L'Invitation by Claude Simon

By Claude Simon

« Dans une ville au nom semblable à un froissement, un claquement d'étendard un groupe hétéroclite d'intellectuels est promené çà et là, selon le programme minutieux et dépourvu de sens d'un voyage officiel. Le will pay et les voyageurs ne sont nommés que par périphrases. Il y a un acteur qui a incarné le personnage de Néron au cinéma, le moment mari de l. a. plus belle fille du monde, un homme avec une tête de gladiateur nubien, deux duettistes noirs qui ont l'air de prédicateurs évangélistes, un diplomate méditerranéen, un Tolstoï d'Asie centrale à tête de montagnard et, à l'arrière-plan, L’Histoire, proche ou contemporaine : le bandit séminariste qui a fait régner l. a. terreur dans ce can pay et exterminé ou déporté des hundreds of thousands d'hommes, son successeur actuel semblable au dernier rejeton d'une lignée de gangsters qui aurait été élevé dans un collège suisse. Ou encore, l'autre grand de ce monde, le cow-boy à los angeles retraite élu pour avoir galopé dans des motion pictures de troisième catégorie. » (Marianne Alphant, Libération, 6 janvier 1988)

L'Invitation est paru en 1988.

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Revolutionized set design, replacing architecture with landscapes, and sets of a formal, idealized kind with Picturesque and Sublime scenery. For most of the century the theatres had relied on stock scenery, generalised backgrounds for the far more important action of the drama. 48 Diderot, by imagining himself in the scenes of Loutherbourg’s landscapes, is therefore participating in them just as the actors at Drury Lane would have—although he uses them as a backdrop for a drama of his own invention.

The term “discours” does not refer simply to written discourse, and the figural is not simply another way of speaking about the visual dimension of language, although there are passages in the book where this does seem to be the case. 68 But Lyotard’s project is to show how the figural inhabits language itself as the other of representation. An early defini- 66 Victor Burgin, The End of Art Theory: Criticism and Postmodernity (Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press International, 1986), 176. 67 Jean-François Lyotard, Discours, figure (Paris: Éditions Klincksieck, 1971), 31.

T. M. Knox (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975), 363. 83 Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, “La Vérité sublime,” Po&Sie 38 (January 1987): 95. 50 Scapeland describes this movement from object of nature to the activity of the mind as follows: Who would apply the term “sublime” even to shapeless mountain masses towering one above the other in wild disorder, with their pyramids of ice, or to the dark tempestuous ocean, or such like things? ”85 In the act of subreption, the sublime moment, which temporarily escapes narrative through a “breaking of the mind,” is recuperated by the viewing subject through a narrative of his or her own mental superiority.

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