Figures III by Gérard Genette

By Gérard Genette

Les études qui composent ce quantity s'articulent en une suite rigoureuse : Critique et poétique, Poétique et histoire, l. a. rhétorique restreinte (ou métaphore et métonymie), Métonymie chez Proust (ou l. a. naissance du Récit), enfin Discours du récit (pour une technologie du discours narratif) qui est un essai de méthode «appliqué» à los angeles Recherche du Temps perdu. Discours dont los angeles dualité de démarche se veut exemplaire : «La spécificité proustienne est irréductible, elle n'est pas indécomposable. Comme toute œuvre, comme tout organisme, l. a. Recherche est faite d'élémcnts universels qu'elle gather en une totalité singulière. L'analyser, c'est donc aller non du général au particulier, mais bien du particulier au général. Ce paradoxe est celui de toute poétique, sans doute aussi de toute activité de connaissance, toujours écartelée entre ces deux lieux communs incontournables, qu'il n'est d'objets que singuliers, et qu'il n'est de technology que du général ; toujours cependant réconfortée, et comme aimantée, par cette autre vérité un peu moins répandue, que le général est au cœur du singulier, et donc - contrairement au préjugé commun - le connaissable au cœur du mystère.»

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Journey co the purchase, from the garment tO fuod: a train can open omo a shoe stalL Dedicated co commeree, co rransitivn, co deparrure, and yet kept in a unique struerure, the station (moreover, is that whar this new complex shüuld be called)) is stripped of that sacred character which ordinarily qualifies the major landmarks of our cities: eathedrals, town halls, historical monumems. ts concentration; one might say that it is only thc prcp

36 LR , '~de:J. iIU tabuA "I j ~ f. L hc ~ fKt-t. 'n, placed on ehe raeher empry map (ehe sereers are nor named) like a news flash; ir assurnes rh ar srrongly signifying idenriry wh ich Prousr, in his fashion, has explored in his Place Names. If the neighbvrhood is quite Iimired, dense, contained, terminared beneatlt its name, ir is because ie has a center, bur this center is spirirually empry: usually it is astation. The station, a vast organism which houses ehe big erains, the urban trains, ehe subway, a deparrmem score, and a whole underground commerce-the starion gives rhe disrricr this landmark whieh, aceording co cerrain urbanists, permirs the ciry tü signify, co be read.

Anonymity is compensated fOt by a certain number of expedients (at least this is how they look to us), whose combination forms a system. One can figure Out the address by a (written or printed ) schema of orientation, a kind of r gcographical summary whICh situares the domieile stdning from a known landmark, a train station, for instanee. (The inhabitants exeel in these impromptu drawings, where we see bcing sketehcd, right on the scrap of paper, a street, an apartment house, a eanal, a railroad Jine, a shop sign, makmg the exchange of addresses inro a delieate eommunieation in whieh a life of the body, an an of the graphie gesrure reeurs: it is always enjoyable ro wateh someone write, all the more so ro wateh someone draw: from eaeh oeeasiun when some­ one has given me an address in this \Vay, I retain the gesture of my interloeuror reversing his peneil ro rub out, with the eraser at its other end, the exeessive eurve of an avenue, the interseetion of a viaduet; though the eraser is an übjeet eonrrary ro the graphie tradition of Japan, rhis gesturc ~till Addrcss book :-sL-;i~J L: ' .

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