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Huntingdon AAUW and Juniata College Present: PreThe Humanist Omniscient Narrator or the Voice of Reason in Chedid’s Works
February 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Come hear Mireille Rebeiz, a Fellow of AAUW present the following on February 18, 2010 at 7 pm. The program is sponsored by Huntingdon AAUW and Juniata College.
The talk will be held on Zoom. Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcld-GtqzIuEtZKc9gqzMG_-3zFUjt_OAuf. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
The Humanist Omniscient Narrator or the Voice of Reason in Chedid’s Works Mireille Rebeiz, assistant professor of Francophone Studies and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at Dickinson College, will discuss the role of the omniscient narrator in Andrée Chedid’s works La Maison sans Racine and Le Message.
The omniscient narrator is the most contested literary voice in literature. Abandoned in contemporary literature as outdated, it is a “morally suspect” voice that acts like God, that pretends to have a deep knowledge of human nature, and that has a privileged access to all the protagonists’ thoughts and actions, irrespective of time and space.
Despite these problems, Andrée Chedid’s La Maison sans Racine and Le Message are told by an omniscient narrator who stands at equal distance from all protagonists, irrespective of their gender, socio-economic status or political affiliation, monopolizing the narrative voice and silencing the belligerent voices. The narrator depicts the Lebanese civil war from a “decolonized” humanist point of view.
Drawing on a wide range of critical theory, particularly Genette and Barthes, Rebeiz argues that the negative traits for which the omniscient voice have been abandoned are sought traits in narratives dealing with war and gender inequalities, where the narrative voice plays the role of moralist, reminding protagonists and readers of our shared human values.