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Master Thesis

« Il était une fois la grammaire » dans les contes grammaticaux d'Érik Orsenna

Abstract : This dissertation intends to gain an insight into a grammar revisited by Erik Orsenna, member of the Académie française since 1998. Through four tales, the writer brings us on the islands of a French language that strays away from traditional textbooks. Behind this project is a story. Thus, the storyteller - aware of pupils' demands and of the alarming assessment of their views on their own language mechanisms - has undertaken the writing of a new grammar. By extolling the virtues of grammar, he demonstrates its vital importance in every human life. Far more than a mere language mechanism, grammar is a necessary tool to enter into contact with others, as well as openness to the world. We will see that other authors such as Alain Bentolila and Patrick Rambaud have also praised the virtues of the French language and proposed - just as Erik Orsenna has - new methods to teach grammar. So this study takes an interest in the form of the tale chosen by Erik Orsenna; a not so insignificant choice as the storyteller wishes to combine three aspects that are dear to him: grammar, pleasure and imagination. The previous analysis then leads us to study how grammar is represented in these four tales. It is personified, compared to music and painted in a universal color: love. That way, the author opens it to as many readers as possible. Furthermore, Erik Orsenna gives voice to Jeanne, a teenage "I" who - along with her brother Thomas - sets off to explore the mysterious territories of the French language. Thus, the readers can identify themselves to the two young protagonists and discover, at the same time, grammar's new face. This master dissertation heads to a new aspect: the writing. Indeed, the language becomes Erik Orsenna's main ally in this project. It is thanks to words, sentences and a poetic backdrop that the storyteller passes on grammatical notions and messages. In addition, he defends the idea that education should not be deprived of pleasure. It is therefore not surprising to find that the tales are full of humour throughout Jeanne and Thomas's adventures. Moreover, the four tales are sprinkled with literary references, a means of creating complicity between the readers and literature. So the writing - and through it the language - are a "mise en abîme" and become a subject central to the tales.
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Master Thesis
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Magali Regnacq. « Il était une fois la grammaire » dans les contes grammaticaux d'Érik Orsenna. Littératures. 2012. ⟨dumas-00832142⟩

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