By Erika Ostrovsky
From the construction of a neuter pronoun in her earliest paintings, L’Opoponax, to the confusion of genres in her most up-to-date fiction, Virgile, non, Monique Wittig makes use of literary subversion and invention to complete what Erika Ostrovsky effectively defines as renversement, the annihilation of current literary canons and the production of hugely leading edge constructs. Erika Ostrovsky explores these elements of Wittig’s paintings that most sensible illustrate her literary technique. one of the numerous progressive units that Wittig makes use of to accomplish renversement are the feminization of masculine gender names, the reorganization of delusion styles, and the substitute of conventional punctuation along with her personal procedure of grammatical emphasis and separation. it's the unforeseen volume and caliber of such literary units that make analyzing Monique Wittig’s fiction a clean and lucrative event. Such literary units have earned Wittig the acclaim of her critics and peers—Marguerite Duras, Mary McCarthy, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute, and Claude Simon, to call a few. While examining the intrinsic price of every of Wittig’s fictions individually, Erika Ostrovsky lines the revolutionary improvement of Wittig’s significant literary units as they seem and reappear in her fictions. Ostrovsky continues that the seeds of these strategies that seem in Wittig’s latest texts are available way back to L’Opoponax. This facts of development helps Ostrovsky’s conception that clues to Wittig’s destiny endeavors are available in her prior.
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Additional info for A Constant Journey: The Fiction of Monique Wittig (Crosscurrents Modern Critiques)
The last sequence in L'Opoponax depicts the climax of the love relationship between Catherine Legrand and Valerie Borge. This is indicated in the text by the linking of their names, which states their union (O, 256, 269, 277, 280). The fact that these appear alternately as "Valerie Borge Catherine Legrand" or "Catherine Legrand Valerie Borge" suggests their position as equals in this relationship and not as subject and objecta subtle but efficacious way of indicating a renversement of the traditional situation, and one that is developed in much more complex fashion in Le Corps lesbien.
23(O, 179) It is thus an enigmatic, fluid, protean, threatening forcevery much like the work of fiction in which it appears or like fiction as conceived and defined by Wittig. The text goes on to illustrate that the opoponax has multiform and manifold power. It menaces those whom it would convince, intimidate, or eliminate. It even frightens its own creator, for so great is this force that, once liberated, it is difficult to control. Moreover, since the opoponax is capable of constant change, it can become a sound or a shape, and it can cause a blurring of contours, even a loss of the most elementary certitudes (O, 18081).
It thus combines a verbal threat with a physical onedeath in flames, a fitting metaphor for consuming passion. This time, the opoponax is victorious. " The hated rival, Anne Marie Brunet, is overthrown, and the beloved, Valerie Borge, now promises to communicate (secretly) with Catherine Legrand, by means of correspondence (O, 24749). The acceptance of a love relationship thus manifests itself in an exchange of written texts. Once this battle has been won, the opoponax has accomplished its task.