Department or Program



At first glance, Claude Simon’s auto-fictional novel L’Acacia (1989) seems incomprehensible. The disruption of chronology, the original use of analogy, the repetition and circularity of events, the lack of proper names, and the hypothetical tone elude traditional configurations and pose a challenge for readers. This thesis examines the causes and effects of these narrative devices and Simon’s unique representation of himself and his ancestors. Simon appears to write an auto-fictional (neither entirely autobiographical nor fictional) work that does not shed a definitive light on who he is. This very refusal of transparency brings a different perspective to his story. I argue that Simon bases his exploration of genealogy, history and identity on the uncertainty of memory as a representation of reality as well as on the questioning of more conventional forms such as photographs, postcards, and testimonies. The emphasis on their complexity and heterogeneity not only generates unprecedented connections between the writer’s family history and his present existence, but ultimately invites readers to question their own personal relationship with these representations and with the novel itself.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Dauge-Roth, Alexandre

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2013

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.