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Le criminel asocial dans la littérature américaine de la seconde moitié du vingtième siècle

Abstract : What is the common point between Vladimir Nabokov, Norman Mailer, Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy et James Ellroy ? These five authors have been interested in a specific character in the contemporary literature, the asocial criminal in The United States. He appeared in a paradoxical way : while he is fighting against the established social conventions, he does not wish to live away from this society. So if this character is not antisocial, why does he make the choice to be asocial ? Because he cannot accept what he considers as a deviance inside the American way of life and he is going to fight against it in order to achieve his personal goals. But why should he also be a criminal ? This is a legitimate question since the link between crime and lack of sociability is not necessarily an obvious fact. On the contrary, it is pretty easier to tie crime and antisocial behaviors because there is a desire to live like an outcast, to infringe laws with violence. So, an asocial cannot be a criminal. However, concerning the authors' protagonists, both of these features work well together. Maybe they are asocial and criminal because they decided to live according to their wishes inside their society with its restrictive rules but as they refuse to lose their freedom, they know perfectly well they must not go too far ? Or maybe they also simply think they do not have to follow rules that they cannot accept and support ? Anyway, all these questions lead to a various corpus composed by biographies, fictions and non fiction stories. It entires the reader to think about the American consumer society and more particularly about the dysfunctions which gave birth to the asocial criminal character. So that the latter becomes a thought-provoking within the socially-engaged literature.
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Audrey Martel. Le criminel asocial dans la littérature américaine de la seconde moitié du vingtième siècle. Littératures. Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013NICE2031⟩. ⟨tel-00952972⟩

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