La phrase ironique dans Les Faux-Monnayeurs

Abstract : If an experienced reader of Gide was asked to define what a typical “Gidian” sentence is, the most cautious and relevant answer would probably be that it all depends on which genre one is referring to. As far as narrative prose is concerned, it can be argued that irony is Gide’s most significant contribution to stylistic creativity. In Les Faux-Monnayeurs (The Counterfeiters), in a predictable way, irony lambasts not only bourgeois attitudes and philistine discourses, but also all the awkward attempts to transgress class boundaries and roles, whatever they may be. Thus, lyricism is more often than not regarded as pure insincerity. The main contention of this paper is that Gidian irony is multifaceted. A thorough study of the occurrences of the word “irony” proves that irony is far from being the highest moral value praised in Les Faux-Monnayeurs; the main interest of this rhetorical device consists in confronting diverse viewpoints within a single sentence without necessarily hierarchizing them. In so doing, irony appears as both salutary and unsettling since it undermines the legitimate trust the use of language is based upon. Though irony aims at challenging conventional interpretations, it fails to put an end to the semantic crisis it brings about. Despite its stylistic and heuristic qualities, irony is not considered as an end in itself by Gide. Rather, it is intended to create a more acute awareness of reality that reconciles sense and sensibility.
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Joël July, Stéphane Chaudier. La phrase ironique dans Les Faux-Monnayeurs. Questions de style , Presses Universitaires de Caen, 2013, Questions de phrases, n°10, Laure Himy (dir.). ⟨hal-01676781⟩



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