DECONSTRUCTING AND, THEREFORE, QUEERING(MAINLY IN SECOND BROADER SENSE, SEE EARLIER DIFFERENTIATIONS)”LE GRAND MEAULNES”(ALAIN-FOURNIER). BY STEVEN BENSON

So we are talking re the the following enactments/performances between reader and author that are common to Derrida’s deconstructionism AND to Queer Theory(in practical interpretation, and in its non-sexual orientation and gender{only} senses: seehttps://towardsutopia.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/queerin-its-sense-of-not-solely-relating-to-sexual-orientationin-literature-a-creative-explorationclarification-of-what-it-means-to-me-by-steven-benson/)
1. The gaps between the text/narrator/author and the individual reader (subject), which each seperate reader has to fill in, informed by what we perceive as Alain-Fournier’s(at least) putative intention.

2. The counterpoints and parallel narratives and concepts existing in non-binary opposition.

3. more specifically,deconstructing and allowing for the simultaneity of, the shifting time boundaries and queer(in the above broader sense) geographies/landscapes; linking with

4. outside time, the metaphysical, transcendent place Meaulnes(and Seurel) are seeking, not dissimilar to Eliot’s Rose Garden (start of “Burnt Norton”).

1. SHIFTING TIME AND GEOGRAPHY BOUNDARIES:QUEER/DECONSTRUCTED TIME AND LANDSCAPE

Meaulnes himself is unsure if the mysterious domain is real and in the now; is it a deserted(but present) ruin occupied by some stray revellers or is it outside the binary of past and future time; or even outside PRESENT time, ie BEYOND time(this would ellide with Derrida’s concept of “undecidability”: we cannot decide if the space/time Alain-Fournier {via Meaulnes, via Seurel}inhabits, at this point,is transcendentally outside time, or if it occupies the now of sexual awakening, or some intangible lost past of adolescence.Probably all three, polyphonically!) This confusion-or, to ALLOW “confusion” in counterpoint of time boundaries/themes(textual but, metaphorically, ultimately musical)-is caused by the demesne bearing the appurtenances of a FORMER (historical) era(the narrator dates it back only about 10 years). Then to compound the uncertainty:”..he{Meaulnes}recalled how his mother, when young, would sit down at the piano..he..would listen to her till night fell”(I am using the Buss 2007 translation, here p.49).So Meaulnes is simultaneously in the past, and present, and outside/beyond time:IN the mysterious domain/fete, within his memories of his mother from his childhood, and in some transcendental space which unites AND goes beyond physical time.

One could argue, endlessly, that the theme of “outside time” is my subjective wish fulment, IMposed on the text, from my own desire for (nontheistic)redemption in the fashion of the Eliot Rose Garden; but it is the feel I get FROM this text , not just TO it; thus Meaulnes himself says(p.30), of his journey to the domain, “I don’t know where I have been”….

(related to 1. above)2.THE BREAKING DOWN OF THE BINARY BETWEEN MEMORY AND “CONFUSED NON-MEMORY/FALSE MEMORY”.

So, p.33.” {re Meaulnes}..like someone looking for memories  or going over them in his head, comparing and contrasting, calculating, then suddenly thinking he has a solution.. Then once more he loses the thread, and started looking again”{cf Butor in “L’Emploi du Tempshttp://decayetude.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/michel-butor-comments-on-lemploi-du-tempspassing-time-1957trans-jean-stewartthe-novel-deconstructs-before-our-eyesbutors-labyrinth-of-time-and-memory-by-steven-benson/}. In other words, the (partial) elusiveness of memory and limited ability to pin down memories; but also is Meaulnes’ visit/”visit” to the lost domain  a false memory, a wish fulfilment(of seemingly unattainable love, or regaining of childhood as he moves through adolescence towards adulthood)?These counterpoint exquisitely, queerly, deconstructively and REconstructively with the SEEMING(only)oxymoronic wish to SURPASS childhood and adolescence, towards, and attainment of,sexual and romantic fulfilment with Yvonne. So these are NOT oxymoric stances but COMPLEMENTARY, fugal entries in the counterpoint that is Alain-Fournier’s carefully woven tapestry; there is a shifting(techtonic) interplay between the putative binaries of loss of childhood and innocence; and adult love-fulfilment. They CO-exist concurrently, as do the musical entries in a fugue, and are played out in the drama of the text simultaneously; it is upto us, as readers, to ENACT, in our own minds, that drama.

I am indebted here to Judith Habelstam(“In a Queer Time and Place:Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives”{2005}) for some of the ideas on queer geography and time.

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About decayetude

ENTHUSIASMS: CLASSICAL MUSIC, ESPECIALLY OBSCURE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS; BACH/HANDEL LITERATURE, ESPECIALLY THOUGHTFUL, WELL-WRITTEN(STYLISTICALLY)NOVELS W G SEBALD WALTER BENJAMIN THEODOR ADORNO(JUST BEGINNING!) AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY GAY MEN'S WRITING;QUEER THEORY STIMULATING DISCUSSIONS(EMOTIONALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY) GOOD RICH THICK ESPRESSO MICHAEL PONTI SPRITUALITY/LIFE'S "AURA"(BENJAMIN), WHATEVER TRANSCENDENTAL THING YOU WANT TO CALL THIS MEMORY-the elusiveness thereof. LOST TIME AND AN ATTEMPT AT ITS REDEMPTION(NON THEISTICALLY/RELIGIOUSLY)
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