Annie Ernaux Writing Styles in The Years (Ernaux)

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Structure

Annie Ernaux’s The Years is written as one long and, to borrow a phrase the author uses to describe her own memoir, ‘unremitting’ stretch of prose. It does not contain a table of contents and is not divided into chapters, sections, or parts. Instead, the only dividing elements of Ernaux’s prose are the paragraph breaks she employs frequently, jumping from thought to thought and subject to subject both within a paragraph and between paragraphs.

As such, her paragraph breaks act less as markers of a new idea and more as signals for the reader regarding where to pause, or take a break. In this sense, Ernaux’s book is genre-defying. Her fluid structure and seemingly out-of-place paragraphs breaks highlight specific images and provide the reader with room to breather in a way that is reminiscent of poetic verse. Just as in poetry where the reader...

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This section contains 1,113 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Years (Ernaux) Study Guide
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