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New writers, new literatures in the 1990s
Editors: and

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.

Rowland Wymer

the inner psychological drama being enacted: ‘Sex cut across the reading in all the viewers’ eyes: they saw a naked, handsome man, they did not see him as a spirit.’ 21 As a spirit, Sebastian opens himself up to his God, who is the sun, who is Severus, and finds a completeness which he could not have achieved with his Christ-like twin Justin, who is scarcely visible in the final shot as he lies bleeding on the ground. Yet this triumphant union of

in Derek Jarman
Open Access (free)
Trauma, dream and narrative
Victoria Best

   Louise L. Lambrichs: trauma, dream and narrative The novels of Louise Lambrichs 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

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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Abbott as writer, producer and creator
Beth Johnson

bringing up his two younger siblings alone. Like Butterfly Collectors, Cracker was a psychological drama and a series that exuded darkness in its emotional twists and aphotic narrative. Concentrated around a larger-than-life criminal psychologist, Fitz (played by Robbie Coltrane), Cracker was a cerebral series, an emotional series and, despite its darkness, a distinctive ‘hit’ for ITV. Engaging with what Mark Duguid (2009: 3) nominates as the ‘social conscience’ of 1990s Britain, ugly issues such as the crisis of masculinity, madness, grief, poverty, unemployment and the

in Paul Abbott
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Spies, conspiracies and the secret state in British television drama
Author:

This book explores the history of the spy and conspiracy genres on British television, from 1960s Cold War series through 1980s conspiracy dramas to contemporary 'war on terror' thrillers. It analyses classic dramas including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Edge of Darkness, A Very British Coup and Spooks. The analysis is framed by the notion that the on-screen depiction of intelligence services in such programmes can be interpreted as providing metaphors for broadcasting institutions. Initially, the book is primarily focused on espionage-themed programmes produced by regional franchise-holders for ITV in late 1960s and 1970s. Subsequently, it considers spy series to explore how many standard generic conventions were innovated and popularised. The relatively economical productions such as Bird of Prey demonstrated a more sophisticated treatment of genre conventions, articulated through narratives showing the collapse of standard procedure. Channel 4 was Britain's third and final broadcaster to be enshrined with a public service remit. As the most iconic version of the television spy drama in the 1960s, the ITC adventure series, along with ABC's The Avengers, fully embraced the formulaic and Fordist tendencies of episodic series in the US network era. However, Callan, a more modestly resourced series aimed more towards a domestic audience, incorporated elements of deeper psychological drama, class tension and influence from the existential spy thrillers. The book is an invaluable resource for television scholars interested in a new perspective on the history of television drama and intelligence scholars seeking an analysis of the popular representation of espionage.

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Steven Peacock

Chapter Four explores the texts’ presentations of sex and violence. As with the works’ handling of space and place, there is a key relationship between meditations on the human body – violated by murderers, protected or abused – and national identity. Equally, the move into psychological drama and the various ways in which the killer’s motives (for example) are revealed to the reader/viewer opens up further means by which Sweden’s fractured state is placed under scrutiny. In particular, the chapter extends thoughts on the texts’ handling of sex and sexuality. Sweden is often thought of, from urban myth to sociological fact, as a place of tolerance and the open celebration of sexuality. Addressing related matters of censorship, Chapter Four looks at how Swedish fictions have engaged with the roles and relationships between the sexes in the contemporary world, and with forms of sexual liberation in a (seemingly) permissive society.

in Swedish crime fiction
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Joseph Oldham

 drama. As the most iconic version of the television spy drama in the 1960s, the ITC adventure series, along with ABC’s The Avengers (ITC, 1961–69), fully embraced the formulaic and Fordist tendencies of episodic series in the US network era in order to maximise global distribution. However, Callan (ITV, 1967–72), a more modestly resourced series aimed more towards a domestic audience, took advantage of this specificity and incorporated elements of deeper psychological drama, class tension and influence from the existential spy thrillers of le Carré and Len Deighton. As it

in Paranoid visions
Clouzot’s post-war films
Christopher Lloyd

offered no riddle and the police do not conduct a real inquiry’. While it is true that the film works better as a social and psychological drama than as a thriller, this is partly because Clouzot conceals the ‘riddle’ for much of the film; the audience assumes that Maurice will be unjustly punished for Jenny’s crime and is left unaware of other possibilities (and thereby denied any real suspense). Antoine’s belated discovery of another culprit at least allows a conventional happy ending to be grafted on to a grim account of marital infidelity and police incompetence. Jenny

in Henri-Georges Clouzot
Paisley Livingston

Janov’s theory and was not finally interested in making a cinematic work that would take a stance on it as a hypothesis in scientific psychology, he might still have sought to recruit some of its tenets as interesting premises for an engaging psychological drama ‘along Janov lines’. Here we need to draw a distinction between (1) the author’s effective and final story intentions pertaining to what would be fictionally true in a film’s story, and (2) whatever fervent psychological-theoretical beliefs the director

in Ingmar Bergman
Sous les pieds des femmes and Vivre au paradis
Carrie Tarr

symptomatic of the present-day need for a consensual understanding of the place of immigrants and their children in France. They are not straightforward male-centred war films, rather they integrate elements of action into more personal, psychological dramas, emphasising the individual circumstances and desires that motivate the main protagonists. In each case, they provoke a critique not just of France and French racism, but also of the FLN (Front de Libération Nationale

in Reframing difference