The work has a strange structure with an autobiographical part and many reprises from other works. This last part is fictional and is probably the only element that makes Fou de Vincent a fictional work.
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The author assembled fragmented texts about this man, but for the purpose of linking them together, Guibert modified and rewrote many parts of his work. Traditionally, a novel is not composed by extracts from diaries, but is an entirely invented story. Today, we witness the importance of the autofiction in literature. How can we judge extracts of a diary found in a novel? Je lui laissais mes clefs pour qu'il soit plus libre de le consulter. When he came to read, they were available to him in a box, ….
The letters were over, the notebook replaced the letters, became the place where he could come to read them, whenever he wants to, even during my absence. I left him my keys so that he could consult more freely. Now, I open the box in public, I open the notebook and I left it opened, exposed: I can easily imagine myself dead. This attitude is connected in many ways to contemporary writing, such as online or digital publications on different social media. I would like to remark in particular on an interesting resonance seen in a work by Sophie Calle, concerning the way she respected game rules .
The page arrangement of Vice shares a significant characteristic with the illustrated agenda or diary decorated with pictures. Guibert inserted pictures as if composing photo album pages with text and pictures. What he achieved in Vice brings to mind works of his friend, Sophie Calle. Sophie Calle staged her own life in a theatrical manner, especially her intimate memory based on real stories.
She concretized her work like Guibert with sentimental and poetic texts as well as self-portraits. Des histoires vraies contains one episode or her message to Guibert showing their friendship. Ma grand-tante s'appelait Valentine. Je tiendrai. Des histoires vraies, p.
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She was born on February 4 th At 96 years old, she felt tired of living. But she decided on goal: to become a centenarian. I will endure. I also invited him to sleep a little with me. And then, I loved to believe that the bed sheet, hand-embroidered by an one-hundred-year-old thanks to fierce will-power, haloed by faith, could transmit to him her force.
Fortunately they remained friends. Nous nous battions froid. We disputed coldly. Anna reclaimed it from me in a terrible way, to the point of threatening me, although I had gone back, going up and down fives floors of the newspaper company in hope of rediscovering it. We had little time to escape, being locked in the temple. A bronze let us out by a small back door which led to a fair. I was interrupted while making-up my wish, but it was just postponed, and the strange event sealed my friendship with Anna. Par George Sand".
I opened my lips to the breeze; and the breeze, instead of cooling me, was itself set aglow by the fire of my breath. What torment, Chactas!
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To pass my life at your feet, to serve you as a slave, to bring you food and lay your couch in some secret corner of the universe, would have been for me supremest happiness; and this happiness was within my touch, yet I could not enjoy it. Of what plans did I not dream? What vision did not arise from this sad heart? Sometimes, as I gazed on you, I went so far as to form desires as mad as they were guilty: sometimes I could have wished that there were no living creatures on earth but you and me; sometimes, feeling that there was a divinity mocking my wicked transports, I could have wished that divinity annihilated, if only, locked in your arms, I might have sunk from abyss to abyss with the ruins of God and of the world.
Even now—shall I say it? At this let who will laugh or sneer, yawn or cavil.
But as literature it looks back to Sappho and Catullus and the rest, and forward to all great love-poetry since, while as something that is even greater than literature—life—it carries us up to the highest Heaven and down to the nethermost Hell. The French Werther  for the attempt to rival Goethe on his own lines is hardly, if at all, veiled is a younger son of a gentle family in France, whose father dies.
Of course it is a case of coelum non animum. He , his wretchedness and hatred of life reaching their acme, exiles himself to Louisiana, and gets himself adopted by the tribe of the Natchez, where Chactas is a though not the chief. If his melancholy were traceable to mutual passion of the forbidden kind, or if it had arisen from the stunning effect of the revelation thereof on his sister's side, there would be no difficulty.
But, though these circumstances may to some extent accentuate, they have nothing to do with causing the weltschmerz or selbst-schmerz , or whatever it is to be called, of this not very heroic hero. He is merely, from the beginning, a young gentleman affected with mental jaundice, who cannot or will not discover or take psychological calomel enough to cure him. Of course it is possible for any one to say, "You are a Philistine and a Vulgarian.
You wish to regard life through a horse-collar," etc. But these reproaches would leave my withers quite ungalled. I think Ecclesiastes one of the very greatest books in the world's literature, and Hamlet the greatest play, with the possible exception of the Agamemnon. It is the abysmal sadness quite as much as the furor arduus of Lucretius that makes me think him the mightiest of Latin poets. I would not give the mystical melancholy of certain poems of Donne's for half a hundred of the liveliest love-songs of the time, and could extend the list page-long and more if it would not savour of ostentation in more ways than one.
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You may not be able to help your spleen, but you can "cook" it; you may have qualm and headache, but in work of some sort, warlike or peaceful, there is always [Pg 27] small beer, or brandy and soda with even, if necessary, capsicum or bromide , for the ailment.
Both these stories, as will have been seen, have a distinctly religious element; in fact, a distinctly religious purpose. The larger novel-romance of which they form episodes, as well as its later and greater successor, Les Martyrs , increase the element in both cases, the purpose in the latter; but one of the means by which this increase is effected has certainly lost—whether it may or may not ever recover—its attraction, except to a student of literary history who is well out of his novitiate.
Such a person should see at once that Chateaubriand's elaborate adoption, from Tasso and Milton, of the system of interspersed scenes of Divine and diabolic conclaves and interferences with the story, is an important, if not a wholly happy, instance of that general Romantic reversion to earlier literary devices, and even atmospheres, of which the still rather enigmatic personage who rests enisled off Saint-Malo was so great an apostle. And it was probably effectual for its time. Classicists could not quarrel with it, for it had its precedents, indeed its origin, in Homer and Virgil; Romanticists of that less exclusive class who admitted the Renaissance as well as the Dark and Middle Ages could not but welcome it for its great modern defenders and examples.
In Les Martyrs it has even a certain "grace of congruity,"  but in regard to Les Natchez , with which we are for the moment concerned, almost enough with an example or two to come presently has been said about it. The book, as a whole, suffers, unquestionably and considerably, from the results of two defects in its author. He was not born, as Scott was a little later, to get the historical novel at last into full life and activity; and it would not be unfair to question whether he was a born novelist at all, though he had not a few of the qualifications necessary to the kind, and exercised, coming as and when he did, an immense influence upon it.
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