The Mémoires of Doctor Lamballe and Mister Swing Troubadour: Echoes of Vidocq and Robert Louis Stevenson in Patrick Modiano's La Ronde de nuit

A.I. Morris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Inspired by the work of their colleague David Gascoigne, a group of scholars from the UK and France examine in this book the narrative strategies of some of the most interesting and important French writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Stretching chronologically from 1905 to 2005, the volume examines a wide variety of prose genres, from pornography to Bildungsroman to magic realism, as well as poetry. Michel Tournier figures in several of the contributions, emerging as something of a touchstone for many of the thematic preoccupations that are common throughout the period: values and authority, self and other, identity, spirituality, migration and exile, sexuality, the body, violence and war, and language. The authors also examine the flourishing of intertextuality, as well as the use of traditional forms, such as mythical structures and the 'robinsonade', to undermine authoritative 'métarécits'. Probing these themes and forms, and their metamorphoses across 100 years, the essays demonstrate a striking degree of continuity, linking writers as different as Apollinaire and Houellebecq or Valéry and Fleutiaux, and highlight the difficulty of dividing the period neatly into chronologically ordered categories labelled 'modern' or 'postmodern'.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNarratives of French Modernity
Subtitle of host publicationThemes, Forms and Metamorphosis. Essays in Honour of David Gascoigne
EditorsLorna Milne, Mary Orr
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherPeter Lang AG
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783039110513
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameModern French Identities
PublisherPeter Lang
ISSN (Print)1422-9005


  • romance languages and literatures
  • French writers
  • twenty-first century
  • twentieth century

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