Virginie Despentes' Commitment and the Polyphonic Narration of Vernon Subutex

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Vernon Subutex by Virginie Despentes challenges the traditional forms of the novel in favor of an epistemology that highlights minor and off-centre voices, and questions the individualized consciences of its characters. Through social evolution, the author draws up a map of the Parisian society and reveals investigative and writing practices, the expressiveness of voices and their ways of carrying ``lifeforms'' which become central to ethical and political contemporary philosophies.To begin, this analysis delves into the intricate polyphonic narrative architecture of Vernon Subutex and explores the hermeneutical and ethical complexities it presents. At the heart of this narrative structure lies one of the defining features of modern individualism and pluralism, effectively mirroring a form of democratic discourse within the novel. Here polyphony encompasses divergent voices, each offering their perspective on the same event. Secondly, this article dwells on the reasons for the author's choice to borrow this specific narrative architecture. This examination prompts us to grapple with fundamental questions regarding the author's responsibility and commitment, and, in a broader context, urges us to consider the evolving role and responsibilities of contemporary writers in a dynamically shifting literary landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


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