« La synonymie comme source d’invention stylistique chez Jouve ? » (p. 241-256) - Université Paris Cité Access content directly
Journal Articles Le Français Moderne - Revue de linguistique Française Year : 2018

« La synonymie comme source d’invention stylistique chez Jouve ? » (p. 241-256)


During the interwar period, literary prose is torn apart between tradition and innovation. The new definition of French literature, since the xixth century, was built on rejection of rhetoric. However, if we analyse the phenomenon of synonymy in a « new prose » corpus from the twenties, we can emphasize that rhetoric influence is not over yet, especially when the sentences tend toward profusion and complexity. Moreover, the completely innovative style of Pierre-Jean Jouve, a french writer, includes this old instrument in various modern ways. Repetitions and synonyms appear through adjectives and descriptive linguistic tools. They create multiple points of view for the same reality. Every shades of it are therefore suggested. This specific work on language may remind us of the tradition of thesaurus. In short, synonymy seems to fit in innovation in prose during the twenties. It contributes to a slight distortion of syntax, in order to express a worldview or for prosodic purposes. Pierre-Jean Jouve was born in Arras, in 1887. He is a novelist during the twenties, and then a poet. Paulina 1880 (1925) is his first novel. It is the story of a young woman torn apart between faith and sin, divine and human love. She is having an affair with a married man. She seeks refuge in a convent, from wich she is quickly excluded. This strong passion concludes with the lover’s murder. The novel is structured into 119 chapters with numbers, grouped into five parts : « Chambre bleue », « Torano », « 1870-1876 », « Visitation », « L’ange bleu et noir », « Au soleil ». The lenght of the chapters varies. Sometimes, they look like a prose poem. Jouve’s style may have been considered over-ornate, by few contemporaries. Very innovative, it is closer to complexity and profusion than to simplicity. Complex style if a choice for the writers who reject the typical french narrative and the dominant pattern of simple style. As well as Les Goncourt during the xixth century, they are looking for others literary sources of inspiration. Synonymy plays a special role in Paulina 1880. At the beginning of the novel, it is frequently related to repetition. However, synonymy appears more often in the narrator’s speech, whereas repetitions show up in reported speeches, as in the chapter XI, which is close to an interior monologue. When Paulina tries to forget human love and enters a convent, synonymy disappears. When she is getting together with the Count again, synonymy reappears. So, this phenomenon seems linked to the expression of passion and emotions. Besides, it is related to specific syntax functions, for example epithets and predicative adjectives. In other words, it is mostly related to adjectives and adjective phrases. Synonymy can therefore be a real instrument for innovation during the twenties. It plays an important role in semantics and prosody : repetition and synonymy draw attention to the meaning but also the rythm. In Jouve’s prose, synonymy hihlights the poetic character and the expressivity.
La prose narrative de l’entre-deux-guerres se caractérise par une tension marquée entre tradition et innovation. Or, malgré un rejet apparent de la rhétorique, l’analyse de la synonymie dans un corpus de « nouvelle prose » des années 1920 permet de souligner une permanence de la rhétorique dans certains styles qui tendent vers la profusion mais aussi de montrer dans quelle mesure un auteur tel que Jouve réutilise un procédé ancien selon des modalités nouvelles. Ainsi, la réalité est-elle envisagée sous des aspects variés, la prose tente d’approcher le réel au plus près, dans toute sa diversité et toutes ses nuances — ce qui n’est pas sans rappeler, dans une perspective différente, la tradition des recueils et dictionnaires de synonymes. La synonymie semble ainsi liée aux lieux privilégiés de l’innovation dans les années 1920 et participe d’une légère déformation de la syntaxe de la phrase, pour exprimer une vision du monde, comme pour des raisons prosodiques.
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hal-03740878 , version 1 (30-07-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03740878 , version 1


Stéphanie Smadja. « La synonymie comme source d’invention stylistique chez Jouve ? » (p. 241-256). Le Français Moderne - Revue de linguistique Française, 2018, 2. ⟨hal-03740878⟩
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