By Mark Bell
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Additional info for Aphorism in the Francophone Novel of the Twentieth Century
Meme I'acte si simple que nous appelons "voir une personne que nous connaissons" est en partie un acte intellectuel. (Swann, 18-19, emphasis added) Finally, the following passage from Saint-Exupery's Terre des hommes offers an example of how a narrative voice recounts past events using both the passe-compose / preterit and the present, then interposes an aphorism, it too cast in the present tense. In the case 24 Aphorism in the Francophone Novel of the narrative proper, however, note how the aspect of the verbs is punctual.
In this instance, because of the ratio of narrative to commentary, it would appear that the narration complements the essay-aphorism portion of the text rather than the contrary. The chapter commences with a transitional allusion to the near-death experience just recounted in the previous chapter: "Je me suis cru perdu, j'ai cm toucher le fond du desespoir et, une fois le renoncement accepte, j'ai connu la paix. II semble a ces heures-la que Ton se decouvre soimeme et que Ton devienne son propre ami" (189).
It had probably already become a commonplace saying, as it is today, by the time Terre des hommes was published in 1939. It is plausible that Saint-Exupery was addressing himself to the lieu commun rather than to Nietzsche's original challenge. Worth mentioning in passing: The original text from Nietzsche proves interesting: "Derm, glaubt es mir! " (So, believe me! - the secret of reaping the greatest rewards and the greatest pleasure from existence is: live dangerously! ) THE WORLD OF THE TEXT Employing the aphorisms of Terre des hommes in order to gain access to the "world" that the text attempts to project turns out to be little more than an echo of the numerous studies already done of SaintExupery and his text.
Aphorism in the Francophone Novel of the Twentieth Century by Mark Bell