Omniscience et polyphonie : esthétique de l’engagement dans L’espace d’un cillement de Jacques Stephen Alexis
This article is a sociocritical reading of the novel L’espace d’un cillement (1959) by Jacques Stephen Alexis. In this novel the Carib is an important chronotope and the magic realism, understood as programmatic discourse, reaches a peculiar level of aesthetic complexity. I will demonstrate how Jacques Stephen Alexis confronts the topoi of the Carib and Haïti, generating thus a discourse permeated by transcultural images. I will also focus my attention on the political aspects of the novel’s narration, on how the “proletarian” language of the omniscient narrator negotiates its voice with the free indirect speech of the characters who are shaped by their sensual relationship to reality. I will study the aesthetic form taken by the ideological message of the novel with the help of Bakhtin’s concepts of heteroglossia (diversity of languages), heterophony (diversity of voices), and heterology (diversity of social discourses).
Keywords: polyphony, narrative omniscience, Haiti, Carib, Bakhtin’s theorySubmitted: May 28, 2019