Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


In this thesis, we study the novels and short stories written by Marie-Claire Blais, beginning with La Belle Bete and ending with Pierre la guerre du printemps 81. We attempt to demonstrate that the characters' desire is the very source of their actions and of artistic creation; this desire is therefore the centre and the essence of Marie-Claire Blais's work.;In the first part of our thesis, we discuss the itinerary of desire from its inception through its diverse stages until its satisfaction or frustration and subsequent disappearance. This itinerary is cyclical, since the death of one desire is immediately followed by the birth of another.;In the second part, we discuss the interchangeable relationship between desire and life on the one hand, and the lack of desire and the spiritual death it represents on the other. We discuss the moral implications of this relationship within the context of Marie-Claire Blais's novels and short stories.;In the third and last part we trace once again the itinerary of desire, this time as it manifests itself in the artist's desire, namely in his pursuit of a work of art. We establish that this itinerary of creation presents similarities to the one we studied in the first part of the thesis.;We conclude that, within Marie-Claire Blais's world, desire is the very essence of life and the main force behind each action and creation.



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