Espace et tragédie dans La voie royale d'André Malraux

Title: Espace et tragédie dans La voie royale d'André Malraux
Source document: Études romanes de Brno. 2010, vol. 31, iss. 2, pp. [61]-71
  • ISSN
    1803-7399 (print)
    2336-4416 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

La Trilogie Asiatique refers to an exotic setting, as the title shows, in which Malraux sets his first three novels (The Conquerors, 1928; The Royal Way, 1930; Man's Fate, 1933) so as to transform space and time – linked to the Orient as they are in his creative imaginary world – according to the esthetic objectives of the novel narrative genre he chose. Yet the objective of the The Royal Way is singular. In fact the writer builds up space in a rather unheard-of manner as he endows it, more than he does time, with the actantial function of opponent, insofar as the function of space is to hinder the characters' striving to combine their strengths in the quest for an object. Contrary to what he did in The Conquerors in which space had the rhetorical function of metonymy – a setting described in order to suggest a thematic meaning, namely the exotic and destitution – but also contrary to Man's Fate in which time is essential. Malraux is trying his hand at integrating space into the narrative by assigning to it the responsibility of a tragic threat. Does the narrative logic really tally with Malraux's objective? Did he really succeed in associating space and tragedy? The question comes up inasmuch as the tragic as narrative which finds the source of its negative ending in its positive beginning is essentially linked to time. In this perspective I studied the rise of the spatial threat first, then the characters' physical experience as they stand up to the ordeal, and finally their definitive victory enabling them to become heroes in spite of the deadly sequels of their adventure in Cambodia.