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Dissociation mentale de la realité : Extension du domaine de la lutte versus Stupeur et tremblements

Author(s): Corina Da Rocha Soares

Journal: Intercâmbio
ISSN 0873-366X

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 189;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Michel Houellebecq | Amélie Nothomb | mental dissociation | humor | irony

We propose a comparative lecture of two contemporary novels: Michel Houellebecq’s Extension du domaine de la lutte (Maurice Nadeau, 1994) and Amélie Nothomb’s Stupeur et tremblements (Albin Michel, 1999). These two novels show life in a firm. We will focus our study in the consequent mental dissociation of reality: a road to perdition in Houellebecq, and, on the contrary, a salvation’s form in Nothomb. Depressionism versus optimism. Both the authors turn to humor and irony to describe this alienation, but with opposite intentions: for Nothomb, it’s about making light of herself; for Houellebecq, it’s an « humour noir », a « rire jaune » or a snigger, frequently to the detriment of others. These observations will lead us to conclude that these two novels already open up the program, the tone and the perspective of life that characterize the following works of our two writers.

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