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Tanguy Viel

Core reading

Tanguy Viel, La Disparition de Jim Sullivan (Paris: Minuit, 2013).

Advance preparation for seminar discussion

Week 9

  1. Summarise succinctly the plot of novel which the narrator reports having written (that is, what happens in the story of Dwayne, Susan, Alex, Milly, Lee and co.?)
  2. Analyse the form and structure of this text.
  3. Who was Jim Sullivan and how is he relevant?
  4. How do you understand Dwayne’s burying in Susan’s garden of the tablets said to bear some of the oldest writing in human history?
  5. Student presentation: What do we learn about the character or temperament of the narrator-writer as the text unfolds? (Please read and refer to Ari Blatt’s 2010 article on some of Viel’s earlier work.)
  6. To what extent and in what ways is there evidence of ‘research’ in this novel and how is this research presented?

Week 10

  1. What assumptions does the narrator-writer express about ‘the American novel’ and about ‘des romans internationaux’ (p.10) and how does he understand the difference? What contrasting assumptions does he make about ‘the French novel’? (see p.120)
  2. In what ways does the narrator-writer strive to make his novel an American novel in his terms?
  3. To what extent can Viel’s novel be understood as a response to ‘World Literature’?
  4. Identify the humour in Viel’s text (and give precise textual examples).
  5. Passage for commentary: ‘Et comme il repensait à ça’ (p.34) => ‘des fêlures de Dwayne Koster.’ (p.35)

Further reading

  • Allemand, Roger-Michel, ‘Tanguy Viel: imaginaires d’un romancier contemporain’, @nalyses: revue de critique et de théorie littéraire (2008). PDF available to download here.
  • Blatt, Ari, ‘Remake: Appropriating Film in Tanguy Viel’s Cinéma’, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies 9, 4 (2005), 379-86. Available electronically via the Library here.
  • Blatt, Ari, ‘Tanguy Viel’s Manic Fictions’, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies 14, 4 (2010), 373-80. Available electronically via the Library here.
  • Faerber, Johan, 'Le livre aveugle ou la passion anthologique dans l’oeuvre de Tanguy Viel', RELIEF - REVUE ÉLECTRONIQUE DE LITTÉRATURE FRANÇAISE 6, 2 (2012): 80–95. See here.
  • Hargreaves, Alex et al (eds.), Transnational French Studies: Postcolonialism and Littérature-monde (Liverpool: Liverpool UP, 2010). Available as an e-book here.
  • Houppermans, Sjef, ‘Tanguy Viel: From Word to Image’, Yale French Studies 114 (2008), 37-50. Available electronically vie the Library here.
  • Le Bris et al (eds.), Pour une littérature-monde (Paris: Gallimard, 2007). See here.
  • de Toledo, Camille, Visiter le Flurkistan, ou, les Illusions de la littérature-monde (Paris: PUF, 2007). See here.