La croyance dans Mardi

Pierre-Etienne Royer

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Abstract :
There are two different uses to the verb ‘believe’: transitively (believe in sth), it implies a relationship between the subject and the object of his belief; intransitively (believe), it points to the inclusion of the subject in the object of his belief. It seems that the development of Mardi can be accounted for in terms of belief if we move from the first to the second meaning, from the first to the second ‘moment’ in Mardi: at first, until the narrator meets Yillah, Mardi is a fiction based on belief as the impulse to act, but soon enough, it becomes clear that the islands in the West are an imaginary goal, not to be located on any charts. The distance between the narrator (the world of ‘reality’) and the islands (the world of fiction) is blurred and belief becomes not so much an impulse as a creative process: the quest for a new space opens the space for a new quest. After Yillah disappears, the narrator becomes part of his fiction, and it is as Taji that he launches on the quest for Yillah. The questions of truth and writing are then introduced as central issues in a fiction which is also a metafiction.
Published : 2008-07-15


Pierre-Etienne Royer, « La croyance dans Mardi », Cycnos, 2008-07-15. URL :