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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Féminin et fusionnel dans l'oeuvre de Jeanne Hyvrard Cauville, Joëlle


The primary consideration of this study is to show that Jeanne Hyvrard's work is "une litterature sacree" (a sacred literature). The author has chosen myths and symbolism from ancient mythology and from the Bible, and reinterprets these in order to fit feminine imagination. This reinterpretation testifies that she is undergoing an initiatory quest, which corresponds in Jungian terminology to the "individuation process". The first chapter concerns itself with the difficulty of using a methodological system to study a work which is, by definition, against systems. A Jungian approach, revised by a feminist archetypal theory, was chosen because of its emphasis on the non-rational notion of symbol which is also stressed by the Hyvrardian "langue symbolique du marais" (the language of marshes). Also, Jeanne Hyvrard and Jung have in common an eclectic view of the world, in order to account for its wholeness (the Hyvrardian "fusionnel"). Both share the idea that in order to establish a balance within oneself and in the world, the feminine principle has to be fully restored. The second chapter analyzes the elementary aspect of the feminine principle, i.e., the ambivalent mother archetype, sometimes devouring, sometimes nurturing. It includes the negative images of the Gorgon (Medusa), the Moirai, the octopus, as well as the analysis of the metaphor of "engulfing" with the biblical parable of Jonas and the myth of Cronus. The positive elementary character of the Great Mother figure is illustrated by the Cretean snake and dove goddess, and the myths of Noah and Demeter. Those symbolical choices, conscious and/or unconscious, are part of the "Collective Unconscious" and link Jeanne Hyvrard with the Universal. The third chapter examines the dynamic aspect of the feminine principle. Here again, there is a negative element to it which leads to madness, and the problem of expressing insanity in the language of reason is raised. In its positive expression, the transformational feminine is achieved through "la langue du marais," a symbolical language, rather inclusive than exclusive. This "language" is close to the controversial notion of feminine writing, in the way it emphasizes difference rather than separation, the language of the body, and the symbol of the "spiral" to convey a new feminine way of thinking as well as writing. In order to illustrate, symbolically, the importance of the feminine in her search for a new language, Jeanne Hyvrard has chosen three biblical stories: the parable of the fig tree (the champion of the feminine) and the vine (the plant of the patriarchal god); the myth of Abel and Cain (respectively the feminine and the masculine principles) and the one of Genesis (with an emphasis on the irreducible character of Lilith). Nevertheless, the ultimate goal of Jeanne Hvyrard's quest is not the feminine but the "fusionnel" (a world of fusion, of totality) which corresponds to the Jungian concept of "self". The fourth chapter shows how similar Jungian and Hyvrardian symbolisms are, when it comes to the illustration of the self/ "fusionnel." Alchemy and its complex network of symbols (the biblical flood, "le jeu de l'oie," the Tarot) are shown to be an outstanding example of their affinity. The conclusion underlines the fact that the "individuation process" is a lifelong adventure and in her longing for totality, Jeanne Hyvrard's next landmark stage is "la pensee-corps" (the body-mind).

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