Chien de Printemps Essay

1426 Words Dec 28th, 2009 6 Pages
‘The narrator of Chien de printemps could not have chosen a more mysterious and elusive subject for his biographical project than Francis Jansen.’ Discuss. This novel opens up with the simple straightford lines « J’ai connu Francis Jansen quand j’avais dix-neuf ands, au printemps de 1964, et je veux dire aujourd’hui le peu de choses que je sais de lui. » the author’s intent is to put down in black and white all his memorys of jansen. He wants to catagorise, and organize his memories and by making them tangiable he feels that in doing this they will be reaffirmed. His time spent with jansen was so brief, yet significant and he wants to validate his memories to try and gain some closure from this elusive mentor figure that he had known …show more content…
It is ironic then that now jansen is ‘une sorte de double de Capa’ who now has a protigé of his own. There is a lot of similarity in fact, including the ages of the author when he started working for jansen and jansen when he started working with capa. Also as the novel progresses we can see that in both cases, once the mentor figure is taken away from from the protigé, darkness and confusion become a dominant feature of their lives. ‘moi aussi il m’est souvent arrive de tomber dans des trous noirs…’ Throughout his time spent with jansen the author learns various facts about jansen’s life which he is able to recall and write down… ‘il était né en 1920 a Anvers…sa mere et lui avaient la nationalité italienne…il a passé quelques années d’études a Bruxelles… but these mere facts do not satisfy the author. He knows the facts and that’s it. What he craves to know is the person and he is using this ‘biographical project’ on jansen in order to piece together all the information he has in order to get some kind of answers. This does prove difficult for him as jansen is a difficult person to get information from – ‘il se replia de plus en plus sur lui meme…c’etait

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