n French Studies in Southern Africa - Segalen : essai sur soi-même, voix de l'Autre




Victor Segalen's work is entirely built on the dialectic between the Imaginary and the Real. Freeing himself from his indebtedness to symbolism as well to naturalism, Segalen (1878-1919) tried to overcome the literary horizon of his time by his theory of exoticism conceived during his journey to Tahiti (1902-1904) and his stay in China (1909-1914). In Equipée (1914) which relates in both epic and lyrical ways an archaeological mission the author had undertaken in 1914 in West China, Segalen experienced the interdependence of the Imaginary and the Real. What would the Real be without the support Imaginary provides? What would Imaginary be without the challenge of the Real?


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