Textual Genetics and chaotic system. A new approach to the writing process

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

The possibility of an analogy between text and chaotic system had been advanced by Noëlle Batt according to whom each work actually satisfies the principles of the chaotic system.The studies on the relationship between text and chaotic system which have been carried out so far will then allow us to apply the theory of chaotic determinism also in the genetic process of a text as being characterized by the continuous oscillation between ordered systems and aleatory movements. The project intends to examine the works of novelists such as Flaubert, Zola, Proust, Sartre, Butor and Perec, major representatives of the literary movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Realism, Naturalism, Existentialism, “nouveau roman”). The objective is to demonstrate the continuous oscillation between ordered systems and aleatory movements, through the analysis of the documents that characterize the pre compositional phase (exploratory and preparatory process), the compositional phase (documentation and compositional process) and the pre publication phase (post compositional process).It is starting from principles regulating nonlinear dynamic systems that we will try to show the analogy between chaotic system and textual genetics:1. The fact that we are dealing with an evolving system (with variables and permanent features) endowed with a temporal dynamics. 2. The paradoxical association of determinism and unpredictability.3. The alternation of ordered and disordered sentences. 4. The sensitivity to initial inner situations. 5. Strange attractor. It is starting from the typological and chronological process of classification of the writing operations that it is possible to show the evolving character of the novel in the genetic phase.The second principle can be proved if one considers the issue of genre belonging and the strength of innovation that one single text can have according to its genre of reference. The determinism is the link which each work keeps with its genre of reference, by contrast, the unpredictability is the innovation according to the model.The third principle will reveal the “Blanks” and the descriptive sequences.Blanks are discontinuities within segments of the text and at a genetic level, they can be considered as the result of a reduction process (Chaotic phase).Descriptive segments are autonomous rather than the text and they are the result of an expansion process starting from the thematic nucleus. They are characterized by a rigid hierarchical structure produced by lively stylistic work (Tidy phases).In the fourth principle, the elements of the text which respect the principle of self-similarity are regulated by the principle of "sensitivity to the initial conditions". This elements are the microstructures satisfying a relationship of resemblance with the whole text (or macrostructure).Every modification of such microstructures involves changes in the novel-system.Elements which satisfy this relationship are the title, because it is in metonymic or metaphoric relationship with the text, and the mise-en-abîme, because it is a synthetic image of the novel itself.The fifth principle can be proved through the analysis of the "style of the genesis" and the textual redundancy forms.

Layman's description

The studies carried out by Noëlle Batt, Alain Goulet, Yves Lavandier, François Baillet, Gérard Cordesse on the relationship between the definitive text and the chaotic system provides an additional tool to Genetic Editing.Genetic Editing developed in France in the seventies and focuses on the writing process and the genesis of a work. The text is in fact considered as a progressive elaboration, and its temporal dimension then becomes the object of study of textual genetics. The variation between tidy systems and aleatory movements, which according to Louis Hay characterizes the creation stages, leads to the application of the principles regulating nonlinear dynamic systems to the writing process.This project aims to apply the principles of nonlinear dynamic system to the writing process in order to offer a new approach to textual genetics.The possibility of an analogy between text and chaotic system has been introduced by Noëlle Batt (1999, « Dynamique littéraire et non linéarité », Pierre Cotte (éd.), Langage et linéarité, Presses Universitaires du Septentrion), who has claimed that each work actually satisfies the principles of the chaotic system.In this study we will try to show the analogy between chaotic system and textual genetics:1. The fact that we are dealing with an evolving system (with variables and permanent features) endowed with a temporal dynamics. 2. The paradoxical association of determinism and unpredictability.3. The alternation of ordered and disordered sentences. 4. The sensitivity to initial inner situations. 5. The strange attractor. The “corpus” chosen includes the manuscripts of some works published from 1850 to 1970. The project intends to examine the works of novelists such as Flaubert, Zola, Proust, Sartre, Butor and Perec, major representatives of the literary movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Realism, Naturalism, Existentialism, “nouveau roman”). The manuscripts of these writers will be found in the following archives: Fonds Marcel Proust – Bibliothèque Nationale de FranceFonds Flaubert - Bibliothèque Nationale de FranceFonds Zola - Bibliothèque Nationale de FranceFonds Sartre – Bibliothèque Nationale de FranceFonds Butor - Bibliothèque Romain Gary, NiceFonds privé Georges Perec – Bibliothèque de l’ArsenalThe objective is to demonstrate the continuous oscillation between ordered systems and aleatory movements, through the analysis of the documents that characterize the pre compositional phase (exploratory and preparatory process), the compositional phase (documentation and compositional process) and the pre publication phase (post compositional process).The interaction between Writability and Outlining will be proved through the principles governing the nonlinear dynamic systems. The first, in fact, is centred on verbalization and textualisation, while the second designates any writing process focusing on planning, organization and structuring of the narrative. Then, the comparison between Writability (microgenetic) and Outlinig (macrogenetic) will help identify the elements of the text and the processes that confirm the analogy between text/manuscript and chaotic system.The study aims to demonstrate the productivity of a mathematical principle within the Humanities.Despite the impossibility to homologate and systematize the “writing operations” which can be observed in manuscripts, the project wants to demonstrate that some text elements satisfy the same principles. To demonstrate the principles that govern the nonlinear dynamic system the processes that affect the elaborations of tit

Key findings

Scienze socioeconomiche e umane
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/25/159/25/18