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Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 8, 2008

Phenomenology and Literature

Vincent Giraud
Pages 283-306

L’invisible et la proie
Une lecture de Pascal Quignard

The books of Pascal Quignard present themselves as a hunt for the invisible. The ambition that lies at their heart seems particularly compatible with a phenomenological approach. Indeed, this literary intuition – this “suspicion” in the words of Quignard – hinges on the nature and value of representation. This article tries to read the entire work of Quignard through the phenomenological lens. The elucidation of phenomenality is accomplished here through the steps of a process that leads to the very condition of vision. Once the essence of representation is established as a “predation”, the literary writing of the author reveals it as related to an absent, invisible prey. Through the successive and ascending figures of idolatry, love, art and contemplation, can then start a route to invisibility, which is a true pedagogy of seeing. This quest, conceivable as a learning process through which literature finds its ultimate aim, finally leads to a renewed understanding of the concept of representation.