Towards new comparisons Gérard Bessette's "Le libraire" and Albert Camus "L'étranger" a transtextual study
This work presents a transtextual reading of Gérard Bessette's Le libraire through the examination of its different textual relationships, among them those to Albert Camus's L'étranger. The relationship between Le libraire and L'étranger is still ambiguous and has often been subject to misreading. It has also been overstated in comparison to Le Libraire 's relatedness to Jean Paul Sartre's La nausée and Jean Charles Harvey's Les demi-civilisés. The transtextual reading of Le Libraire comes as an alternative to the contemporary--but traditional--comparisons of this novel to Camus' L'étranger. This thesis analyses the novels in terms of textual relationships rather than reading them in traditional comparative terms such as influence or originality. First, by discussing the discrepancy between influence and intertextuality, it foregrounds a theoretical approach allowing for an objective reading of Le libraire 's relatedness to L'étranger. In the second place, it reviews some Canadian comparisons of Le libraire and L'étranger and distinguishes between traditional approaches and those which tend to be intertextual. Finally, my attempt to bring forward new comparisons is designed to avoid the different misinterpretations of Le libraire 's relatedness to L'étranger. The relationship between these two novels is more objectively evaluated when studied in relation to Le libraire 's evocation of other novels such as La nausée and Les demi-civilisés. The use of Gérard Genette's taxonomy of intertextual/hypertextual relationships as a method of practical analysis based on textual transformations demonstrates that Le libraire 's textual relationships are diverse and hence demystifies the overstatement and misreading of the novel's relatedness to L'étranger.