|Abstract: ||The subject-matter of this monographic work is the analysis and attempt
to classify the characters in selected Chroniques romanesques by Jean Giono.
What served as a theoretical model was a scheme formulated by V. Jouve based
on the analysis of the reception of the character by the reader (“l'effet-personnage”).
The introduction contains the information on the research aims of the work
in question, as well as a description of the model of the analysis of a literary
character in the light of the history of the studies researching the very phenomenon.
Chapter I includes a short presentation of writer's works, an emphasis being
put on the characteristic of Chroniques romanesques as a genre, as well as
the role it plays in Jean Giono's novel writings, and in the history of the 20th
The second chapter comprises a detailed analysis of the main characters
from selected works: Langlois, Thérèse, le Narrateur, M. Joseph, Ennemonde
and Tringlot. The analysis covered the way the reader perceives the literary
character (la perception), the reception of the character by the reader (la réception),
and the influence the author exerts on the reader by means of his/her
character (l'implication). Three levels of reading were distinguished. Based
on them, the character is perceived as lectant jouant (the reader pays his/her
attention to predictions concerning a further course of events), lectant interprétant
(a hermeneutic analysis of the character), lisant (the reader perceives
the character as existing in reality), and lu (the reader experiences the
situations which he/she would not be able to face in reality).
The “l'effet-personnage” analysis in Chroniques romanesques indicated the
presence of some characteristic features. The characters are presented merely
in a fragmentary way, which, according to Ph. Hamon, differs from a model of
the analysis of a literary character. Their construction is conventionally based
on understatements, and it is the reader's task to interpret the characters' actions. A fragmentary presentation of characters is additionally escalated by
means of an oral nature of narration of Chroniques..., as well as a presentation
of the story reported from different and subjective points of view.
Despite the fact that Giono's characters were not created according to a classic
model, i.e. assuming the most detailed description of characters, the writer
pays a lot of attention to the presentation of their psychology, the image of
which often emerge at an intersection of different points of view concerning
the supporting characters performing the function of “personnages-évaluateurs”
— the evaluating characters.
Also, the “l'effet-personnage” analysis allowed for a demonstration of the
character evolution. It is based on the characters' search of entertainment
(divertissement) in a Pascal's sense, but interpreted from an atheistic perspective
as the action to divert someone's attention from boredom and hopelessness
of the human existence. One can observe the evolution, starting from
Langlois, the character from Un Roi sans divertissement, who, scared by his
fascination with the sight of blood and cruelty, chooses the only possible solution,
i.e. suicide, to Tringlot, the character from the last Chronique, who finds
happiness in love to an autistic Absent character (l'Absente).
The analysis of characters playing in Chroniques romanesques allowed for
a demonstration of the coherence of Jean Giono's work despite the fact that the
writer did not create it according to the previously-formulated scheme. At the
same time, it highlighted the influence W. Faulkner had on the writer from
Manosque, especially his method consisting in understatements. Though one
should remember that Giono's writings are far from repeating fixed schemes
as the writer creates his own original style and, thus, significantly inscribes
into the evolution of the 20th century novel.|