a c u l t u r a l code made up o f o t h e r t e x t s , v i s u a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s , and m u s i c . R o l a n d B a r t h e s a t t a c k s t h e n o t i o n o f " r e a l i s m " as an immediate and o r i g i n a l e x p r e s s i o n i n t h e f o l -l o w i n g terms: C'est que p r e c i s e m e n t 1 ' a r t i s t e " r e a l i s t e " ne p l a c e n u l l e m e n t l a " r e a l i t e " a l ' o r i g i n e de son d i s c o u r s , mais seulement e t t o u j o u r s , s i l o i n qu'on p u i s s e r e m o n t e r , un r e e l d e j a e c r i t , un code p r o s p e c t i f , l e l o n g d u q u e l on ne s a i s i t j a m a i s , a p e r t e de vue, qu'une e n f i l a d e de c o p i e s . ^ I n h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f B a l z a c ' s " S a r r a s i n e , " an example o f m i m e t i c a r t a t i t s b e s t , B a r t h e s approaches r e a l i s m n o t as a " c o p i e u r " b u t r a t h e r as a 2 " p a s t i c h e u r " s i n c e " i l c o p i e ce q u i e s t d e j a c o p i e . " I n t e r t e x t u a l r e f e r e n c e s a c c e n t u a t e t h e copy mechanism t h a t c o n t r o l s a l l t e x t u a l p r o d u c t i o n s , making i t c l e a r t h a t e v e r y t e x t i s i n some fo r m ••a. r e p e t i -t i o n o f p r e v i o u s t e x t s . L i t e r a r y r e f e r e n c e s have t h e power t o m o d i f y b o t h t h e t e x t f r o m w h i c h t h e y a r e t a k e n and t h e one t h a t i n c o r p o r a t e s them w i t h i n a new c o n t e x t . The P r o u s t q u o t a t i o n s i n Simon's L a B a t a i l l e de 3 P h a r s a l e p r o v i d e an e x c e l l e n t i l l u s t r a t i o n o f t h i s p r o c e s s o f m o d i f i c a t i o n . The c o n n e c t i o n between A l a r e c h e r c h e and L a B a t a i l l e de P h a r s a l e i s 182 mediated by the jealousy that haunts the narrator of each novel. Jealousy f i l l s the space of an intermediary reality which determines to what extent A l a recherche i s the same as La Bataille de Pharsale and to what extent i t differs from i t . It i s therefore a triangular rather than a bilateral process that characterizes the relationship between A la recherche and La Bataille de Pharsale: The intermediary reality, occupied by jealousy i n this example, could be replaced by other concepts, objects, or formal properties. What must be remembered i s that in a l l cases the intermediary reality precludes any direct access to the natural world. Simon depicts the narrator's jealousy not as he or a direct acquaintance has experienced i t but as Proust has analyzed i t in A la recherche. The primary emphasis i s therefore on the text as .text, a point Simon argues to a question posed on realism: De meme que.la seule realite d'un tableau est la peinture, l a seule realite d'un roman :est celle de l a chose ecrite. L'eeri-ture etant de par sa nature meme incapable de reproduire le "reel," toute pretention au realisme de la part d'un romancier ne peut etre le f a i t que de 1'irreflexion ou d'une volonte de tromperie.4 Simon echoes Barthes'argument in that he places the text within a pre-coded cultural system. Allusions in highly self-conscious novels like Absalom and La Route point not only to the pretext (source of the allusion) and Jealousy (intermediary reality) A la recherche (pretext) La Bataille de Pharsale (text) 1 8 3 the primary text (text that "borrows"the allusion) but beyond them towards "literature" as a specific form of discourse. Faulkner and Simon invite us to decipher their works as textual surfaces and not simply as sources of meaning. 2 . Literary allusions and c r i t i c a l attitudes Critics enjoy hunting for literary allusions because identifying them and speculating on their relevance or appropriateness appeals to their sense of the text as a unified whole and permits them to discuss literature as an interrelated system of texts. What c r i t i c s have to say about Faulkner's allusions to literary genres certainly confirms this point. Lind, for instance, picks out detailed references to "the tragedies of the ancients" and the "great myths of the Old Testament.""' She also mentions that Faulkner "echoes familiar lines of deeply tragic import from Hamlet, Macbeth and from A.E. Housman." Indeed, her treatment of allusions in Absalom is perhaps .the most complete. Other c r i t i c s make fleeting references to allusions as do Adamovski, when he refers to Sutpen as "the Jehovah of the Old Testament,"^ Holman, when g he points to the "parallels of the House of Sutpen to the House of Atreas," and MeindljWhen he comments that "Sutpen wird von Mr. Compson mit dem Ab-9 glanz eines antiken Heros versehen." Levins and Vickery approach literary allusions in Absalom from a slightly different angle; they argue that Faulkner followed a more or less systematic pattern. Levins suggests that "Faulkner effects a structural differentiation among the viewpoints in the novel by shaping each of the four narrative perspectives after a different literary genre: the Gothic, the Greek tragedy, the chivalric romance, and 184 the t a l l t a l e . " 1 U Vickery, too, sees Rosa's account as "rank melodrama" f u l l of "Gothic horror and violence""'""'" while Mr. Compson's section is " f i l l e d with references to staging, to actors and the drama" which imply 12 a parallel with "classical tragedy." Most c r i t i c s believe, with Lind, that Faulkner uses literary and mythological material in order to "create, through the u t i l i z a t i o n of a l l the resources of fiction, a grand tragic 13 vision of historic dimension." Other alternatives to this popular inter-pretation of how literary allusions function ih Absalom are provided by Levins and Vickery. For Levins the significance of.the four narrative modes li e s in the focus "on the story of Sutpen as i t is perceived by the f i c t i o n a l 14 observers," whereas Vickery accounts for them as an investigation into 15 "the relationship between truth and fact and between legend and history." If there is a common denominator to interpretations of literary allusions in Absalom, i t i s the conclusion that Faulkner draws parallels to literary models in order to emphasize the universal significance of Absalom or to . make ironic statements on the impoverished l i f e of man in the present as compared with that of heroic counterparts in literary history. Such read-ings are of course perfectly j u s t i f i e d . At the same time, literary a l -lusions play an additional role in Absalom; they make us aware of the novel's textuality by presupposing the influence of a pre-coded cultural system on the fic t i o n a l universe of Jefferson. Approaching the question of literary allusions from this point of view makes them active participants in the fi c t i o n a l process rather than passive commentators on content matters. Faulkner anticipates already what becomes a more pronounced and self-consciously used device in Simon's novels. Simon uses allusions in order 185 to bring out the anti-representational dimensions of La Route. He specifical-ly draws attention to the ways in which a text refers to other texts rather than to l i f e or reality. In order to clarify the connection between literary allusions and repetition, i t is necessary to probe into the types of a l -lusions present in Absalom and La Route, to analyze in what capacities they function, and to draw conclusions about their impact and general s i g n i f i -cance. 3. Literary allusions as inappropriate parallels Literary allusions usually contribute to a character portrait, the depiction of a situation, or the description of an object. They tend to reinforce or modify a point that was already established through other descriptive means. When Faulkner resorts to literary allusions, he rarely refers directly to their original source but seems to be aware of the fact that other authors before him have used these same allusions. In view of this awareness, the author of Absalom is clearly intent on finding new ways to make use of a worn-out literary device. Whenever Faulkner identi-fies one of his characters with a mythological or literary model, he modifies this identification either by adding a qualifying component or by situating i t within an Inappropriate context. Bon, for instance, is called a "silken and tragic Lancelot nearing thirty" (p. 32G) and a "cerebral Don Juan" (p. 108) . In both instances the qualification indicates that the established parallel is inadequate. Simon resorts to the same practice when he speaks of the lame man as "l'autre Othello bancal de v i l -lage" (p. 282) and of the Mayor's assessor as "Le Romeo du village" (p. 127). 186 In .another example, Simon combines.incongruous elements in the description of the ancestor as "eet Arnolphe philanthrope, jacobin et guerroyeur" (p. 196) in order to achieve a similar sense of inappropriateness. Faulkner deliberate-ly pokes fun at the practice of calling characters according to literary or mythological models when he plays with the name of Sutpen's negro daughter. Her name i s derived from "Glytemnestra" (p. 61) but Mr. Gompson, suspecting that Sutpen made a mistake when christening her, consistently calls her "Cassandralike" (p. 22) because Cassandra's fate represents a more f i t t i n g parallel to Clytie's. Faulkner also exploits the gap between a glorified mythological past and the mundane present to draw attention to intertextual references. He depicts how Sutpen was "creating the Sutpen's Hundred, the Be Sutpen's Hundred like the oldentime Be Light" (p. 9) and continues to compare Sutpen's mansion with a "Spartan shell" (p. 39) during i t s construction, to an "edifice like Bluebeard's" (p. 60) during the height of i t s splendor, and to "coffin walls" which appear to the owner as "fabulous immeasurable Camelots and Carcassones" (p. 160) during i t s decline. In the same vein, Simon refers to Sabine's gossipy family stories as "ces histoires. . . corne-liennes" (p. 57). Both - Faulkner and Simon also reinforce inadequate compari-sons through tone. Speaking of the expectations Rosa invests i n Sutpen, Faulkner comments that she finds "instead of a widowed Agamemnon to her Cassandra an ancient stiff-jointed Pyramus to her eager though untried Thisbe" (p. 177). The mythological figures are evoked in a thoroughly mocking s p i r i t just as Blum's allusion to Rousseau in connection with the ancestor's p o l i t i c a l idealism takes a derogatory form: "A moins que ce ne fut l'effet de ses convictions naturistes? De ses emouvantes lectures genevoises? Est-ce 187 q u ' i l — j e veux dire ce Suisse melomane, effusionniste et philosophe. . . n'etait pas aussi un petit peu exhibitionniste?" (p. 201). Faulkner and Simon make sure that their allusions draw attention to themselves not only because they belong to a system of signification that li e s outside the author's own linguistic traits but also because.their stability i s undermined through deforming modifications. These modifications metacom-municate about the automatic habit of comparing characters and situations to literary models. Instead of imitating and approving of the .values vested in literary traditions, Faulkner and Simon move towards parody and surprise the reader with unexpected substitutions and additions when referring to familiar literary and mythological figures. 4. Literary allusions and cultural authority Allusions to literary works of the past treat these works as authorities against which present literature can be evaluated. Characters often adapt their behavior to fi c t i o n a l models in familiar works by writers like Shakespeare or Racine. The same models permit narrators to interpret the actions of their characters in terms of well-known patterns. The cultural heritage generally functions as an often cited background or authority on basic human emotions, reactions, and situations. This background either reinforces present circumstances or opens up ironic gaps between past and present. Comparisons with exemplary works of the past always provide indirect comments on the essential sameness of the human condition, and on specific instances of men and women struggling to achieve the distinctions which a glorified past bestows on i t s heroes and heroines. Although the 188 cultural heritage inevitably reveals i t s e l f as a false authority on l i f e , i t nevertheless continually influences human behavior. Literary allusions therefore draw attention to certain aspects of the relationship between fact and fi c t i o n and demonstrate the tremendous impact the written tradition has on man's everyday existence. In Absalom and La Route literary a l -lusions force us to come to grips with the often unquestioned authority of the past. Faulkner makes i t quite clear that many characters in Absalom model their behavior on mythological and literary archetypes. Although such imitations are often unconscious, Faulkner indicates that some of his characters act consciously in conformity with established roles. Ellen, who "might have risen to actual stardom i n the role of the matriarch," purposely speaks "her bright set meaningless phrases out of, the part which she had written for herself" (p. 69). Sutpen, too, patterns his l i f e on a mythical notion of the Southern aristocrat and desires nothing more than a repeat performance of the Pettibone scene with himself in the leading role. After finishing Sutpen's Hundred, Sutpen i s therefore reputed to have "acted his role too—a role of arrogant ease and leisure" (p. 72). Indeed, Sutpen often watches his own performance, as when the events in Haiti, involving him in a dangerous adventure, appear to him as "a spectacle, some-thing to be watched because he might not have a chance to see i t again" (p. 250). A similar detachment from actual experience seems to account for Bon's fatalism. He is depicted as "this miscast for the time and knowing i t " (p. 98) and, when Sutpen forbids the marriage to Judith, "he seems to have withdrawn into a mere spectator" (p\ 93). The correspondence between 189 individuals and the models, whose behavior they apparently reenact may of course take a less conscious form. It is quite common that someone, often a narrator, imposes a role on another person in the novel. Bon, for instance, is the "man on whom Henry foisted now the role of his sister's intended, as during the f a l l term Henry and his companions had foisted upon Bon the role of Lothario" (p. 102).* Mr. Compson's narrative is perhaps most i n f l u -enced by a pre-coded cultural system. He tends to see Sutpen as a classical hero and interprets the momentum of his whole l i f e in terms of a classical tragedy. Speaking of Sutpen at a time when he has established himself as the largest landowner in the neighborhood, Mr. Gompson points to an ironic gap that opens up at the moment when the hero is at the height of his powers and does not yet recognize the symptoms spelling his demise: . . . he was unaware that his flowering was a forced blooming. . . and that while he was s t i l l playing the scene to the audience, behind him Fate, destiny, retribution, irony—the stage manager, c a l l him what you will—was already striking the set and dragging on the synthetic and spurious shadows and shapes of the next one (pp. 72-73). Shreve, f i n a l l y , sums up the South's disposition to see i t s e l f only in con-nection with a glorious past when he exclaims: "Jesus, the South is fine, isn't i t . It's better than the theatre, isn't i t . It's better than Ben Hur, isn't i t " (p. 217). It is of course a fact of human experience to play a chosen or an imposed role. It is virtually impossible to li v e or create without being conditioned by an environment whose values have been shaped by a long written tradition. *Cf. also p. 96 where Henry "looked upon Bon as though he were a hero out of some adolescent Arabian Nights." 190 Faulkner uses literary allusions, and imitations of behavior patterns without really evaluating their authority. Simon is much more sceptical and tends to ridicule reliance on literary authorities. In Simon's descriptions, literary stereotypes are always in contradiction with reality., Depicting a landscape f i r s t as a pastoral i d y l l , he then switches, in the same passage, to the scene in which de Reixach finds his death: . . .la campagne avait l ' a i r d'un jardin bien emonde. . . jardins a l a francaise dessinant de savantes courbes enchevetrees bosquets et rendez-vous d'amour pour marquis et marquises deguises en ber-gers et bergeres se cherchant a l'aveuglette cherchant trouvant T'amour l a mort deguisee elle aussi en bergere dans le dedale des allees. . . (pp. 78-79). The pastoral i d y l l corresponds to an impression formed by reading habits, but the shepherd turns into a sniper as reality gradually displaces the peace-ful i l l u s i o n . Simon is especially hard on the practice of making a point by referring to worn-out.'.literary genres like the fable. Commenting on the ancestor's decision to leave his wife in order to fight in Spain, Blum quotes La Fontaine in the following manner: Lui qui avait voulu jouer au naturel l a fable des deux pigeons, seulement c'etait l u i le pigeon, c'est-a-dire que de retour au pigeonnier avec son ai l e cassee, ses reves boiteux, i l s'aper-cut qu'il s'etait f a i t pigeonner, et pas seulement parce qu'il avait eu l a malencontreuse idee d'aller, l u i , le gentilhomme-farmer, forniquer dans le quartier reserve, les bourbiereux bousbirs de l a pensee, mais encore celle de laisser seule der-riere l u i sa petite poulette ou plutot sa petite pigeonne adoree qui en avait profite pour forniquer, elle, de l a facon l a plus naturelle. . . avec. . . un garcon. . . (pp.199-200). The moralistic intention of the genre in which La Fontaine expresses him-self i s undermined through crude words ("forniquer"), carefully chosen adjectives ("reves boiteux"), a play on words ("poulette" and "pigeonne" or "bourbiereux bousbirs"), and the "facon l a plus naturelle" to which 191 his wife reduces the ancestor's Rousseauistic idealism. La Route attacks a number of other genres in much the same way. Simon picks.mostly on genres that have exhausted themselves like the horror story (p. 79), the situation comedy (the many references to the "scene gallante"), the fairy tale (p. 267), vaudeville (p. 198), burlesque (p. 209), and classical drama (pp. 30, 129, 186). He also refers to conventions governing the movement of plots when he has Georges comment on his suspicion that the conversations between Corinne and Iglesia may after a l l not have been of a romantic nature: . . . probablement etait-ce bien cela: c'est-a-dire pas une idylle, une intrigue se deroulant, verbeuse, convenue, ordon-nee,.\s'engageant, se fort i f i a n t , se developpant suivant un harmonieux et raisonnable crescendo coupe par les indis-pensables arrets et fausses manoeuvres, et un point culminant, et apres cela peut-etre un palier, et apres cela encore l ' o b l i -gatoire decrescendo. . . (p. 50). Simon here draws explicit attention to man's tendency to interpret situations not so much as they really are but as they f i t into culturally conditioned expectations. Whether allusions to literature are serious or parodistic, they always presuppose an automatic recognition of a cultural background the reader shares with the author. The cultural heritage functions as an authority on themes like love and jealousy as i n the case of Othello, Romeo, and Arnolphe. A l -though this authority is based on cultural cliches, i t was often invoked in conventional f i c t i o n as i f i t could provide immediate access to l i f e or reality. Roland Barthes comments on this identification of fi c t i o n and l i f e specifically i n Balzac, although his observations have more general impli-cations: Quoique d'origine entierement livresque, ces codes, par un tourniquet propre a l'ideologie bourgeoise, qui inverse l a 192 c u l t u r e en n a t u r e , s emblent f o n d e r l e r e e l , l a " V i e . " L a " V i e " d e v i e n t a l o r s , dans l e t e x t e e l a s s i q u e , un melange e c o e u r a n t d ' o p i n i o n s c o u r a n t e s , une nappe e t o u f f a n t e d ' i d e e s r e c u e s : c ' e s t en e f f e t dans ces codes c u l t u r e l s que se c o n c e n t r e l e demode b a l z a c i e n , 1'essence de ce q u i , dans B a l z a c , ne peut e t r e ( r e - ) e c r i t . 1 6 The d i f f e r e n c e between B a l z a c and a u t h o r s l i k e F a u l k n e r and t o a g r e a t e r degree Simon i s t h a t B a l z a c b e l i e v e s i n t h e a u t h o r i t i e s he i n v o k e s whereas t h e o t h e r s do n o t . The more o r l e s s p a r o d i s t i c m o d i f i c a t i o n s F a u l k n e r and Simon r e s o r t t o move t h e c u l t u r a l code i n t o t h e f o r e g r o u n d and u n d e r l i n e t h a t Absalom and L a Route a r e t e x t s g r o w i n g p r i m a r i l y o u t of o t h e r t e x t s . S i n c e a l l u s i o n s can no l o n g e r be c o n s i d e r e d a u t h o r i t i e s on l i f e , F a u l k n e r and Simon t r y t o c o r r e c t the i n v e r t e d h i e r a r c h y between l i f e and c u l t u r e B a r t h e s d i s c u s s e s . L i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s i n Absalom and L a Route s e t o u t t o d e s t r o y t h e a u t h o r i t a t i v e s t a n c e t h e c u l t u r a l code has t r a d i t i o n a l l y a s -sumed towards l i f e and f i c t i o n . B o t h F a u l k n e r and Simon use l i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s t o comment on t h e e t h i c a l and e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n s t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s a d o p t . P l a y i n g on t h e t e n s i o n between t h e B i b l e ( o r o t h e r s o u r c e s ) and Absalom, F a u l k n e r e v a l u a t e s t h e m o r a l s t a n d a r d s o f Sutpen and t h o s e a r o u n d him. When a modern personage i s j u x t a p o s e d t o a m y t h o l o g i c a l o r l i t e r a r y f i g u r e , b o t h o f them become m o d i f i e d i n terms of each o t h e r . When F a u l k n e r d e p i c t s Sutpen as a " j e a l o u s and s a d i s t i c J e h o v a h " (p. 1 0 9 ) , he i m p l i e s t h a t i f Sutpen i s l i k e Jehovah, t h e n Jehovah must i n some ways be l i k e S utpen. B o t h t h e god and t h e man a r e t h e r e b y f o r c e d on our c o n s c i o u s n e s s and need t o be r e -e v a l u a t e d . The B i b l e and Absalom a r e s e v e r a l t i m e s b r o u g h t i n t o o b v i o u s j u x t a p o s i t i o n . F a u l k n e r a l l u d e s t o some w e l l - k n o w n B i b l i c a l p a s s a g es i n o r d e r t o comment u n f a v o r a b l y on j u d e o V c h r i s t i a n t e a c h i n g s . I n h i s l e t t e r 193 t o J u d i t h , f o r i n s t a n c e , Bon d e s c r i b e s how t h e C o n f e d e r a t e s d i s c o v e r e d t h a t t h e i r Yankee s p o i l s c o n s i s t e d o n l y o f s t o v e p o l i s h . He e x p l a i n s t h a t t h e s o l d i e r s v i e w e d t h e U and t h e S on t h e boxes as " t h e symbol o f t h e s p o i l s w h i c h b e l o n g t o t h e v a n q u i s h e d " as d i d the " l o a v e s and t h e f i s h e s " i n B i b l i c a l t i m e s (p. 1 3 0 ) . Not o n l y does Bon argue t h a t t h e d e f e a t e d s o l d i e r s d e s e r v e God's mercy b u t he a l s o d e m o n s t r a t e s t h a t C h r i s t ' s l o v e i s i m p o t e n t s i n c e i t can o n l y s u p p l y what i s u s e l e s s . F a u l k n e r makes a s i m i l a r p o i n t when he has Mr. Compson contend t h a t t h e p o p u l a r maxim " S u f f e r l i t t l e c h i l d r e n t o come u n t o Me" c o n t a i n s s e m a n t i c a m b i g u i t i e s w h i c h d e s t r o y i t s o r t h o d o x C h r i s t i a n meaning: . . . and what d i d He mean by t h a t ? how, i f He meant t h a t l i t t l e c h i l d r e n s h o u l d need t o be s u f f e r e d t o a p p r o a c h Him,, what s o r t of e a r t h had He c r e a t e d ; t h a t i f t h e y had t o s u f f e r i n o r d e r t o a p p r o a c h Him, what s o r t o f Heaven d i d He have? (p. 1 9 8 ) . F a u l k n e r i n t e r p r e t s the B i b l e ' s i d e a l i s t i c h o p e f u l n e s s from a modern p e r -s p e c t i v e w h i c h t e l l s us t h a t l i v i n g e x p e r i e n c e r a r e l y l i v e s up t o t h e e x p e c t a t i o n s e s t a b l i s h e d by t h e B i b l e . P r o b i n g below t h e s u r f a c e o f B i b l i c a l r h e t o r i c , F a u l k n e r p o i n t s towards t h e f a i l i n g s o f o r t h o d o x C h r i s t i a n d o c t r i n e s . I t i s t o t h i s end t h a t Shreve c r i t i c i z e s Abraham's s t a t u r e as t h e B i b l i c a l p a t r i a r c h t o whom the w o r l d owes i t s m o r a l framework. A s s o c i a -t i n g Sutpen w i t h Abraham, Shreve t a k e s t h e s i d e o f Abraham's sons and comments: . . . who s h o u l d do t h e p a y i n g i f n o t h i s s o n s , h i s g e t , because wasn't i t done t h a t way i n the o l d days? t h e o l d Abraham f u l l o f y e a r s and weak and i n c a p a b l e now o f f u r t h e r harm, caught a t l a s t and t h e c a p t a i n s and the c o l l e c t o r s s a y i n g , 'Old man, we dont want you' and Abraham would s a y , ' P r a i s e t h e . L o r d , I .-have r a i s e d about me sons t o b e a r t h e b u r d e n o f mine i n i q u i t i e s and p e r s e c u t i o n s ; y e a , p e r h a p s even t o r e s t o r e my f l o c k s and h e r d s from t h e hand o f t h e r a v i s h e r : t h a t I m i ght r e s t mine eyes upon my goods and c h a t t e l s , u pon, t h e g e n e r a t i o n s o f them and of my d e s c e n d a n t s i n c r e a s e d an hundred f o l d as my s o u l g o e t h o u t from me' (p. 3 2 5 ) . 194 I m i t a t i n g B i b l i c a l r h e t o r i c i n a mocking t o n e , Shreve f o r m u l a t e s what Abraham may r e a l l y have been l i k e as o p p o s e d t o t h e f l a t t e r i n g p i c t u r e t h e B i b l e p a i n t s of him. L i n k i n g Sutpen w i t h an a r c h e t y p a l f a t h e r f i g u r e endows him w i t h d e p t h and u n i v e r s a l i t y w h i l e a s s o c i a t i n g Abraham w i t h a w i l l f u l and c r u e l f a t h e r g i v e s a n e g a t i v e c o l o r i n g t o t h e esteem t h e p a t r i a r c h has t r a d i t i o n a l l y e n j o y e d . By b r i n g i n g t h e B i b l e and Absalom i n t o j u x t a p o s i t i o n , F a u l k n e r changes t h e meaning o f b o t h t e x t s and a l s o g i v e s p r i o r i t y t o i n t e r -t e x t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s o v e r t h o s e between t h e n o v e l and l i v i n g r e a l i t y . F a u l k n e r e x p l o i t s gaps between modern e x p e r i e n c e and t r a d i t i o n a l a t -t i t u d e s i n o r d e r t o v o i c e b i t t e r n e s s and d i s a p p o i n t m e n t i n a m o r a l a u t h o r i t y t h a t r e v e a l s i t s e l f as i n a d e q u a t e . Simon uses l i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s f o r a s i m i l a r p u r p o s e , e x c e p t t h a t h i s f r u s t r a t i o n d i r e c t s i t s e l f a g a i n s t e p i s -t e m o l o g i c a l r a t h e r t h a n m o r a l a u t h o r i t i e s . L a Route r e p r e s e n t s a modern example o f t h e B i l d u n g s r o m a n w i t h Georges s e a r c h i n g f o r knowledge o f t h e s e l f and t h e w o r l d . H i s s e a r c h l e a d s him t o a s k some b a s i c e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l q u e s t i o n s : How does one know? I s knowledge p o s s i b l e ? I n c l a s s i c a l q u e s t n o v e l s l i k e P e r c e v a l , S i m p l i c i s s i m u s , W i l h e l m M e i s t e r , Le P e r e G o r i o t , t h e a u t h o r e x p r e s s e s some c o n f i d e n c e t h a t knowledge i s a t t a i n a b l e . The h e r o u s u a l l y f i n d s ( s e l f - ) knowledge by means o f e x p e r i e n c e and/or t h r o u g h some w i s e t e a c h e r s . I n t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y t h e s i t u a t i o n i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t and Simon sums i t up by q u o t i n g f r o m O l g a B e r n a r d : ". . . s i l e roman du XIXe s i e c l e e t a i t un roman du s a v o i r , l e roman moderne e s t e s s e n t i e l l e m e n t 17 un roman du n o n - s a v o i r . " Georges i s p r e p a r e d t o f o l l o w i n P e r c e v a l ' s f o o t s t e p s b u t f i n d s t h a t a l l a u t h o r i t i e s c r u m b l e a t h i s approach.. T u r n i n g t o t h e c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e f o r h i s main s o u r c e of knowledge, Georges a p p e a l s 195 t o e v e r y t h i n g he has r e a d , s e e n , and h e a r d i n t h e f o r m o f l i t e r a t u r e , m yths, t h e B i b l e , h i s t o r y , a n t h r o p o l o g y , t h e v i s u a l a r t s , g o s s i p , anec-d o t e s , and t h e newspapers. F r u s t r a t e d by t h e l a c k of d i s t i n c t i o n between f a c t and f i c t i o n , Georges t r i e s a g a i n and a g a i n t o make sense o u t o f t h e R e i x a c h l e g e n d i n o r d e r t o p r o v e t o h i m s e l f t h a t knowledge i s p o s s i b l e . The R e i x a c h l e g e n d l e n d s i t s e l f t o an argument about f a c t and f i c t i o n b ecause i t m a n i f e s t s t h e way i n w h i c h f i c t i o n i n v e n t s , e m b r o i d e r s , and d i s t o r t s f a c t s . A l l Georges knows f o r c e r t a i n about de R e i x a c h i s t h a t he has m a r r i e d a p r e t t y woman who i s much younger t h a n h i m s e l f and t h a t he i s k i l l e d by a s n i p e r d u r i n g t h e F r e n c h r e t r e a t i n F l a n d e r s . What he knows about t h e a n c e s t o r i s even l e s s t a n g i b l e and r e s t s e n t i r e l y on d u b i o u s p o r t r a i t s and on e x a g g e r a t e d f a m i l y g o s s i p . * From t h e s e meagre f a c t s Georges and Blum c r e a t e a n e t w o r k o f c o n j e c t u r e s w h i c h owes much o f i t s v i v i d n e s s t o t h e way i n w h i c h t h e two young men e x p l o i t t h e c o n v e n t i o n s o f l i t e r a t u r e , drama, and t h e v i s u a l a r t s . These c o n v e n t i o n s a r e b o t h con-t r i b u t i n g and u n d e r m i n i n g t h e c r e d i b i l i t y o f t h e R e i x a c h l e g e n d . They add v e r i s i m i l i t u d e b e c a u s e , a l l u d i n g t o f a m i l i a r s t r u c t u r e s and e x p l a n a t i o n s , t h e y a p p e a l t o our sense o f t h e u n i v e r s a l . B u t , by o p e n l y i d e n t i f y i n g them-s e l v e s as a r t i f i c i a l c o n s t r u c t s , t h e y d e s t r o y t h e i l l u s i o n o f immediate r e a l i t y and a s s e r t t h e l e g e n d ' s f i c t i o n a l o r i g i n . Simon r e i n f o r c e s t h e t e n s i o n of f a c t and f i c t i o n t h r o u g h t h e a r g u m e n t a t i v e d i a l o g u e s between Georges and Blum. Blum o f t e n mocks Georges' s t y l e o f n a r r a t i o n as b e i n g * C f . p. 90: ".. . . s e l o n l a t r a d i t i o n l a v e r s i o n f l a t t e u s e l e g e n d e f a m i l i a l e " ; p. 289: ". . . ces s e m p i t e r n e l l e s h i s t o i r e s de f a m i l l e , d ' a n c e t r e s . . .". 196 too literary as in the following exchange: [Georges:] mais i l en a eu assez i l l'a chassee Ou plutot repudiee [Blum:] re. . .comment dis-tu repudiee sans blague Comme au theatre alors Comme oui (p. 129). In Blum's opinion, Georges belongs to those people who "aiment tellement faire de la tragedie du drame du roman" (p. 278).* Indeed, Blum is constant-ly accusing Georges of drawing his material from literary rather than factual sources: "Mais tu paries comme un l i v r e ! . . .," (p. 222) and "C,a n'existe pas. Seulement dans les li v r e s . Tu as trop lu de liv r e s . . ." (p. 131). Through the playful conflict between Georges' often.unwitting literary tendency and Blum's querulous, sceptical attitude, Simon high-lights the hold the cultural heritage has on the human imagination. Challenged by Blum's scepticism towards his sources, Georges oc-casionally tries to support his hypothetical interpretations with references to the so-called facts of l i f e . He repeatedly mentions news items ("faits divers") because they are supposedly objective accounts of everyday events. When Blum contends that the gun with which the lame man threatens the Mayor's Assessor was perhaps not loaded, Georges counters: "Mais peut-etre e t a i t - i l charge quelquefois ca arrive On en voit tous les matins dans les journaux" (p. 278). Georges relies again on journalistic sensationalism when he needs to settle his suicide theory with Blum. Having listened to the suicide arguments Georges uses to explain the deaths of the two Reixach, Blum contrasts the l i f e of the idle rich with that of the working poor and concludes that in his family and neighborhood people were too busy working *Cf. also p. 288: "Du theatre de la tragedie du roman invente. . ." 197 to think about k i l l i n g themselves. Stubbornly Georges queries Blum's obser-vation by countering: "N'empeche que ca arrive,. . . II n'y a qu'a l i r e les journaux. II y a tous les jours des choses comme ca dans les journaux" (p. 287). In addition to newspapers, Georges cites anecdotal evidence to support his observations. Anecdotes are items of gossip or narratives of an interesting or striking incident and as such they pretend to originate in experienced or observed reality. Examples of Georges' anecdotal commomplaees include: "Apres tout, j ' a i bien lu quelque part que des prisonniers avaient bu leur urine. . ." (p. 72); "on dit que les cadavres sont parfois capables de reflexes" (p. 90); "j'avais lu que les naufrages les ermites se nourris-saient de racines de glands" (p. 259); "Ou avais-je lu cette histoire dans Kipling je crois ce conte. . ." (p. 45); and "pensant a ces recits d'expedi-tions au pole oil l'on raconte que la peau reste attachee au fer gele" (p. 31). Although the facts of l i f e Georges gleans from news items and anecdotes no longer derive directly from literature, they are nevertheless evidence of a pre-coded verbal system. Although Georges tends to defend his use of cultural allusions, he i s in fact aware that his observations do not necessarily coincide with a pos-sible reality. His defense is more a reaction to Blum's challenge than an innate belief in his assertions. Simon indicates periodically that Georges is frustrated by the gap between fi c t i o n and fact. When Georges meets Corinne after the war, he differentiates clearly between the woman "fabriquee pendant les longs mois de guerre, de captivite" (p. 230) and the one he w i l l be touching in a moment. Georges i s also forced to admit that his narrative of the relationship between Corinne and Iglesia is at best suspect since 198 C o r i n n e now d e n i e s a l l i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h t h e j o c k e y . I n r e t r o s p e c t , he t h e r e -f o r e c o n c l u d e s " q u ' i l n'y a v a i t . p e u t - e t r e de r e e l dans .tout. c e c i que de vagues r a c o n t a r s e t medisances e t l e s v a n t a r d i s e s a u x q u e l l e s deux a d o l e s c e n t s cap-t i f s i m a g i n a t i f s e t s e v r e s de femmes l e [ i g l e s i a ] p o u s s e r e n t " (p. 3 0 4 ) . I n s t e a d o f p r o v i d i n g a p o r t r a i t c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o r e a l i t y , Georges c r e a t e s a s e l f -c o n t a i n e d f i c t i o n a l u n i v e r s e w h i c h can e x i s t and be m a n i p u l a t e d w i t h o u t any n e c e s s a r y r e f e r e n c e t o t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d . Georges i s o b s e s s e d w i t h t h e R e i x a c h l e g e n d n o t because he a c t u a l l y b e l i e v e s he can d i s c o v e r what r e a l l y happened b u t because he e n j o y s r e c o n s t r u c t i n g i m a g i n a r y e v e n t s . I m p r i s o n e d by t h e u n n a t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s o f war, t h e a c t o f n a r r a t i o n becomes a l i f e - s u s t a i n i n g e n t e r p r i s e i n t h e t r a d i t i o n o f S cheherazade who s a ved h e r . l i f e by e n t e r t a i n -i n g t h e K i n g w i t h a thousand-and-one s t o r i e s . * Georges and Blum keep d e s p a i r and r e s i g n a t i o n a t bay by o c c u p y i n g t h e m s e l v e s w i t h e l a b o r a t i o n s on t h e R e i x a c h l e g e n d : . . . i l s e s s a y a i e n t de se t r a n s p o r t e r p a r p r o c u r a t i o n ( c ' e s t - a -d i r e au moyen de l e u r i m a g i n a t i o n , c ' e s t - a - d i r e en r a s s e m b l a n t e t combinant t o u t ce q u ' i l s p o u v a i e n t t r o u v e r dans l e u r memoire en f a i t de c o n n a i s s a n c e s v u e s , entendues ou l u e s de f a c o n . . . a f a i r e s u r g i r l e s images c h a t o y a n t e s e t l u m i n e u s e s au moyen de l'ephemere, 1 ' i n c a n t a t o i r e magie du l a n g a g e , des mots i n v e n t e s dans l ' e s p o i r de r e n d r e c o m e s t i b l e . . . l'innommable r e a l i t e . . . (p. 1 8 4 ) . A l t h o u g h " c o n n a i s s a n c e s v u e s , entendues ou l u e s " o f f e r no d i r e c t a c c e s s to e x p e r i e n c e , t h e y a r e o f t e n t h e o n l y knowledge a v a i l a b l e and l i b e r a t e c r e -a t i v e e n e r g i e s o r l i f e - s u s t a i n i n g f o r c e s unknown t o more e m p i r i c a l forms o f i n q u i r y . *See John B a r t h ' s Chimera f o r a modern i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f S cheherazade's r o l e . 199 Literary allusions are usually tautological in that they express in a different code what a narrative has already described. They do not add but qualify or confirm information. Faulkner's use of a p i c t o r i a l code in Absalom illustrates this function of cultural references. The novel never leaves any doubt that the Sutpen family appeals to Quentin's imagination because i t is out of the ordinary. Faulkner reinforces this impression when he draws our attention to a family portrait, "a picture, a group which even to Quentin had a quality strange, contradictory and bizarre" (p. 14) and when he indicates that the Sutpen family exhibits the kind of unreality suggesting "a sort of l i f e l e s s and perennial bloom like painted portraits hung in a vacuum" (p. 75). The references to paint-ings imply, in concentrated form, the sense of imprisonment and arrested time the novel develops in other ways. Faulkner also conveys the scene of Henry's v i s i t to New Orleans almost entirely with the help of the p i c t o r i a l code. He indicates, for instance, that Henry is an uninitiated v i s i t o r to the city because the women he sees appear to him "like painted portraits beside men in linen" (p. 110). More importantly, he describes Bon's manipu-lation of Henry's reactions to moral corruption i n terms of an accumulative succession of images which do not at f i r s t betray "what the complete picture would show" (p. 111). Later in the novel, when Bon's wife and son v i s i t Sutpen's Hundred, their ephemeral appearance "must have resembled a garden scene by the Irish poet, Wilde" (p. 193). Indeed, the octoroon's delicacy suggests "a woman. . . whom the ar t i s t Beardsley might have dressed" and her son resembles a " l i t t l e boy whom Beardsley might not only have dressed but drawn" (p. 193). Faulkner evokes visually an atmosphere of unreality 200 he had already advanced through purely verbal (non-visual) descriptions. What is brought in from outside the text serves to reinforce what the text is already saying so that references to the pic t o r i a l code work from inside the text outward towards cultural concepts. This means that the reader need not necessarily know what a Beardsley drawing looks l i k e in order to understand the significance of the allusion. The verbal description of Bon's wife and son indicates already what kind of drawing Faulkner had in mind. Many of Simon's literary allusions are .tautological in much the same way as Faulkner's. Georges tends to support descriptions of his own experiences, and of observations about others, with references to cultural commonplaces. He emphasizes, for instance, that Iglesia's face is "par-faitement neutre, absent" and adds that i t i s like "un de ces masques mortuaires azteques ou incas. . ." (p. 137). The verbal portrait i s complete in i t s e l f so that the death mask image functions primarily as a visual reinforcement. A similar process applies to the account of Wack's death. Georges t e l l s i n some detail how a bullet l i f t s Wack out of his saddle and then contributes the visual complement: ". . . comme s ' i l eontinuait a chevaucher quelque Pegase invisible" (p. 159). In some instances, how-ever, an allusion virtually takes the place of a personal observation. Georges, describing a hotel he came across i n Flanders, supplies details not from his own experience but from the conventional depiction of such hotels in "ces reclames pour une marque de biere anglaise" (p. 21). Simon, arguing that writing "happens" only during the process of writing, cites for evidence an incident from Stendhal which demonstrates the influence of cultural preconceptions on perception: 201 On ne decrit pas des choses qui pre-existent a l'ecriture mais ce qui se passe au prise de l'ecriture. C'est assez passionnant. II y a un exemple de ceci chez Stendhal dans La Vie d'Henri  Brulard, ou i l essaye de raconter avec exactitude sa vie. II en arrive au passage du St. Bernard par l'armee Napoleonienne: alors, tandis qu'il decrit cet episode, i l s'apercoit qu'il ne decrit pas ce qu'il a vu mais une gravure sur le meme sujet qu'il a vue apres coup et qui, comme 11 le dit, "a pris l a place de l a realite." II a ete temoin de cet evenement mais i l ne decrit qu'une representation de cet evenement.18 When Georges turns to descriptions of more or less imaginary scenes, he relies almost entirely on visual and literary conventions. Trying to capture the nature of the ancestor's wife, Georges speaks of "ce sourire indolent, candide, cruel, que l'on.peut voir sur certains portraits des femmes de cette epoque. . ." (p. 281). Since Georges cannot provide an exact portrait of the woman as a unique individual, he resorts to visual stereotypes of the period in which she lived. In his imaginary excursions into the past, Georges does not really "invent" people but creates them out of the store of knowledge he owes to his education and family back-ground. The scene of the returning husband who surprises his adulterous wife provides perhaps the best example of how the imagination "copies" what is already familiar. When Georges f i r s t alludes to the scene, he indicates that his source could be called "quelque chose dans le style d'une de ces gravures intitulees 1'Amant Surpris ou la F i l l e Seduite" (p. 85). Georges later proceeds to render in vivid detail what Blum (and the reader) assumes to be the account of an existing etching. But, i t turns out that there never was such an etching.and that Georges models himself on a convention that has been so fu l l y absorbed by his culture that i t no longer needs a tangible referent. Indeed, the theme of "1'Amant Surpris ou la F i l l e Seduite" i s so intricately bound up with certain visual conventions that 202 Georges would make the connection even i f he had never seen an etching of the type i n question. In other words, Georges uses a v i s u a l referent which may have been transmitted to him either v i s u a l l y or indeed only v e r b a l l y . Simon i s dealing here with a r e a l i t y that i s deferred through a series of c u l t u r a l referents. He thereby exposes the usually hidden tendency of l i t e r a r y texts to base themselves on c u l t u r a l knowledge rather than on l i v i n g a c t u a l i t y . 5. L i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s and a r b i t r a r i n e s s I t i s usually assumed that l i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s have some d i r e c t con-nection with the "content" context i n which they appear. Although the c u l -t u r a l code can be considered superfluous from an informational viewpoint, the reader expects to f i n d meaningful correspondences between text and pretext. He a n t i c i p a t e s , for instance, that a l l u s i o n s add depth to the text and contribute to a complicity between author and reader that i s based on a shared c u l t u r a l background. Moreover, Faulkner obviously takes much pleasure i n find i n g appropriate a l l u s i o n s f or Absalom and encourages the reader to appreciate his s k i l l . At the same time, i t appears that appropriateness becomes a secondary consideration and that Faulkner has included many a l l u s i o n s for t h e i r sound and rhythm. Faulkner i s known for using and coining unusual words whose e f f e c t depends p r i m a r i l y on formal q u a l i t i e s . * When Faulkner speaks of "Cassandralike" (p. 22), of the " b i t t e r purlieus of Styx" (p. 69), of " s y b a r i t i c privacy" (p. 96), of a *Cf. p. 146: "I became a l l polymath love's androgynous advocate." 203 "bucolic maiden" (p. 128), of "some chimaerafoal of nightmare's very self" (p. 141), of "Lothario" (p. 102), "Lancelot" (p. 320), "Guinevere" (p. 174), and of "Camelots and Carcassonnes" (p. 160), he creates the distinct im-pression that these allusions are included more for- their sonorous and rhythmic appeal than for what they denote. The tendency towards formal jus t i f i c a t i o n for allusions reflects the relatively arbitrary nature of the connection linking text and pretext. This arbitrary aspect goes hand in hand with the fundamental redundancy Barthes associates with the cultural code, and, in Absalom, i t exists more or less in the shadow of interpretations searching for reasons of appropriateness and denotation. In La Route, literary allusions enjoy a relatively active and i n -dependent status and are rarely used to support and comment on the liv i n g reality the text i s presumably imitating. Intertextual relations rather than thematic appropriateness dictate the process that goes into selecting cultural allusions. If we investigate the kind of connections existing between text and pretext, i t becomes obvious that cultural allusions generate certain a r t i f i c i a l associations. What, for instance, i s the con-nection between the hole or "wound" on the ancestor's forehand and "ces images ou ces statues de saints dont les yeux ou les stigmates se remettent a pleurer ou a saigner une ou deux fois par siecle. . ." (p. 79)? The hypothetical blood on the ancestor's forehead conjures up other bleeding wounds by means of a metonymic chain mechanism. Georges refers to the legend of the saints not because i t offers a comment on the ancestor's situation or because i t i s analogous to i t , but only because of a visual similarity. The comparison between clouds in the sky and "ces orgueilleuses armadas 204 apparemment posees immobiles sur l a mer. . ." (p. 166) bases i t s e l f on an even more capricious connection. The analogy is really between clouds in the sky and ships on the sea and, turning the ships into "orgueilleuses armadas," adds a cultural reference to an already conventional image. It seems that Simon refers to "armadas" mainly because he likes the word. The suspicion that allusions are sometimes privileged over the descriptions they supposedly support is reinforced.in a scene involving Georges and Corinne. Observing Corinne's arm moving along her thigh, Georges comments that this gesture was "comme un animal comme un col de cygne invertebre se faufilant le long de la hanche de Leda" (p. 262). The momentum of the comparison moves away from the i n i t i a l gesture and makes Leda the main focus of attention. The connection between the arm movement and the swan's neck acts merely as a background and jus t i f i c a t i o n for the main image linking Corinne and Leda. It i s , however, in cases where the con-nection between description and allusion is purely verbal that Simon fully exploits intertextual p o s s i b i l i t i e s . The following passage, refer-ring to the assumption that de Reixach knows that Corinne sleeps with other men, represents a case in point: . . .sachant sans doute parfaitement des ce moment ce qui l'at-tendait, ayant accepte par avance ayant assume ayant par avance consomme s i l'on peut dire cette Passion, avec cette difference que le l i e u l e centre l'autel n'en etait pas une colline chauve, mais ce suave et tendre et vertigineux et brouissailleux et secret r e p l i de l a chair. . . (p. 13). Sexual jealousy and the crucifixion of Christ have only a tenuous thematic connection: the association rests almost purely on the double meaning of 205 the word "passion."* Although the passage betrays an obvious s a c r i l i g i o u s i n t e n t i o n , i t owes i t s primary impetus to a l i n g u i s t i c and hence thematical-l y a r b i t r a r y connection.. Contrary to t h e i r conventional r o l e as passive commentators, i n t e r t e x t u a l references now p a r t i c i p a t e a c t i v e l y i n weaving the textual surface. 6. L i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s as s t r u c t u r a l paradigms _ Most l i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s i n Absalom and La Route are taken from a wide v a r i e t y of sources and provide an encyclopaedic dimension i n which no one pretext r e a l l y dominates. I t i s , however, possible to discover s t r u c t u r a l paradigms that contribute to the o v e r a l l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the novels. Faulkner's novel, for instance, alludes to the story of King David and h i s sons i n the t i t l e Absalom, Absalom'. Neither Sutpen nor h i s sons are ever e x p l i c i t l y i d e n t i f i e d with the Old Testament figures so that the t i t l e i n v i t e s the reader to contemplate the u n i v e r s a l implications of Faulkner's story. Another main s t r u c t u r a l p a r a l l e l i n Absalom concentrates on the con-nections between the House of Sutpen and the House of Atreus. C r i t i c s have of course amply documented the presence and s i g n i f i c a n c e of b i b l i c a l and mythological paradigms i n the novel. Lind o f f e r s perhaps the most i n c l u s i v e analysis of the s i m i l a r i t i e s between Absalom and the two f a m i l i a r myths. She suspects.that "the Oedipus t r i l o g y might have served as a general guide i n the d r a f t i n g of the p l o t , " sees "continuing (though loose) analogies which e x i s t between Sutpen and Oedipus, Sutpen's sons and Eteocles and Polyneices, Judith and Antigone," and believes that the c o n f l i c t between Absalom and *Cf. also p. 80 where the choir boy's cross i s likened to a penis. 206 Amnon over their sister must have been on Faulkner's mind during the writing 19 of Absalom. Although the structural analogies.are indeed loose, they sug-gest a systematic attention to the cultural heritage on Faulkner's part. The reasons for aligning himself with a long literary tradition are of course complex and to some extent no doubt subconscious. Absalom certainly gains greater universality from i t s association with archetypal themes. At the same time, i t sets i t s e l f off from the literary tradition,in that i t treats familiar subjects differently and uniquely. And, fin a l l y , i t suggests an awareness of literary creation as a textual activity that inter-acts constantly with other texts. The structural paradigm for La Route does not take the same explicit form as in Absalom. Moreover, the paradigm Simon chooses focuses on questions of literary production rather than on subject matter. What fascinates Simon about language is i t s power to transform reality in a sometimes near-miraculous fashion that calls to mind Ovid's Metamorphoses..Consciously or unconsciously, Simon's attitude and choice of metaphor correspond to what Edward Said identifies as the structuralists' "faith in the i r r e s i s t i b l e metamorphic powers of language. For i f one text might serve them a l l as a banner i t i s Ovid's Metamorphoses, that celebration of reality as cease-20 less transformation and unhindered function for i t s own sake." La Route offers an indirect but unmistakable reference to Ovid's work when Georges argues that the soldiers have been changed into "quelque chose comme des betes" and then recalls that he has read "quelque part une histoire comme ca, des types metamorphoses d'un coup de baguette en cochons ou en arbres ou en cailloux, le tout par le moyen de vers latins. . ." (p. 100). The 207 concept of metamorphosis aptly reflects.Simon's belief that language has the power to change people's perception of reality and hence influence human action. Word games hold a special fascination for Simon because their ef-fect i s entirely linguistic. Reminiscent of the kind of transformations depicted in the Metamorphoses, Georges links the generative sequence of "moule poulpe pulpe vulve" (pp. 41-42) to a "creuset originel" which i s . . .semblable i c e s moules dans lesquels enfant i l . avait appris a estamper soldats et cavaliers, rien qu'un peu de pate pressee du pouce, 1'innombrable engeance sortie toute armee et casquee selon l a legende et se multipliant grouillant se repandant sur la surface de la terre. . . (p. 42). Simon expresses the attraction such transformations'.inspire by associating the creation of toy soldiers with " l a boite de Pandore" (p. 258). .The process of creation we find described in the Metamorphoses takes many different forms in La Route. In the novel's unstable universe, characters turn into each other, past and present become one, word associations change our reading habits, and the fragmented narrative structure transforms, our perceptual preconceptions;. Simon realizes that literature has always had the power to bring about the impossible. In La Route he occasionally evokes the combination of fascination and'.ihorror children enjoy so much in fairy tales. He speaks, for instance, of an old woman who thinks she has hired a woman servant and, in the course of the evening, discovers that the servant is a disguised man who w i l l no doubt assassinate her (p. 79). In another place he resorts to a fairy tale analogy in order to convey Georges' disappointment at finding an old and ugly woman instead of the expected beautiful g i r l . Georges speaks of himself as: . . . le cavalier le conquerant botte venu chercher au fond de la nuit au fond du temps seduire enlever l a l i l i a l e princesse dont j'avais reve depuis des annees et au moment ou je croyais l ' a t -208 teindre, l a prendre.dans mes bras, les refermant, enserrant, me trouvant face a face avec une horrible et goyesque v i e i l l e . . . (p. 267). Such transformations of something pleasant into something unpleasant are gratifying because the shock of sudden recognition appeals to our ap-preciation of reversed expectations. Simon obviously chose the Metamorphoses as a paradigm for the process of fi c t i o n because i t makes "impossible" transformations believable. Although we know that people do not turn into stones or trees, Ovid convinces us that, within the framework of his work, they do. Similarly, Simon knows that there is no organic connection between "moule" and "poulpe" but within his f i c t i o n a l universe, he too makes us believe that there i s . Although f i c t i o n i s an artifact, with often tenuous connnections to reality, i t nevertheless influences and perhaps even governs human perception' and behavior. 7,. Literary allusions as self-quotations Intertextuality works primarily with references to the cultural heritage as a whole. However, both Faulkner and Simon occasionally resort to more limited categories of literary allusions. In Absalom and La Route, for instance, we find scattered allusions to other works by their authors. Faulkner includes i n Absalom characters from Sartoris, The Unvanquished, The Sound and the Fury. These characters play only minor roles or provide a readily recognizable background.to the general history of Yoknapatawpha county. There are at least six references to Colonel Sartoris (pp. 80, 121, 124, 126, 152, 189)several to Judge Benbow (pp. 170, 211, 212), two each to Mc Casiin (pp. 152, 275) and 209 and Bayard (pp. 174, 360), and several to Major De Spain (p. 291). More-over, in the "Genealogy Annex" to Absalom, the entry on Quentin Compson includes his death in 1910, an event that is not treated in Absalom but forms a major episode in The Sound and the Fury. Faulkner's characters, like those of Balzac, have a tendency to reappear in several novels and give the impression of belonging to a self-enclosed social universe. Simon's characters manifest similar tendencies. The references in La Route to Simon's other works are mostly to L'Herbe, La Bataille de Pharsale, and Tryptique. Simon mentions a character (Sabine) by describing her (p. 52), refers to Marie and Eugenie (p. 170) by name, and draws attention to Pierre and Sabine by alluding to a situation which is more fully developed in L'Herbe. The reader familiar with L'Herbe i s immediately reminded of the evening meal scenes in that novel when La Route describes how "Georges venait s'asseoir a table dans sa salopette souillee, avec ses mains non pas souillees mais pour ainsi dire incrustees de terre et de cambouis" (p. 234). Simon's self-quotations address themselves not only to characters but also to images. References to a "glace de l'armoire" (p. 42), to "talons couleur d'abricot" (p. 192), to "pilon rouge" (p. 193), and to "j'avais deja lu en l a t i n ce qui m'est arrive" (p. 100)" evoke key images and themes from Tryptique and La Bataille de Pharsale. La Route distinguishes i t s e l f from Absalom in that i t s self-quotations refer not only to previous texts l i k e L'Herbe but also to later ones like La Bataille de Pharsale and Tryptique. In a sense, then, La Route can be said to repeat not only a past that has already happened but also a future that is s t i l l to come. Although La Bataille de Pharsale repeats images from La Route, the reader experiences 210 the La B a t a i l l e de Pharsale a l l u s i o n s as i f they were i n f a c t p r i o r to La Route. What i s more important than temporal succession i s the closed f i c t i o n a l universe Simon e s t a b l i s h e s through i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y . The s e l f -quotations demonstrate the n o n - r e f e r e n t i a l i t y of f i c t i o n i n a para-d o x i c a l way. The mimetic code s p e c i f i e s that names of people and places increase the sense of r e a l i t y i n a t e x t . The f a c t that the reader i s already thoroughly f a m i l i a r w i t h characters l i k e Bayard (from S a r t o r i s ) or Sabine (from L'Herbe) increases the v e r i s i m i l i t u d e of Absalom and La Route i n much the same way as do references to Napoleon i n Le Rouge  et l e n o i r . Faulkner and Simon i n s e r t an e x p l i c i t l y f i c t i o n a l character i n t o the syntax of the mimetic code. S e l f - q u o t a t i o n s accord p r i o r i t y to i n t e r t e x t u a l r e l a t i o n s and expose the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of conventions governing mimesis. 8. L i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s to contemporary authors A s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t form of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y concerns La Route's use of e x p l i c i t references to Absalom. Some of the more obvious examples r e s o r t to v a r i a t i o n s on s i m i l a r t r a n s i t i o n a l sentences: Quentin seemed to see them. . .(p. 14). Quentin seemed to watch. . . (p. 21). I t seemed to Quentin that he could a c t u a l l y see them. . . (p. 132). I t seemed to Quentin t h a t he could a c t u a l l y see them. . . (p. 189). Et i l me semblalt y e t r e , v o i r c e l a . . . (p. 19). . . . i l l u i semblait toujours l a v o i r . . . (p. 41). . . . i l l u i semblait toujours v o i r ce. buste r a i d e . . . (p. 72). . . . i l l u i sembla q u ' i l l e v o y a i t reellement. . . (p. 79). Moreover, Sutpen's " f i n e f i g u r e " reappears i n La Route as de Reixach's "buste r a i d e . " A s i m i l a r image denotes i n both novels a r i s t o c r a t i c p r i d e 211 and stoicism in that both. Sutpen and de Reixach exemplify standards of conduct that are perhaps admirable but also antiquated and faintly ridiculous: . . . watching the proud galloping image merge and pass... . to the fine climax where i t galloped without weariness or progress, forever and forever immortal beneath the brandished saber. . . (p. 288). . . . brandissant cette arme inutile et derisoire dans un geste hereditaire de statue equestre que l u i avaient probablement transmis des generations de sabreurs. . . (p. 12). The statuesque quality of the two figures on horseback and the gesture of the l i f t e d sabre in the face of an automated army suggest in both novels a conflict between old and new values. In another instance,- Simon and Faulkner exploit the double meaning of words in order to imply a close connection between sex and violence. Speaking of the old Sutpen's desperate attempt to produce an heir, Faulkner compares him to a cannon with "just one more shot in i t s corporeality" (p. 279), that i s , a cannon which "can deliver just one more fierce shot" (p. 181). Simon uses a similar double meaning when he says of the lame man's sexual jealousy and love of guns: "Apres tout i l a bien le droit de tirer son coup l u i aussi. . ." (p. 276). Perhaps the most deliberate parallel between Absalom and La Route can be found in two descriptive passages: . . . they not progressing parallel in time but descending per-pendicularly through temperature and climate. . . an attenuation from a kind of furious inertness and patient immobility. . . to a sort of dreamy and destinationless locomotion. . . during which they did not seem to progress at a l l but just to hang suspended while the earth i t s e l f altered, flattened and broadened out of the mountain cove. . . (p. 224-25). . . . les quatre cavaliers et les cinq chevaux somnambuliques et non pas avancant mais levant et reposant les pieds sur place pratiquement immobiles sur l a route, l a carte l a vaste 212 surface de l a terre les pres les hois, se deplacant lentement sous et autour d'eux. . . (p. 302). Although Simon clearly "borrows";'.ideas from Faulkner, this "borrowing" is not a case of imitation or influence. When Simon incorporates pas-sages from Faulkner's novel in La Route, he exploits them for his own' purposes. Although Simon encourages the reader to recognize and identify "borrowed" material, he also expects him to understand that the new context changes the meaning and significance of this material. In a later novel, La Bataille de Pharsale, Simon cites extensively from Proust's A l a recherche. This novel makes i t even more obvious than La Route that the quoted material becomes an integral part of the borrowing text. As van Rossum-Guillon point out, quotations usually refer to peripheral material in A l a recherche rather than to crucial and often-cited pas-sages. She argues that the Proust quotations follow "une logique purement' 21 associative," which means that the"'forme et couleur des mots' et tout ce que ces mots, pris en eux-memes, permettent d'evoquer. . . sont ex-22 ploites." The Proust fragments in La Bataille de Pharsale establish connections with A l a recherche that are formal rather than thematic. Although the i n i t i a l meaning of the Proust sentence may be preserved, i t i s dislocated when appropriated by La Bataille de Pharsale. La Route, too, absorbs quotations from Absalom in such a way that Faulkner's mean-ing Is deflected and subordinated to the exigencies of Simon's own text. In this kind of formal borrowing, the pretext precludes direct contact with reality even more radically than in other forms of intertextuality. 213 ?.'; Conclusion Cultural allusions in Absalom and La Route raise the often debated question whether literature has i t s source in art or in l i f e . Romantic interpretations of the creative process and mimetic ambitions to imitate reality both.measure a r t i s t i c achievements according to how closely a text reproduces immediate sensations and observations. The aim of romantic and mimetic art is thus to become l i f e . It i s with this predisposition that Slatoff, for instance, evaluates Faulkner's attitude to language. He argues that Faulkner desires to "transcend the usual rational processes because of "an obvious discontent with the a b i l i t y of language to convey 23 truth." According to Slatoff, Faulkner views words as "empty substitutes for feeling and experience" and consequently suffers from a disturbing "chasm between l i f e and print." However, language is inadequate as a vehicle for truth only as long as art must serve l i f e . If words are freed from this servitude and granted a reality of their own, they participate in a system of signification which conveys perceptual processes as they really work. Human perception is inevitably influenced by cultural precon-ceptions which are passed along through oral, written, and visual traditions. Every literary work therefore incorporates traces of other literary works and of other cultural systems. Michael Riffaterre's concentration on intertextuality successfully challenges the myth of the autonomous text. In his analysis of Wordsworth's "Yew Trees," he demonstrates that poems owe their effect to generative chains that duplicate the same facts in constantly changing codes. Arguing that poetic discourse, even in i t s most descriptive forms, refers always to i t s e l f and not to outside reality, he 214 elaborates: In a poem, the descriptive sentence i s a chain of derivations. Each word is generated by positive or negative conformity with the preceding one—that i s , either by synonymy or by antonymy— and the sequence is thus tautological or oxymoric.25 Literary allusions organize generative sequences which are predominantly: tautological. In Absalom and La Route, they repeat the same statements the texts have already established in different codes. To speak of the lame man in La Route as Othello simply confirms that the jealous man i s indeed a jealous man. This does not mean that the tautology i s a gratuitous redundancy on the contrary, i t carries several messages. The allusion to Othello deepens the meaning of "jealousy" by linking the lame man's situa-tion with an illustrious and well-documented literary case history. But this link i s also ironic because of the discrepancy between the drab l i t t l e farmer and the heroic Othello. Moreover, the name Othello calls at-tention not only to a Shakespearean character but, because Othello has become a conventional literary cliche, i t also evokes a l l the other jealous characters in literature who have, at one time or another, been associated with Othello. Indeed, literary cliches are so entrenched in our reading habits that even those who have never read the Shakespeare tragedy are nevertheless capable of identifying Othello with jealousy. And, even i f the reader has never heard of Othello, the syntactical placement of the allusion would classify i t as an allusion and the context i n which i t ap-pears would suggest that Othello must have been a jealous man. The importance of literary allusions l i e s not so much in their appropriateness to a given situation as in their capacity to signal auto-referential dimensions of 215 literature. Allusions make the reader conscious of a text as text in that they c l a r i f y the extent to which our perceptions are influenced by already existing representations of "nature" or " l i f e . " Intertextuality therefore illuminates the fact that every literary text repeats, in one form or another, i t s precursors. Repetition, as a decentralizing activity, confirms the fundamental non-referentiality of literature. A l l texts participate in an i n f i n i t e l y regressive chain of pre-existing cultural systems but cannot be traced back to a source or an origin. Is the Sutpen legend, for instance, the imitation or the source of tragic events told in the Bible and Greek tragedy? Gilles Deleuze, basing himself on Peguy, argues that the f i r s t occurrence of an event i s already a repetition of i t s future reappearances: . . . ce n'est pas l a fete de l a Federation qui commemore ou represente l a prise de l a Bastille, c'est l a prise de l a Bastille qui fete et qui repete a 1'avance toutes les Federations; ou c'est le premier nymphea de Monet qui repete tous les autres.26 Allusions transform both text and pretext v so that neither of them can function as an imitation or a source. Intertextual processes expose clearly what Roland Barthes describes as the nature of a l l reading: Lire, c'est trouver des sens, et trouver des sens, c'est les nommer; mais ces sens nommes sont emportes vers d'autres noms; les noms s'appellent, se rassemblent et leur groupe-ment veut de nouveau se faire nommer: je nomme, je denomme, je renomme: ainsi passe le text: c'est une nomination en devenir, une approximation inlassable, un travail me-tonymique. 27 Barthes depicts reading as an activity that moves along by constantly turning back on.itself. The history of literature, too, progresses at the same time as i t remains essentially the same. Literature succeeds 216 not because i t reflects reality to a satisfactory degree but because i t organizes elements of pre-existing systems in constantly new arrangements. Faulkner and Simon consciously manipulate linguistic and cultural elements in order to achieve a kind of f i c t i o n that exists on i t s own and not as an imitation of l i f e . Georges' search for meaning reveals that perception is controlled by cultural conditioning as he inevitably and repeatedly f a l l s into a narrative that is composed of "des racontars. . . ou des bribes de phrases. . . de confidences ou plutot de grognements. . . ou. . . une gravure qui n'existait meme pas,. . . un portrait paint cent cinquante ans plus tot. . ." (pp.. 230-31). Georges, of course, believes in his own originality and is therefore frustrated by his ina b i l i t y to report even his own experiences with any kind of immediacy. Simon, however, understands that a l l actsrof perception are culturally determined and proposes a re-evaluation of how man knows and communicates. He thereby aligns himself with Derrida against the dominant epistemology. CONCLUSION 217 Repetition i s of great importance in Absalom and La Route because i t touches on most aspects of the literary text. Since repetition contributes to both the continuity and the discontinuity of a narrative, i t mediates between contradictory elements and different levels of the text. Although repetition may give the impression that i t aims to neutralize difference-, or to add redundant information, i t s operations are always far more complex. In experimental texts like Absalom and La Route, Faulkner and Simon exploit repetition to impose stability on the one hand and to reinforce flux and uncertainty on the other. The immediate repetition of words may simply intensify a situation or i t may introduce disconcerting ambiguities and unexpected formal innovations. Faulkner's reiteration of Quentin's "I dont hate i t , " for instance, ends Absalom on a note of unresolved tension, and Simon's structural pivots connect heterogeneous aspects of La Route by means of disruptive narrative switches. In many ways Faulkner and Simon tend to destabilize the very devices previously used to counteract disconti-nuities. Browning, according to Hawthorne, employed repetition in order to "create st a b i l i t y in the world of flux that permeates Sordello.""'" And Casey, speaking more generally about repetition and imagination, argues that the "employment of formal redundancies is one effective way of combat-•2 ting the disintegrative tendency of free imagining" so that the imagination's open-ended f i e l d of possibility i s "matched by a corresponding definiteness 3 of form" which is "achieved primarily by means of repetition." Although Faulkner and Simon seem to use repetition to bridge gaps between main nar-rative and digressions, this purpose is never f u l l y achieved. We are 218 conditioned to expect that d i g r e s s i o n s are subordinate to the main nar-r a t i v e and f i n d i t d i s c o n c e r t i n g when t h i s h i e r a r c h i c a l order i s reversed. Moreover, we are not used to t e x t s i n which d i g r e s s i o n s and main n a r r a t i v e have l i t t l e or no connection because we assume that t h e i r subject matter should be i n some way r e l a t e d . Faulkner and Simon are c o n s t a n t l y subverting the ordering c a p a c i t i e s of r e p e t i t i o n . Although r e c u r r i n g key-words u s u a l l y give a n a r r a t i v e coherence, t h e i r p r o l i f e r a t i o n i n Absalom and La Route o f t e n achieves the opposite e f f e c t . Not only do we l o s e our way i n a l a b y r i n t h of repeated words, but the words themselves appear i n so many d i f f e r e n t contexts that they f o r f e i t f i x e d meanings and a s s o c i a t i o n s . A s i m i l a r e f f e c t accompanies the main d u p l i c a t i o n s of episodes, c h a r a c t e r s , and n a r r a t o r s . D u p l i c a t i o n s have a l s o been used to produce u n i t y and balance, as i n the novels of Goethe where "Each character at every moment m i r r o r s the main ch a r a c t e r s , 4 events, f a t e s . " However, the excessive use of j u x t a p o s i t i o n s , super-i m p o s i t i o n s , and s u b s t i t u t i o n s i n Absalom and La Route destroys the c l a s -s i c a l i d e a l of the f u l l y developed character and e l i m i n a t e s a c l e a r l y defined n a r r a t i v e v o i c e or s t a b l e center of consciousness. By eroding the status and power of the f i c t i o n a l character and n a r r a t o r , Faulkner and Simon thus weaken some of the conventional foundations of epistemic f i c t i o n . R e p e t i t i o n i s a l s o used as a r e t a r d a t i o n device that helps to c o n t r o l n a r r a t i v e pace. In most novels r e t a r d a t i o n works as a detour towards a nevertheless c l e a r l y a n t i c i p a t e d climax, and s o l u t i o n . In Absalom, however, r e p e t i t i o n f o r c e s the n a r r a t i v e to slow down when we count on a f a s t development and withholds d i s c l o s u r e s u n t i l we reach an a n t i c l i m a c t i c p l a c e . 219 Indeed, the l o g i c of timed r e v e l a t i o n s o p e r a t i v e i n the novel does not only delay and f i n a l l y f r u s t r a t e a s o l u t i o n hut f a i l s to provide any c l e a r l y s t a t e d questions. Moreover, as Faulkner has n a r r a t i v e and nar-r a t i o n overlap and change p l a c e s , confusion concerning the main center of i n t e r e s t adds to an already complicated p r e s e n t a t i o n of Sutpen's s t o r y . Although the main n a r r a t i v e v o i c e s c o n s t a n t l y r e i t e r a t e the same b a s i c f a c t s , t h i s r e i t e r a t i o n deepens the novel's mystery i n s t e a d of i l -l u m i n a t i n g i t . The novel's r e p e t i t i v e suspense s t r u c t u r e demonstrates Faulkner's negative a t t i t u d e towards conventional n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n s . And Simon's a t t i t u d e i s even more negative i n that h i s fragmented t e x t dispenses w i t h most n a r r a t i v e h i e r a r c h i e s and replaces l i n e a r arrangements w i t h a network of a s s o c i a t i o n s and a n a l o g i e s . Geometrical r e p e t i t i v e pat-terns t h e r e f o r e compensate f o r the n a r r a t i v e d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s i n La Route. Simon's method concentrates on people or objects as they r e l a t e to each other and not as they appear as i s o l a t e d i n d i v i d u a l s or e n t i t i e s . The n a r r a t i v e i s consequently a c e n t r i c a l and i n constant motion w h i l e s t i l l m a intaining a cohesive s t r u c t u r e . The r e l a t i o n a l arrangement of La Route puts characters and s i t u a t i o n s i n t o a new l i g h t so t h a t the novel c o r -responds to Barthes' b e l i e f that "toute l a tache de l ' a r t est d'inexprimer l'exprimable."^ The d e c e n t r a l i z i n g i n f l u e n c e of r e p e t i t i o n f u r t h e r extends to the human character whose behavior c o n t r i b u t e s s i g n i f i c a n t l y to n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e . Moving toward the " s u b v e r s i v e " . p o s i t i o n of current French psychoanalysis, Faulkner and Simon c a l l i n t o question man's i n d i v i d u a l i s m and i s o l a t i o n from others. Instead of d e f i n i n g the human being as a s e l f -220 contained totality, the two authors stress his profound interdependence and in s t a b i l i t y . In terms of Lacan's. analysis of the "mirror phase," human beings are innately alienated from themselves and create their self-image by means of identifications with "Imaginary Others" who act as models and/or obstacles to their own desires. What may look like a bilateral relationship in Absalom and La Route invariably turns out to be mediated by a third person. Unable to recognize such concealed mediation patterns, characters are trapped in various triangular relationships as either subjects, objects or models. They are also compelled to repeat the same pernicious identification with an "Imaginary Other" throughout their liv e s . Thus, since every character exists only through a series of identifications, his often hidden motivations and behavior patterns can become very complex. And this complexity represents a determining factor in the multidimensional structure of Absalom and La Route. Novelists have generally assumed that reality can be portrayed mimetically, in a way that is not colored by literary conventions. Through their use of literary allusions, Faulkner and Simon address themselves to the problem of representation in art. The narrators in Absalom and La Route think that they can find access to the facts about Sutpen or de Reixach, but discover that they are unable to represent even their own experiences without being influenced by what they have previously seen, read or heard. Literary allusions suggest that perception i s necessarily affected by previous knowledge so that representation in art i s neither original nor spontaneous. It i s instead based on an in f i n i t e chain of copies or, in Casey's words, on "an unending cycle of repetitions which can never 221 achieve f u l l perceptual presence." By emphasizing the "copy mechanism" i n l i t e r a r y production, Faulkner and Simon also advance i n t e r r e l a t i o n -ships and analogies as the main p r i n c i p l e of c r e a t i v e thought. An act of creation can no longer be considered to proceed ex n i h i l o but must be likened to Levi-Strauss 1 concept of "bricolage." The " b r i c o l e u r " achieves "des r e s u l t a t s b r i l l a n t s et imprevus"'' by means of "residus g de constructions et de destructions ariterieures." Within a closed universe of p o s s i b i l i t i e s , he therefore makes do with heterogeneous 9 elements "en vertu du principe que '5a peut toujours s e r v i r . ' " Although r e p e t i t i o n often contributes to narrative s t a b i l i t y and orthodoxy, t h i s study demonstrates a.tendency towards i n s t a b i l i t y and subversion. The larger implications of t h i s tendency endorse the " l i b e r a t i o n epistemologique""'"^ which Derrida analyzes i n p h i l o s o p h i c a l terms. Repetition i s of c r u c i a l importance to Derrida because i t touches on c e n t r a l issues l i k e sameness, difference, presence, essence, o r i g i n , source, center, l i n e a r i t y . What distinguishes Derrida from other analysts of r e p e t i t i o n i s that he makes differ e n c e rather than sameness the main focus. Difference i s generally believed to be d e r i v a t i v e of sameness f o r , as Deleuze points out; we think of " l a difference a p a r t i r d'une ressem-blance et d'une i d e n t i t e supposees prealables" 1"'" rather than as a s e r i e s of always deferred differences that cannot be traced back to an o r i g i n . Whenever sameness i s considered to be the agent of d i f f e r e n c e , we are dealing with a system of thought that makes d e f i n i t i o n s of essence i t s primary concern. But Derrida objects to any search for essence because i t has introduced "tous l e s couples d'opposition sur lesquels est 222 construite l a philosophie et dont v i t notre discours." Dualistic ap-proaches divide experience into either-or oppositions—soul and body, subject and object, materialism and idealism—without acknowledging their profound interrelatedness. Derrida claims that dualism assumes a 13 "presence pleine" and overlooks the fact that a trace of each binary opposition can be found in the other. Each term in fact appears as "l a differance de l'autre." 1^ In Derrida's system, presence i s identified with essence and origin at the same time as i t i s distinguished from repetition. Describing his theory of play ("le jeu") as " l a disruption de l a presence," Derrida goes on to speak of "le jeu de l a repetition et la repetition du jeu." 1"' Repetition allows for unlimited substitutions within a closed system: Si l a totalisation alors n'a plus de sens, ce n'est pas parce que 1'infinite d'un champ ne peut etre couverte par un regard ou un discours f i n i s , mais parce que l a nature du champ—a savoir le langage est un langage f i n i — e x c l u t l a totalisation: ce champ est en effet celui d'un jeu, c'est-a-dire de substi-tutions infinies dans la cloture d'un ensemble f i n i . Ce champ ne permet ces substitutions infinies que parce qu'il est f i n i , c'est-a-dire parce qu'au li e u d'etre un champ inepuisable, comme dans l'hypothese classique, au li e u d'etre trop grand, i l l u i manque quelque chose, a savoir un centre qui arrete et fonde le jeu des substitutions.16 Derrida dismisses the claims of a "phenomenologie transcendantale" and of 17 an "ontologie fondamentale" because they address themselves to the wrong questions. Derrida's play of substitutions has neither beginning nor end and thereby obviates discussions about limits and origins (centers). Unhappy with orthodox philosophy, Derrida finds himself in close sympathy with Levi-Strauss' methodology because the anthropologist's 223 c o n c e p t o f " b r i c o l a g e " r e p r e s e n t s "1'abandon d e c l a r e de t o u t e r e f e r e n c e a un c e n t r e , a un suj.et, a une r e f e r e n c e p r i v i l e g i e e , a une o r i g i n e ou a 18 une a r c h i e a b s o l u e . " The c o n n e c t i o n between D e r r i d a ' s d i s c o v e r i e s and t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f Absalom and L a Route s h o u l d now be o b v i o u s . The use o f r e p e t i t i o n i n t h e two n o v e l s d i r e c t s i t s e l f p r e c i s e l y a g a i n s t a c e n t e r , a s u b j e c t , and a p r i v i l e g e d r e f e r e n c e . M o r e o v e r , t h e two n o v e l s e x e m p l i f y D e r r i d a ' s p l a y o f s u b s t i t u t i o n s t o t h e p o i n t where t h e b e g i n n i n g i s a l r e a d y r e p e a t i n g a l l l a t e r r e p e t i t i o n s and where t h e open e n d i n g i n v i t e s f u r t h e r r e p e t i t i o n s i n t h e form o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . Through t h e i r use o f r e p e t i t i o n i n Absalom and L a Route, F a u l k n e r and Simon t h u s u n s e t t l e the r e a d e r ' s h a b i t u a l r e s p o n s e s t o l i f e and a r t . 224 FOOTNOTES P r e f a c e ''"T.S. E l i o t , " T r a d i t i o n and t h e I n d i v i d u a l T a l e n t , " i h S e l e c t e d  P r o s e o f T.S. E l i o t , ed. F r a n k Kermode (London: Faber and F a b e r , 1 9 7 5 ) , pp. 38-39. I n t r o d u c t i o n J a c q u e s D e r r i d a , L ' e c r i t u r e e t l a d i f f e r e n c e ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s du S e u i l , 1 9 67), p. 30. 2 Sigmund F r e u d , "Beyond t h e P l e a s u r e P r i n c i p l e , " The S t a n d a r d E d i t i o n  o f t h e Complete Works o f Sigmund F r e u d , v o l . X V I I I , t r a n s . James S t r a c h e y (London: H o g a r t h P r e s s , 1 9 55), pp. 7-64. 3 I b i d . , P- 9. ^ I b i d . , P- 36. 5 I b i d . 6 I b i d . , P- 38. 7 I b i d . , P- 40. 8 I b i d . , P- 41. Anthony W i l d e n , System and S t r u c t u r e (London: T a v i s t o c k P u b l i c a t i o n s , 1972) . 1 0 I b i d . , p. 141. 1 1 I b i d . , p. 143. 1 2 I b i d . , p. 144. 225 13 Ibid., p• 143. "^Ibid. , p. 67 . 1 5Mircea Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal Return (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954; rpt. 1971). Ibxd., p. x i i i . 17 . -Ibxd., p. xx. I Q Ibid!, p. 18. 1 9Bruce F. Kawin, Telling It Again and Again (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1972). 20 Ibid., p. 90. 2 1 I b i d . , p. 91. 22 E.K. Brown, Rhythm in the Novel (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1950; rpt. 1957). Marcel Proust, A la recherche du temps perdu, 8 vols (Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1954). 2 4 G i l l e s Deleuze, Proust et les signes (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1964), pp. 7-8. 25 Ibid., pp. 10-16. 26 Proust, A l a recherche, Vol. II, p. 493. 2 7 I b i d . , Vol. IV, p. 25. oo Ibid., Vol. VIII, p. 252. Ibid., Vol. VIII, p. 437. 226 3 < \ a w i n , p. 85. 3"^Brown, pp. 56-57. 32 I b i d . 33 I b i d . , p. 30. 3 4 I b i d . , p. 59. "^Kawin, p. 7. 3 ^ I b i d . , p. 8. 3 7 A n t h o n y W i l d e n and Tim W i l s o n , "The Do u b l e B i n d : L o g i c , M a g i c , and Economics," i n D o u b l e B i n d : The F o u n d a t i o n o f t h e C o m m u n i c a t i o n a l  A p p r o a c h t o t h e F a m i l y , eds C a r l o s E. S l u z k i and Donald C. Ransom (New Y o r k , London, San F r a n c i s c o : Grune & S t r a t t o n , 1976), p. 270. 3 8Raymond W i l l i a m s , Keywords (Glasgow: W i l l i a m C o l l i n s Sons, 1976). 39 I b i d . , p. 172. 40 I b i d . , p. 171. 4 1 I b i d . , p. 172. D e r r i d a , L ' e c r i t u r e e t l a d i f f e r e n c e , p. 29. 4 3 I b i d . , p. 35. 44 I b i d . , p. 31. 4 5 L i a n e Norman, " R i s k and Redundancy," PMLA, 90, p. 290. 227 Chapter I ''"Joseph Conrad, H e a r t of Darkness (New York: W.W. Norton, 1 9 6 3 ) , p. 71. 2 Ludwig K l a g e s , Voiii Weseri des Rhythmus (Kampen auf S i l t : N i e l s Kampmann V e r l a g , 1 9 3 4 ) , pp. 32-37. 3 M i c h e l F o u c a u l t , L e s mots e t l e s choses ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s G a l l i m a r d , 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 32. I b i d . , p. 47. ~ * I b i d . , p. 57. U l r i c N e i s s e r , C o g n i t i o n and R e a l i t y (San F r a n c i s c o : W.H. Freeman, 1976), p. 112. 7 G o t t l o b F r e g e , "Ueber Sinn, und Bedeutung," Z e i t s c h r i f t f u r P h i l o - s o p h i e und p h i l o s o p h i s c h e K r i t i k , 100 (1 8 9 2 ) . F r e g e ' s d i f f e r e n t i a -t i o n forms t h e groundwork f o r E.D. H i r s c h , J r . ' s i m p o r t a n t book on V a l i d i t y i n I n t e r p r e t a t i o n (New Haven and London: Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967). g W i l d e n , System and S t r u c t u r e , p. 166n. 9 I b i d . , p. 163. 1 0 J e a n Cohen, " P o e s i e e t red o n d a n c e , " P o e t i q u e , 28 ( 1 9 7 6 ) , 415. 1 1 I b i d . , p. 416. C l a u d e Simon, "Reponses de C l a u d e Simon a q u e l q u e s q u e s t i o n s e c r i t e s de L u d o v i c J a n v i e r , " E n t r e t i e n s , numero s p e c i a l c o n s a c r e a C l a u d e Simon, d i r e c t i o n M a r c e l S e g u i e r ( M o n t p e l l i e r : E d i t i o n s S u b e r v i e , 1 9 7 2 ) , p. 18. 13 G i l l e s D e l e u z e , D i f f e r e n c e e t r e p e t i t i o n ( P a r i s : P r e s s e s U n i v e r s i -t a i r e s de F r a n c e , 1 9 7 2 ) , p. 8. 14 B e t t i n a L. Knapp, "Document: I n t e r v i e w avec C l a u d e Simon," Ken- t u c k y Romance Q u a r t e r l y , 16 ( 1 9 6 9 ) , 182. 228 ''"^ Claud DuVerlie, "Interview with Claude Simon," Substance, 8 (Winter 1974), 15. 16 Jean Ricardou, "Un Ordre dans la debacle," in Problemes du noiiveau  roman (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1967), p. 48. 1 7 I b i d . Paul Fraisse, Psychologie du rythme (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1974), p. 120. 19 Michael Riffaterre, "Interpretation and Descriptive Poetry: A Reading of Wordsworth's 'Yew-Trees,'" New Literary History, 4 (1973), 242. 2 0 I b i d . , p. 239. Chapter II ^Monique Hyde, "William Faulkner and Claude Simon: A S t y l i s t i c Study," Diss. Indiana University 1971. 2 Joseph W. Reed, Jr., Faulkner's Narrative (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1973). 3 Hyde, p. 5. 4 Ibid., p. 1. 5Reed, p. 151. 6Ibid. 7Ibid., p. 288. g Ibid., p. 151. 9 Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, College Edition (Cleveland and New York: World Publishing Company, 1968). 229 1 0Hyde, p. 95 1 : LIbid., pp. 98-99. 1 2 I b i d . , p. 99. 13 Warren Beck, "William Faulkner's Style," in Faulkner: A Collection of  C r i t i c a l Essays, ed. Robert Penn Warren (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966), p. 61. 14 For further examples and elaborations, see Hyde's section on "Approxi-mations" and chapters VIII and X in Walter J. Slatoff, Quest for  Failure (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1960) . Notice also that this s t y l i s t i c device is reminiscent of Proust's "soit que. . . soit que. . ."or "ou. . . ou. . . ou." 15 ". . . i n certain forms of repetition there is a strong mood content." Stefan Hock, "Ueber die Wiederholung in der Dichtung," in Festschrift  fur Wilhelm Jerusalem zu seinem 60. Geburtstag (Wien and Leipzig: Wilhelm Braumuller, 1915), p. 114. 1 6Reed, pp. 149-50. ^Webster's New World "^Reed, p. 152. 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid., p. 150. Ibid. Chapter III ^"Victor Erlich, Russian Formalism: History - Doctrine (The Hague & Paris: Mouton, 1969), p. 240. 2 J. H i l l i s Miller, "Ariadne's Thread: Repetition and the Narrative Line," C r i t i c a l Inquiry, 3 (Autumn 1976), 68. 230 3 Webster's Third New International Dictionary (Springfield Mass.: Merriam, 1976). 4 I b i d . 5Ibid. 6 I b i d . 7DuVerlie, p. 6. ^Ibid., p. 7. 9John T. Irwin, Doubling and Incest / Repetition and Revenge:. A Speculative  Reading of Faulkner (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975), p. 122. 1 0 I b i d . , p. 120 1 ; LRoland Barthes, S/Z (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1970), pp. 81-82. 12 Webster's New World  1 3Gerard Genette, Figures III (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1972). 1 4 I b i d . , p. 79. 1 5 I b i d . , p. 118. 16T. ., Ibxd. 1 7Lucien Dallenbach, Le Recit speculaire: Essai sur l a mise en abyme (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1977), p. 83. Ibxd. Eberhard Lammert, Bauformen des Erzahlens (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1955), p. 59. "Consecutive organization requires that (before solutions to a l l enigmas are given ) the numerous separate incidents appear in some mysterious correlation to each other un t i l their causal dependence is established" (my own translation). 231 on Barthes, S/Z, p. 82. 2 1 I b i d . 2 2Reed, pp. 145-75. 2 3 I b i d . , p. 148. 24 Raymond Williams, Keywords, p. 225. 2 5Jean Ricardou, Le Nouveau roman (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1973), p. 27. 2 6Barthes, S/Z, pp. 26-27. 2 7 I b i d . , p. 84. 28James Guetti, The Limits of Metaphor (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1967), p. 108. 2 9Reed, p. 149. 3 0Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim (New York: W.W. Norton, 1968), p. 148. 3 " 4 t e e d , p. 164. 32 Genette, pv 78. Proust, A l a recherche, Vol. I, p. 5. 3 4Genette, p. 87. 35 Norman, "Risk and Redundancy," p. 289. 3 6Malcolm Cowley, The Faulkner-Cowley F i l e (New York: The Viking Press, 1966), p. 30. 3 7Reed, p. 175. Ibxd. 232 T9 Guetti, p. 108. 4 0Reed, p. 148. 41Knapp, p. 185. 42 DuVerlie, p. 5. 43Knapp, p. 185. 44 DuVerlie, p. 17. 45 Ibid., p. 11. 4^Claude Simon, "La Fiction mot a mot," Nouveau roman: hier, aujourd'hui—  Pratiques, ouvrage c o l l e c t i f publie sous le patronage du Centre Culturel de Cerisy-la-Salle, Collection 10/18, 1972, pp. 92-93. 4 7 I b i d . , pp. 88-89. 4 8Eugene Vinaver, The Rise of Romance (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971). 49 Ibid., p. 77. ~^Ibid., p. 78. 5 1 I b i d . 52 Simon, "La Fiction mot a mot," p. 73. 5 3DuVerlie, p. 10. 5 4Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folktale (Austin: University of Texas, 1970). 5 5Claude Bremond, Logique du recit (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1973). 5 6Jean-Marc Blanchard, "Searching for Narrative Structures," Diacritics (March 1977), p. 4. 233 ** 7Ihid., p. 11. 5 8Alexandre Kojeve, Introduction a l a lecture de Hegel (Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1947). 5 9Rene Girard, Mensonge romantique et verite romanesgue (Paris: Bernard Grasset, 1961). 6 0Jacques Lacan, Ecrits (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1966). 6 lIrwin, Doubling and Incest, p. 6. 6 2Malcolm Cowley, "The Etiology of Faulkner's Art," The Southern Review, 13 (Winter 1977), 83. 6 3Irwin, Doubling and Incest, p. 55. ^^Ibid., p. 81. 65T,., Ibid. 6 6 I b i d . , p. 69. - 6 7 I b i d . , p. 61. 6 8 I b i d . , p. 106. 6 9 I b i d . , p. 148. 7 0 I b i d . , p. 120. 7 1Cowley, "Etiology," p. 93. 7 2Kojeve, Introduction, p. 13. 7 3 I b i d . 7 A I b i d . , p. 19. 7 5 I b i d . , p. 20. 234 7 6 Girard, Merisonge romantique, p. 13. 7 7 I b i d . , p. 12. 7 8 I b i d . , p. 28. 79 Ibid., p. 16. 80T,., Ibid. -8 1 I b i d . , p. 18. 82 Ibid., p. 23. 8 3 I b i d . , p. 24. 8 4Rene Girard, "Levi-Strauss, Frye, Derrida and Shakespearean Criticism," Diacritics, 3, no. 3 (Fall 1973), 35. 8^Ibid., p. 37. 86 Jacques Lacan, Ecrits, pp. 93-100. 87 Anthony Wilden, The Language of the Self (New York: Dell, 1968), p. 100. 88 Sherry Turkle, Psychoanalytic Poli t i c s (New York: Basic Books, 1978),p.56, 89 i Anthony Wilden, "Libido as Language: Jacques Lacan's Structuralism," Psychology Today (May 1972), p. 85. ^°Wilden, Language of the Self, pp. 160-61. 91 Lacan, Ecrits, p. 100. 92 Turkle, p. 56. 9 3 I b i d . , p. 58. 94 Ibid. 235 Ibid., p. 55. 9 6Lacan, Ecrits:,. pp. 11-61. 9 7Wilden, "Libido as Language," p. 85. 9 8Gregory Bateson, steps to an Ecology of Mind (New York: Ballantine Books, 1972). " i b i d . , p. 213. 1 0 0 I b i d . 1 0 1 I b i d . l 0 2 I b i d . , p. 214. 1 0 3 I b i d . , p. 215. 1 0 4 I b i d . , p. 207. 1 0 5Wi1den. Language of the Self, p. 161. 1 0 6Wilden, "Libido as Language," p. 86. 1 0 7John Barth, Chimera (Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett-Publications, 1972), p. 19. Chapter IV """Barthes, S/Z, p. 173. 2 Ibid., p. 61. Claude Simon, La Bataille de Pharsale (Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1969). ^"Questionnaire,11 Europe, numero special (October 1968), p. 231. [interview of Claude Simon] 236 Use Dusoir Lind, "The Design and Meaning of Absalom, Absalom!," in William Faulkner; Four Decades of Criticism, ed. Linda W. Wagner (Michigan State University Press, 1973), p. 272. 6 l b i d . , p. 285. 7T.H. Adamowski, "Children of the-Idea: Heroes and Family Romances in Absalom, Absalom'.," Mosaic, 10 (Fall 1976), 117. g C. Hugh Holman, "Absalom, Absalom!: The Historian as Detective," Sewanee Review, 79 (October-December 1971), 544. 9 Dieter Meindl, Bewusstsein als Schicksal: Zu Struktur und Entwicklung  von William Faulkners Generationenromanen (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1974), p. 35. "^Lynn Gartrell Levins, "The Four Narrative Perspectives in Absalom, Absalom!," PLMA, 85 (1970), 36. "'""'"Olga W. Vickery, The Novels of William Faulkner (Louisiana State University Press, 1959), p. 88. 1 2 l b i d . , p. 90. 13 Lind, p. 272. •^Levins, p. 47. """^Vickery, p. 84. 1 6Barthes, S/Z, p. 211. ^Simon, "La f i c t i o n mot a mot," p. 84. 18 Knapp, p. 182. 1 9 L i n d , P. 275. Edward W. Said, Beginnings (New York: Basic Books, 1975), p. 328. 237 2 1 Francoise van Ros.sum-Guyon, "De Claude Simon a Proust: un exemple d'intertextualite," Marche Romane, 21 (1971), 77. 22 Ibid., p. 83. 2 3 S l a t o f f , p. 241. Ibid. Riffaterre, "Interpretation and Descriptive Poetry," p. 235. 2 6 Deleuze, Difference et repetition, p. 8. 2 7Barthes, S/Z, pp. 17-18. Conclusion Mark D. Hawthorne, "Browning's Sordello: Structure through Repetition," Victorian Poetry, 16 (1978), 2155 2 Edward Casey, "Imagination and Repetition in Literature: A Reassessment,' Yale French Studies, 52, 255. 3 Ibid., p. 257. ^Liselotte Dieckmann, "Repeated Mirror Reflections: The Technique of Goethe's Novels," Studies i n Romanticism, 1 (1961), 172. ^Roland Barthes, Essais critiques (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1964), p. 15. Casey, p. 266. 7Claude Levi-Strauss, La pensee sauvage (Paris: Lihrairie Pion, 1962), p. 26. g Ibid., p. 27 . 9 T b i d . 238 1 0 J a c q u e s D e r r i d a , De l a grammatologie (Paris: E d i t i o n s , de M i n u i t , 1967), p. 124. "'""'"Deleuze, D i f f e r e n c e e t r e p e t i t i o n , p. 159. 1 2 J a c q u e s D e r r i d a , " L a d i f f e r a n c e , " i n T h e o r i e d'ensemble, ed. 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