La Fontaine's extensive use of preterition
in Psyche has been interpreted in a variety of ways: whereas Michel Jeanneret claims that this technique renders Poliphile's discourse more integrated and uniform (242-43), Joan DeJean interprets it as narrative sadism (103-04).
Le mal (not just evil but also "what hurts") is history; and preterition, then, is the emblematic trope of human knowledge as it is of modern beauty, because it structures history as we experience it and describes knowledge as alienated.
2) Preterition (Latin "praeter-ire," to go out in front, to pass by) is the figure whereby a topic is acknowledged to be relevant and significant in the act of passing it over, whether for lack of time or space, or because of an inability to treat it adequately.
On a vu que La Franciade pouvait etre lue comme un voyage par preterition
, c'est-a-dire d'un voyage qui reste a faire.
introduisant "Les Funerailles" n'est qu'un exemple: "Je n'entreprendrai point, o Rene, de te peindre aujourd'hui le desespoir qui saisit mon ame .
Concerning Gautier's narrative coyness with respect to Madeleine and Rosette's lovemaking, I would argue that it is in fact an exemplary case of narrative preterition
(a rhetorical figure which deemphasizes an implied topic on the explicit level precisely so as to lend it greater importance).
Such performative chatter is based on the structure of the preterition
whose most classical example remains "I don't need to remind you that.
Among them are God, already everything was there, dwelling, spew into the sea, off age's shore, Peruvia, of maps and of prints, Lazarus, clairvoy, write in tongues, unfinish the hi/story, just before the paper, the fear of names, dragonflies, slight uneasiness the masculine, preteritions
, our century, the shelves, the body writes, measures, tempo, the grace the galloping, and God's return.
marquees ou le sens de l'inachevement".
, aposiopesis, and silence must be regarded as figures signaling unpresentability.
Here and there, surprising preteritions
testify to a lack of curiosity which seems an indifference toward the Other.