Strukova T. G.

A New Character of French Novels of the 21st Century (M. Page “How I Became Stupid”) P. 107-115.

UDC 821.133.1-31.09«20»

DOI 10.37724/RSU.2020.68.3.012


The article analyzes the appearance of a new type of trickster characters in French literature of the first decade of the 21st century. It analyzes the way M. Page depicts strategies and means used by a person to adapt to the rapidly changing technological and information environment. Everyday life of a modern city dweller teeters between spheres subservient to the city dweller and spheres they fail to control. This juxtaposition results in a conflict between natural (physiological) and social rhythms. In the second half of the 20th century, everyday life of a city dweller focused on consumption, generating boredom and deteriorating the quality of life, depriving one of real self-expression. The character of the novel “How I Became Stupid” intentionally wears the disguise of a jester and, repelled by the cruel rationality of bourgeois society, uses a slithering-away tactic. The author mocks at endless consumption and treats the major principles of post-industrial society with irony. The novel critically reassesses practically all European metanarrations (religion, history, education medicine, social structures, finances, the role of France in World War II and so on). The author’s irony is aimed at highlighting everyday boredom, at mocking at social promise of leisure and spare time which instead of spiritual development lead people to endless consumption. After an attempt to adjust to the rigidity of comsumerism, the character of the novel does his best to change his everyday life. The character eludes the brave new world and escapes its manipulative grasp, which enables him to preserve his individuality and shape his own destiny.

trickster character; consumerism; metanarration; strategy of the strong; tactic of the week; tactic of elusion; travesty


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