Genitrix – 1928
Forme et Esthétique :
Vocabulaire particulaire :
Mathildre Cazenave, morte
Notes : désert glacé qui separe le pavillon… p7
La Garonne p8
-Commence parlire le derrière du livre :
-torment over the absense of virtue in lives
-catholocism’s interprétation of sin, rédemption, pleasure and morality
-individual’s rédemption in overcoming mankind’ssin’s
-individual’s soul more important than communal Church
Mariac’s strict catholic upbringing
-Question of free will or prédestination
-Character’s who are essentially condemned until theyrenounce their evil ways and seek rédemption in asking forgiveness
In Génitrix Mauriac depicts the desperate dysfunctionality of an upper-class family. Here a weak-willed middle-aged man marries alower-class woman who is much younger than he as a way of breaking the possessive grip of his domineering mother. Suffering an exceedingly unhappy marriage, which she entered into primarily to obtainwealth and status, the wife dies after several alcoholic binges and attempted affairs. After the death of his mother, the man is left alone, miserably trapped in old patterns of dependence.
Criticshave pointed to the roles women often play in his novels—seductresses, tempters, and murderesses—and to his depictions of sexual activity—which frequently convey a certain measure of disgust with notmerely the act itself but, importantly, with female anatomy. Mauriac has also had at least one notable detractor, Jean-Paul Sartre. In his essay "M. François Mauriac et la liberté" (in Nouvelle revueFrançaise, February, 1939), Sartre accused Mauriac of hypocritically denying his characters free will. Focusing mainly on the 1935 novel La fin de la nuit (The End of the Night), but extending hiscritique to include all of Mauriac's work, Sartre demonstrated the ways in which Mauriac violated putative laws of fiction, namely that of identifying with a character but judging him or her by...
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