Oriented Speech in Maalouf’s The Disoriented (Les Désorientés)Duygu Öztin Passerat
The ultimate goal of literary discourse is not necessarily for readers to simply accept what the story tells. Literary discourse tries to convey a message to the reader by telling a story. Ruth Amossy distinguishes among two types of argument discourses: argumentative dimension and argumentative aiming discourses. Using Amossy’s interpretation, this paper will attempt to answer the question: “Are there some literary discourses in general and novels in particular that have more argumentative goals than others?” In our attempt to answer this question, our present work will be based on Amin Maalouf’s novel The Disoriented (Les Désorientés). This novel tells the story of Adam, who returns to his native country after 25 years of exile. Adam is also the narrator of the novel. It is the story of a group of friends, inseparable 25 years ago, but nowadays scattered to the four corners of the world after the civil war in Lebanon. To answer the first cited question, we will first analyze the enunciative, discursive, and narrative processes the narrator uses to stage his semi literary and at the same time argumentative speeches; then we will discuss the question of ethos or author posture the author gives to the reader through his novel.
Le discours orienté dans Les Dés-Orientés de MaaloufDuygu Öztin Passerat
L’objectif ultime du discours littéraire n’est pas de faire adhérer ses lecteurs à ce qu’il raconte. Le discours littéraire essaye de transmettre le message au lecteur en relatant une histoire. C’est pourquoi, Ruth Amossy parle de deux types de discours au sujet de l’argumentation: les discours à dimension argumentative et les discours à visée argumentative. A partir de cette remarque de Amossy, le présent travail va essayer de répondre à la question : « y a-t-il des discours littéraires en général et des romans en particulier, qui ont une visée argumentative plus que les autres ? » Afin d’essayer de répondre à cette question, nous allons étudier, dans le présent travail, le roman de Amin Maalouf intitulé Les désorientés. Le roman relate l’histoire du retour au pays natal, vingt-cinq ans après son départ, d’un exilé prénommé Adam qui est également le narrateur du roman. Il s’agit de l’histoire des désillusions d’un groupe d’amis inséparables, 25 ans auparavant, mais éparpillés, à présent, aux quatre coins du monde après la guerre civile du Liban. Pour répondre à la question citée premièrement, nous allons d’abord analyser les procédés énonciatifs, discursifs, narratifs que le narrateur utilise pour mettre en scène ce discours semi littéraire et à la fois argumentatif et ensuite la question d’éthos ou la posture d’auteur que donne l’auteur au lecteur au travers de son roman.
The ultimate goal of literary discourse is not necessarily for readers to simply accept what the story tells. Literary speech tries to convey a message to the reader by telling a story. This is why Ruth Amossy talks about two discourse types of argumentation: argumentative dimension speeches and argumentative aiming speeches. Using Amossy’s interpretation, this paper will attempt to answer the following question: “Are there some literary discourses in general and novels in particular that have more argumentative goals than others?” In our attempt to answer this question, our present work will be based on Amin Maalouf’s novel The Disoriented (Les Désorientés). This novel tells the story of Adam, who returns to his native country after 25 years of exile. Adam is also the narrator of the novel. Over a sixteen-day period, as the paratopic and intradiegetic narrator of the novel, he tells the story through his personal diary, which also allows him to have several imbedded scenographies. So Adam gives the floor to his friends, who are the protagonists of the novel. The reader travels first through the diary, specifically through 25 years of old letters exchanged to and from Lebanon. The novel tells the history of the disappointments experienced by the “club of Byzantines” – a group of friends who were inseparable in the 1970s but who are nowadays scattered to the four corners of the world because of the civil war in Lebanon. Some emigrated abroad as Adam did; Naim, Jewish, went to Brazil; Albert went to the United States. Bilal, the beloved one of Semiramis, died in the early days of the civil war. Semiramis, Ramzi, Mourad, and Tania remained in Lebanon. Mourad got his “hands dirty” during the war and later became a Minister. Ramez lived in Oman and became a wealthy entrepreneur; he believes he has found dignity in becoming rich. Ramiz found the world he lived in so useless and futile, that he locked himself in a monastery. A libertine hostess, Semiramis lives in Lebanon. Nidal, brother of Bilal, became an Islamist extremist during the war. In other words, as the novel’s title indicates, all these characters are disoriented. Those who left are disoriented because of their detachment from their East; those who remained are disoriented in their own country because they feel bad and have lost their ideals and values from before the war. Adam tries to justify his departure to all those who accuse him of having abandoned the country. He also outlines the arguments made by those who stayed. This is how the narration of the novel is transformed into a celebration of argumentative discourse characterized by processes such as arguments, counterarguments, rebuttals, justifications, syllogisms, paralogisms, etc. The Disoriented builds ethos through Adam’s narration of the story. The reader can easily identify the similarities between Adam’s character and the novel’s author. Amin Maalouf is Lebanese and lived through the civil war in Lebanon. In this novel, he expounds upon the same ideas he expressed and defended in his previously published books. This is why, even if ethos is built into the speech itself, we cannot say that Adam doesn’t thrive on the ethos of the author, or that prediscursive ethos exists based on what Amin Maalouf built on his existing work, knowing that he already wrote about the issues of identity, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the differences between the West and the East.