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ABSTRACT. In his 1987 book devoted to the paratext in literature, Gérard Genette referred many times to Gide’s texts. Gide’s work presents indeed a rich and fascinating reservoir for paratext studies. Curiously, Genette ignores Gide’s early texts in favor of those published later in Gide’s career. However it is in the texts of the first ten years of his literary career, from 1892 to 1902, that Gide used a particularly abundant and complex paratextual system. Indeed the paratext tends to proliferate in texts preceding Gide’s public acceptance of his homosexuality in books such as Si le grain ne meurt and Corydon. This paper demonstrates that there is a connection between the paratext seen as a proliferating discourse located within the edges of the text and the fact that the books in which it appears all precede the author’s public acceptance of his homosexuality and conceal a ‘secret’ waiting to be revealed. In other words, in Gide’s work the paratext plays an ambivalent role, consisting some- times in delaying, reducing or contradicting, sometimes in anticipating, exaggerating and confirming what the narrative reveals or attempts to reveal. pp. 101–110

Keywords: Gide, homosexuality, paratext, coming-out, Symbolism

FREDERIC CANOVAS
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Arizona State University, United States of America

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