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What's your database version? (SELECT * FROM v$version)
Are you sure you're getting a "string literal too long" error ?
It doesn't make sense in the situation you're describing.
That would mean you're somehow trying to use an hardcoded string longer than 4000 bytes in your query.
Is that the case? Could you post the query?
Anyway, I'd recommend using XQuery-based functions instead. EXTRACTVALUE and alike are deprecated as of 11.2.
Can you give this a try ?
SELECT XMLCast( XMLQuery( '/path/to/data' passing t.my_xmltype_column returning content ) as CLOB ) FROM my_table t WHERE ...
Thank you for the advice and I know what to do next, thank you again.