The significance of place in the prose writings of Hervé Bazin
thesisposted on 15.12.2014, 10:45 by Diana Hallam
Manuscript evidence from the Archives Municipales in Nancy provides insights into the way in which Bazin used his settings to create verisimilitude and structure. His use of place is also significant from a thematic point of view. His experiences at his childhood home, Le PÃ¢tys, seem to have been particularly formative, inspiring the Rezeau trilogy. Throughout his writing career, Bazin would re-examine his most dominant place-based concerns in a variety of fictional contexts.;Bazin analysed the way in which some individuals identified themselves strongly with their homes, drawing their sense of identity and continuity from their environment. However, he was also interested in the effect of exile on such rooted people whose close relationship with a specific place was broken or interrupted.;Bazin's portrayal of interpersonal relationships also led to important place-based themes. He showed the tendency of individuals to turn their homes into personal fiefdoms or territories at the expense of others. He also considered the phenomenon of running away from home, examining the motives of those who took flight. Bazin's novels assert the particularly close association between women and the home but also seen to question the ability of men and women to live harmoniously under the same roof.;The outdoors tends to provide places of retreat for Bazin's characters and his novels suggest that the beauty and complexity of the natural world is a source of solace of life. Indeed, Bazin's affection for the natural environment seems to have inspired much of the more philosophical writing of his later years in which he considers man's role and responsibilities in relation to the uniqueness of his planet.;Overall, by means of his novels and his non-fictional writing, Bazin affirms the importance of place in determining man's identity, relationships and ultimate significance.