La représentation dans Moby-Dick : la lettre et la fin de l’origine

Beatrix Pernelle

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Abstract :
The notion of representation is unquestionably a major aspect of Moby-Dick. Of course this issue is related to the many pictures present in the text, but this question also involves a study of the letter as a main structure in Melville’s novel, an aspect of the book which he article will develop. Following Derrida’s theory about “différance”;, the letter in Moby-Dick points to a place in the text which has to remain forever empty since the writing of the fiction constantly defers its outset. Therefore the text itself can only occur afterwards, and is always preceded by a meaning already constructed in and by the logos. This very notion seems to be equated with the White Whale in the book but it can only be a living object, by definition impossible to catch The traditional conception of meaning and representation must then be reconsidered in a universe devoid of any transcendental center of significance and where the concept of truth is also challenged.
Published : 2008-07-15


Beatrix Pernelle, « La représentation dans Moby-Dick : la lettre et la fin de l’origine », Cycnos, 2008-07-15. URL :