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Sans collectif, que reste-t-il du manifeste ? Sur les manifestes publiés à titre individuel dans le champ littéraire contemporain

Journal article
Authors Mette Tjell
Published in Itinéraires. Littérature, textes, cultures
Issue 2018-1
Pages 1-15
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Languages and Literatures
Pages 1-15
Language fr
Keywords manifesto, contemporary literature, avant-garde, MANART, singularity
Subject categories Specific Literatures, General Literature Studies


The article focuses on a type of literary manifesto published individually and outside the context of a group, thus differing from its original collective form. A statistical study based on the Manart database shows that these texts have become proportionately more common since the 1980s, representing today more than fifty percent of the literary manifestoes in France. The aim of the paper is to identify the formal and discursive implications related to the use of a genre considered as historic. The study of five cases—published by the poets Jean-Marie Gleize, Alain Jouffroy, Henri Meschonnic and Christophe Tarkos, and by the writer-cartoonist Frederic Pajak—indicates a tendency to fuse the literary work and the esthetical program, but also to make use of the rhetoric of the avant-garde in order to energize the texts. Together with the absence of collective dimension, even the intention of the literary manifestos seems altered: they are now less a gesture of revolutionary subversion than an act of resistance, since these voices are making present a literary history to defend in today’s society.

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