L'impossible integrite de l'individu : sur la trilogie d'Agota Kristof

Author: Horváth, Csaba
Source document: Études romanes de Brno. 2012, vol. 33, iss. 1, pp. [295]-302
  • ISSN
    1803-7399 (print)
    2336-4416 (online)
License: Not specified license
Agota Kristof's most successful work is a trilogy of novels. Le Grand Cahier, La Preuve and Le troisieme mensonge ("The Big Note", "The Prove" and "The Third Lie") together tell the story of twin boys, indistinguishable from each other. The novels follow the boys through the phases of their education as they progress from an animal-like being to the capacity for reflection. The twins' story is told against the backdrop of the 20th Century Hungarian/Central European experience with its ideologically different yet equally totalitarian dictatorships. The trilogy not only presents but links the different kind of personality's problems: is it possible to be unique in a world which can't define the concept of individuality, neither on the biological nor on the philosophical level? Kristof's minimalist style enforces the heroes' problematic states. The biological duplication of the heroes makes impossible the traditional concept of the individual, while the historical experience ruins the idea of personality. The second query is focused on the possibility of History's representation in contemporary literature: is there an adequate way to tell more than the personal experiences about History and is there a valid language which can be truth without repeating the ancient phrases of the precedent discourse of literature?
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