Michel Tournier: Le Coq De Bruyere by Walter Redfern Book Summary:
This book is a study of Michel Tournier's collection of short stories, Le Coq de bruyere, but it is also much more. Author Walter Redfern sees the stories as a microcosm of the whole fictional universe of Tournier, widely regarded as France's premier living writer.Each story is analyzed in detail for its meaning, residual ambiguities, artistic qualities and flaws, and its place in the total collection. As Tournier thinks big, even in a short text, Redfern finds many links between the longer fiction of Tournier's novels and these stories. Indeed, Tournier considers himself primarily as a teller of tales - or a re-teller - since several of these stories recycle, divert, and update such well-known narratives as Genesis, Cain and Abel, Tom Thumb, ogres, dwarfs, Robinson Crusoe, Tristan and Isolde, and St. Veronica. Tournier's obsessive themes of the androgyne, self-assertion, the multiple forms of creativity, and the overlapping of fixed categories give the collection its pointed and powerful resonance.Redfern's conclusion seeks a precariously balanced equation of Tournier's genius and his chicanery. It stresses the appropriateness of mixed responses to so profoundly ambiguous a writer. Tournier offers to readers a mixed bag: sights for sore eyes, cloying or nausea of the palate, refreshment of jaded minds. Though centered on Tournier's short stories, this study offers a way in, enlarging and not reductive, to his work in general.