Bookbeat: February 2000

Albert Camus Albert Camus: paradigmes de l'ironie: révolte et négation affirmativee

by Raymond Gay-Crosier, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
(Toronto, Paratexte, 2000)
Available through Amazon

Starting with a theoretical introduction, Raymond Gay-Crosier analyzes in twelve chapters on Albert Camus's theater and prose works the various adaptations of the latter's key concepts of revolt and negative affirmation. The book represents the fruit of a lifelong preoccupation with the author of The Rebel and reunites widely dispersed articles on the subject.

Excerpt (translated from text)

Having identified irony as referentiality that designates itself, we can also see it as animator of heteroglossy that reorients discourse to a variable performative norm which its literary configuration often risks to eschew. Whether irony acts as fecund rupture, structure of reversal, catalyst of pregnant error, or monitor of differentiality, in all these instances it operates as negative affirmation that assigns to discourse its place in the social framework while reminding it subtly of its communicative function. It also reminds the interlocutor of the fact that knowledge itself is negative in that it is the consciousness of a lack. In its referential project, irony can be defined neither as a trope nor as a performative formula. [Its deceptively simple yet reductionist configuration], namely A equals and does not equal A, itself can only be seen as an icon of referential irony, an illustrative formula adopting the appearance of an algebraic equation in order to represent what irony, a contrario and simultaneously, can do and can be: the negative affirmation of an equivalency and a difference.

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