Ecriture de l'aventure et quête identitaire dans l'oeuvre de l'écrivain chilien Francisco Coloane (1910-2002)

Abstract : This study aims to show how the narratives of Francisco Coloane contribute to the definition of a regional Austral identity through the representation of exceptional natural spaces and the description of maginalized human societies whose way of existence is determined by its natural milieu. Coloane’s writing testifies to a desire to lift the veil on an unknown, isolated and fantasized reality and to understand the essence of the Austral world. The space explored in Coloane’s stories and novels is first of all that of the author’s personal experiences in Patagonia, where he discovered men, but above all places, an otherworldly nature that would become the foundation of a unique poetic universe. In keeping with the settings of his narratives, Coloane’s novels are adventures. Close reading reveals, however, that adventure isalways confounded here with the quest for self-knowledge : Coloane’s Austral heroes are engaged in a pursuit for identity whose meaning is also collective, to the extent that their novelistic trajectory is representative of the destiny of a community. At the same time, maritime space, Coloane’s work takes on a universal dimension, for adventure at sea, imposing on man a permanent confrontation with death, becomes the occasion for metaphysical examinations. The stakes of this adventure are not only ontological: Coloane’s work is an intellectual adventure fully anchored in the physical and cultural context of Chile’s southern territories, navigated by erudite, investigative narrators—geographers, naturalists and ethnologists of the Austral world. Coloane’s texts are vehicules for the transmission of an encyclopedic range of knowledge about Chile’s southernmost regions. They participate in the understanding of a world that remains nevertheless essentially mysterious. Finally, the concern for truth which underlies Coloane’s writing must also be understood as a desire for justice : his texts make visible the workers forgotten by official history as well as the indigeneous inhabitants of the extreme southern territories, decimated by the promoters of industrial exploitation in the region. From this heuristic and critical perspective, Coloane unveils a tragic reality long obscured by the veil of a utopia that transformed Chile’s outermost regions into the stuff of romantic legend. Abandoning such myths, Coloane nevertheless imagines the survival of the Austral identity in the permanence of intimate connections between man and his milieu.
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Estelle Patoyt. Ecriture de l'aventure et quête identitaire dans l'oeuvre de l'écrivain chilien Francisco Coloane (1910-2002). Littératures. Université Michel de Montaigne - Bordeaux III, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015BOR30063⟩. ⟨tel-01300514⟩

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