The 1990s witnessed an explosion in women's writing in France, with a particularly exciting new generation of writer's coming to the fore, such as Christine Angot, Marie Darrieussecq and Regine Detambel. This book introduces an analysis of new women's writing in contemporary France, including both new writers of the 1990s and their more established counter-parts. The 1990s was an exciting period for women's writing in France. The novels of Louise Lambrichs are brilliant but troubling psychological dramas focusing on the traumas that inhabit the family romance: incest, sterility, the death those we love and the terrible legacy of mourning. The body of writing produced by Marie Redonnet between 1985 and 2000 is an unusually coherent one. The book explores the possibility of writing 'de la mélancolie' through focusing on the work of Chantal Chawaf, whose writing may be described as 'melancholic autofiction', melancholic autobiographical fiction. It places Confidence pour confidence within Constant's oeuvre as a whole, and argues for a more positive reading of the novel, a reading that throws light on the trajectory of mother-daughter relations in her fiction. Christiane Baroche was acclaimed in France first as a short-story writer. Unable to experience the freedom of their brothers and fathers, beur female protagonists are shown to experience it vicariously through the reading, and the writing of, narratives. Clotilde Escalle's private worlds of sex and violence, whose transgressions are part of real lives, shock precisely because they are brought into the public sphere, expressed in and through writing.
Louise L. Lambrichs: trauma, dream and
The novels of LouiseLambrichs are brilliant but troubling psychological
dramas focusing on the traumas that inhabit the family romance: incest,
sterility, the death of those we love and the terrible legacy of mourning.
Bringing together themes of loss and recompense, Lambrichs’s novels trace
with inﬁnite delicacy the reactions of those who suﬀer and seek obsessively for comfort and understanding. But equally they perform a subtle and
often chilling evocation of the secrets, lies and crimes that
exemplify the kaleidoscopic proliferation of selves that we are as individuals.
When we are traumatised and damaged by unspeakable loss, our psychical
selves work to protect us; this work consists, as with LouiseLambrichs’s
Hannah, in a shoring up of our psychical defences until we are suﬃciently
strong to begin the reparative and creative process of mourning. Art and literature are themselves part of that reparative, healing process. Indeed, we
would go further and argue that loss is an intrinsic part of artistic creation.
It can take the form of sublimation, or, as in