How does literature give voice to the political?
Author: Luke Bouvier
Category: Social Science
How does literature give voice to the political? In what ways does it articulate a political dimension? For Jules Vall�s (1832-1885), member of the Paris Commune of 1871 and editor of Le Cri du Peuple, author of the autobiographical trilogy, L'Enfant(1878), Le Bachelier(1881), and L'Insurg�(1886), the politics of literature is literally a matter of the voice, for it is inherent to the voice as matter: the grain of the voice, the physical trace of the voice in writing, the voice as a heterogeneous effect of writing. An indispensable work for all those interested in autobiographical voice and orality in literature, this study offers both a comprehensive theoretical reflection on the problem of orality and an innovative reading of Vall�s disruptive literary voice, of his seminally modern aspiration toward a wide-ranging politics of contestation through the liberation of oral desire. A work of mordantirony and consumingpassion, of prodigious wordplay and scatological humor, Vall�s's trilogy revels in oral pleasure, in disfiguring improprieties of language that culminate in revolution. In Vall�s's journalism as coup de gueule, in the physical embodiment of a revolutionary voice of the people, it is ultimately a utopic politics of orality that takes shape in the trilogy, one that strives toward radical popular action in the materiality of the voice, at the limit of the body in language: Le Cri du Peuple.