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Abstract

Michel Butor, a contemporary writer of the French New Novel, now the New New Novel, makes extensive use of naming, repetition of epithet -like phrases, distortions of q notations, sight -sound similarities of words and phrases, to create stories within stories and from other stories, and to evoke an oneiric level which allows times and locations to blend while still remaining separated. Carrying to the extreme the practice of immersion of text within text and meaning within meaning in Boomerang, the novel of 1978, the author combines eight different story lines, printed in four different colors, skillfully interweaving with his own narrative the elliptic citation of twenty-three sources ranging from the accounts of adventurers and explorers such as Cook and Bougainville to fantasy voyage writers like Jules Verne, and even aborigine story-tellers. In this study, the method and purpose of this type of creation is analyzed to show relationship between "new" literary production and "new" society, and the role that naming, as a creative technique, plays in that relationship. But or himself in Repertoire II has indicated that because the world only appears to us for the most part through what we are told about it, in conversations, classrooms, news media, a vital role of the literary text is to restructure information in such a way as to reveal hitherto unsuspected relationships, thereby enriching us with new perspectives and transforming our submission to the media into positive use of them (89-90). Butor's statement introduces indirectly his method of "restructuring" or "re-using" information from a myriad of sources to create his own literature, and sets this study in motion. To discuss mytho-fantastic function in Michel Butor's work, we must begin with a retrospective glance at this creativity, and we must define mythic function both globally .and as it performs in this author's texts. By extending this definition of mythic function in a literary text to encompass the introduction of fantastic levels in writing we can observe the growth not only of Michel Butor as a writer, but of new writings and their reason for being.

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