Claude Simon and the emergence of the generative mise en abyme

Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association
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Journal Article
AUMLA, 2003, 99 (May), pp. 50 - 66
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To date the most comprehensive study of the literary figure of the mise en af!yme is Lucien Dallenbach's Le Ridt Speculai,.: Essai sur la Mise en Af!yme, first published in 1977.' Employing a strict structuralist methodology, it attempts to provide a definitive typology of the mise en af!yme, tracing its historical evolution and discussing its more recent developments in the works of Claude Simon. In doing so, Dallenbach provides a rich and analytically rigorous analysis even if, when the unwieldy products of novelistic practice do not always fit his schemas, he is forced to invent new sub-categories that threaten to undermine his neat tripartite classification. It is by exploiting one such point of slippage in his typology that I hope to outline the existence of a tendency in the development of the mise en af!yme that has escaped his analysis, but which his very analysis has made possible to theorise.
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