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Fiction as Cover Story in Sollers's La Fête à Venise

Fiction as Cover Story in Sollers's La Fête à Venise Fiction as Cover Story in Sollers's La Fête à Venise Armine Kotin Mortimer In a blend of fiction and essay highly characteristic of Philippe Sollers's so-called readable novels, La Fête à Venise (1991) tells the story of a stolen painting by Watteau called "La Fête à Venise" which is being transferred from one sailboat to another in the lagoon in Venice, on its way to an illicit buyer in the Middle East. The novel combines the "secret agent" strategy that has characterized Sollers's fiction since the 1980s with what I have called his essay-novel genre (Mortimer, "Philippe Sollers"; "The Essay"). The firstperson narrator-protagonist Pierre Froissart, an amateur operative charged with overseeing the transfer, is also an "mri" character, one of the "Multiple Related Identities" Sollers has given himself in his novels since the 1983 Femmes (Mortimer, "The mris"). With its focus on Froissart, whose name both indexes writing (because it recalls the medieval chronicler Jean Froissart) and subsumes art (because of the last syllable of his name), the story develops into a meditation on the nature of fiction and the apprehension of reality, seen through the medium of painting.1 Most comments about La Fête à Venise, including those http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French Forum University of Nebraska Press

Fiction as Cover Story in Sollers's La Fête à Venise

French Forum , Volume 38 (1) – Oct 11, 2013

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 French Forum, Inc.
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1534-1836
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Abstract

Fiction as Cover Story in Sollers's La Fête à Venise Armine Kotin Mortimer In a blend of fiction and essay highly characteristic of Philippe Sollers's so-called readable novels, La Fête à Venise (1991) tells the story of a stolen painting by Watteau called "La Fête à Venise" which is being transferred from one sailboat to another in the lagoon in Venice, on its way to an illicit buyer in the Middle East. The novel combines the "secret agent" strategy that has characterized Sollers's fiction since the 1980s with what I have called his essay-novel genre (Mortimer, "Philippe Sollers"; "The Essay"). The firstperson narrator-protagonist Pierre Froissart, an amateur operative charged with overseeing the transfer, is also an "mri" character, one of the "Multiple Related Identities" Sollers has given himself in his novels since the 1983 Femmes (Mortimer, "The mris"). With its focus on Froissart, whose name both indexes writing (because it recalls the medieval chronicler Jean Froissart) and subsumes art (because of the last syllable of his name), the story develops into a meditation on the nature of fiction and the apprehension of reality, seen through the medium of painting.1 Most comments about La Fête à Venise, including those

Journal

French ForumUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Oct 11, 2013

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