What is this light, what are these shadows ?
École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
Like the « shadow of a shimmering lights », the narrative construction of Patrick Modiano's novels evokes the way that light is reflected by a mirror debris. Rather than reflecting an accurate image of the world, these debris retain light, deflect it and thus illuminate figures from the past, revealing their elusive nature. Modiano’s novels create a narrative territory where fictionality spreads out along twists and turns of memory and combines several regimes of historicity.
Élise Wiener aims to show how this writing is inspired by the reminiscence of the past and how it develops an « oblique memory », which is specific to the literature of the second part of the twentieth century. She studies the singular connections between Modiano’s writing and the ontology of the photographic image, which brings together presence and absence, inscription and withdrawal, Being and non-Being
Élise Wiener is a Doctoral Student at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris under the supervision of Jean-Marie Schaeffer. She studied philosophy at Université Paris I Sorbonne, and Literature and Human Sciences at University Denis Diderot, Paris. She works on the relationship between philosophy and litterature and the way both of them create their own conditions of truth. Her work focuses on the way that the modalities of the trace –inscription of the shadow of the past in the present, the haunting of places, memory weaved into oblivion, Being founded on non-Being— lies in the heart of the narrative structure of Patrick Modiano’s novels and evince a certain form of contemporary connection to the real.