L’Espace interstitiel, lieu des possibles. Le futur selon Volodine Article - 2017

Khalil Khalsi

Khalil Khalsi, « L’Espace interstitiel, lieu des possibles. Le futur selon Volodine  », Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, 2017, pp. 329-336. ISSN 1740-9292


Antoine Volodine presents himself as the spokesperson of a fictitious authors’ community that is imprisoned under strict supervision. By weaving their voices, narratives, and identities, these writers sketch the map of a dystopia where meaning flows through what I conceptualize as an “interstitial space.” Being an area of transit and transition, it is a space of individuation, which I propose to highlight throughout Volodine’s novel Le Port intérieur (Minuit, 1995). Its main character, as an avatar of the postmodern individual, seems to be uncertain of his status as a “person” in a reality that tends to objectify him and push him into disappearance and impersonality (Rabaté, Esposito). The disembodied Volodinian character enters a zone of impossible enunciation, which makes him unable to assume his “I” towards a “you” ; as a result, he lets himself be enunciated by the spirit of the place, which destabilizes and reduces his ego to a space-time dimension. This painful realization, coupled with his giving up on the future, opens up a dialectic of opposites through which the character can be fluidly individuated beyond the absolute categorization of identity (Serres, Agier). However, in this in-between state, a metamorphosis starts and tends toward a personal revolution that reveals the interstitial space as an utopian stasis (Jameson), carrying an impulse towards the future as well as the germ of a collective regeneration.

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