The role of the feminine characters in the major novels of Henri Bosco : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts in French at Massey University

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Readers of Bosco soon discover that they are entering a world where the visible and the invisible exist side by side and where reality meets the fantastic. Jean Lambert has called him "Un voyageur des deux mondes".¹ For notes see end of chapters To one of these worlds belong the colourful descriptions of the Provencal landscape with its sunshine and soundness of life, and to the other belongs the night with its mystery and intrigue. it is the difference for Bosco between the outer, visible world on the one hand and the inner world of the mind on the other. These two worlds exist for example in Malicroix, the one represented by the cosy Megremut settlement with its orchards and beehives in the hills of Les Puyreloubes where the family lives out its ordered life, and the other by the tiny island in the Camargue constantly given over to the whims of nature and the mysteries of the night. There is a line of demarcation, a "frontière",² which has to be crossed to pass from one world to the other and in this case it is the great watery masses of the Rhône. Martial Mégremut crosses it to take up his inheritance on the island and at once enters its secret world where the night and its happenings reign supreme. Once there he learns that according to the terms of Cornélius Malicroix's will he must spend the next three months there, without leaving, before he can take full possession of the property. So the river acts as a barrier to the outer world, and the contrast is made all the more striking when in Part Seven he finally does return to visit the warm, intimate world of the Mégremut clan. But this barrier becomes even more restricting when Martial reveals his life-long fear of rivers and their swirling water. It becomes a double barrier because he could not cross it by himself if he wanted to. [From Introduction]
Bosco, Henri 1888-1976, Criticism and interpretation, Characters -- Women