Journal of Romance Studies

The symbolic representation of subversion as a mental illness: A Foucauldian reading of Le Clézio’s Le Procès-Verbal

Journal of Romance Studies (2014), 14, (1), 90–105.

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to probe the common threads that exist between Michel Foucault and J.M.G. Le Clézio. Several researchers have noted this intertextual relationship in passing, but these analyses have been rather superficial in nature. This investigation seeks to examine Le Clézio’s first novel Le Procès-Verbal from a Foucauldian perspective in a more systematic fashion. Specifically, Le Clézio and Foucault appear to express the same disquieting anxiety concerning the signs of madness that are perhaps on the verge of substituting themselves entirely for the real. Both writers compel us to ponder if we are still able to distinguish between simulations of mental illness and actual insanity itself.

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Moser, Keith