Liesbeth Korthals Altes, Manet van Montfrans, ‘Pierre Bergounioux: un Limousin entre Descartes et Bourdieu’. In Liesbeth Korthals Altes & Manet van Montfrans (Eds.), The New Georgics: Rural and Regional Motifs in the Contemporary European Novel, European Studies, A Journal of Culture, History, and Politics no 18 . Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 125-149.
This article discusses two texts by Pierre Bergounioux (b.1949) Miette (1995)
and Le Chevron (1996), which, like all his work, are set in his native region Le Limousin. In Miette a first person narratore describes the lives of three generations of a peasant family, Le Chevron is an autobiographical account of the relationship between the author and the landscape of his childhood. Bergounioux focuses on the fissure between two eras and two worlds. As one of the last eyewitnnesses he examines the norms of an age-old, rural society which will not survive. A convinced determinist, he describes how he remains anchored in his native land and how he, as a cultural oustsider from the despised provinces, struggles to gain entry to mainstream literature. These tensions are expressed by means of an individual usage of traditional topoi, and by a style in which the vernacular is combined with sophisticated literary language).
‘La littérature périt si elle quitte le sol de la vie immédiate’. (Pierre Bergounioux, Haute tension)