Anthroponymes et toponymes dans Le testament français d’Andreï Makine

la centralité des noms littéraires


  • Richard Brütting



Anthroponyme, Toponyme, Testament, Andrei Makine


Having emigrated from France to Russia, Charlotte Lemonnier has survived the cruelties of the Stalinist regime and the Second World War. Maintaining great serenity of soul, she lives freely among the inhabitants of a small village in Siberia, conveying to her grandson Alyosha a vivid image of the freedom available in France as well as a feel for the French language. The adolescent tries to reconcile Charlotte’s tales with the Russian mentality and the hardships of life in Russia, but fails in his aspirations, particularly in the domain of eroticism. He eventually emigrates to France, where he seeks to overcome Anthroponymes et toponymes dans Le testament français d’Andreï Makine 125 his disappointment by writing novels in French. Through Charlotte’s posthumou letter, Alyosha realizes that he was born in a gulag as the fruit of a coercive sexual relationship imposed on an imprisoned female kulak.
The present study is based on the hypothesis that poetonyms contribute significantly to the constitution of the meaning of literary texts. Despite the centrality of literary names in Makine’s novel, however, its poetonyms have not yet been studied in any detail. I will therefore analyse symbolic, etymological, historic, geographic, anagrammatic aspects, etc. of the most important anthroponyms and toponyms that occur in this novel (Alyosha, Charlotte, Pashka, Félix Faure / Atlantide, Boyarsk, Saranza, Stalinka …). By combining the different names and placing them in their French and Russian linguistic contexts, I will show that there is a movement from one cultural background to the other. Thus, through name configuration in particular, Dreams of My Russian Summers portrays a multicultural migration between France and Russia – between East and West. Dreams of my Russian Summers is a Bildungsroman that encompasses several issues: identity formation (what shall I be: Russian, French, cosmopolitan?); sentimental education (love, what is it?); disappointment; and, finally, awareness of reality.]