Raymond Federman and the art of expressing the inexpressible

Anna Maziarczyk


The originality of Raymond Federman’s La Voix dans le Cabinet de Débarras resides in both its graphic form, close to some artistic projects, and its narrative content, which engenders and motivates the former, thus revealing the deep sense of literary devices, which only appear to be purely formal experiments. Exploring the trauma
experienced during the Second World War, the text delves into the issue that the writer’s whole literary oeuvre obsessively returns to: the impotence of language in the face of a complex and dramatic reality. The aim of this article is to analyse the narrative mechanism, which rejects the conventional transmission of a story in favour of discursive strategies exploiting the materiality of text. The extensive semantic correlation of these two aspects creates a double drama, resulting from the actually experienced tragedy and an inability to verbalise it. Referring to the theory of an artistic text and philosophical reflections on the Holocaust, this article seeks to demonstrate that La Voix dans le Cabinet de Débarras embodies Federman’s search for new forms of expression of trauma in a literary text.


Federman; war; Holocaust; experiments; unexpressed


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/lsmll.2015.39.1.128
Data publikacji: 2016-01-04 11:13:50
Data złożenia artykułu: 2015-12-21 12:32:49


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