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American writer Julien Green’s (1900–1998) origins, artistic motivation, and identity was a source of mystery and confusion even for those that most fêted him. The first non-French national to be elected to the Académie française, Green authored several novels (The Dark Journey, The Closed Garden, Moira, Each Man in His Darkness, and the Dixie trilogy), a four-volume autobiography (The Green Paradise, The War at Sixteen, Love in America and Restless Youth), and his famous Diary.

In this study, John. M Dunaway begins with an examination of the autobiographical context of Julien Green’s works, in which the duality of mystic and sensualist is quite clearly polarized. He then proceeds through a selected series of Green’s fictional works in an attempt to show the birth and nature of the third self as a personal myth of the artist. He then considers the fiction in chronological order with the intention of demonstrating the evolution of the myth of the third self in Green’s career.

John M. Dunaway, professor of French and Interdisciplinary Studies at Mercer University, is the author of The Double Vocation: Christian Presence in Twentieth-Century French Fiction.

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Julien Green, French literature


French and Francophone Language and Literature

The Metamorphoses of the Self: The Mystic, the Sensualist, and the Artist in the Works of Julien Green
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