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Experiment and Experience

Women’s Writing in France 2000–2010

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Edited by Gill Rye and Amaleena Damlé

Experiment and Experience is a collection of critical essays on twenty-first-century women-authored literature in France. In particular, the volume focuses on how contemporary women’s writing engages creatively with socio-political issues and real-life experiences. Authors covered include well-established names, the ‘new generation’ of writers who first came to the fore of the French literary scene in the 1990s and whose work has now matured into an important œuvre, as well as new emerging writers of the 2000s, whose work is already attracting scholarly and critical attention. Within the overarching theme of ‘experiment and experience’, the contributors explore a range of issues: identities, family relations, violence, borders and limits, and the environment. They consider fiction, autobiography, writing for the theatre, autofiction and other hybrid genres and forms. Their analyses highlight difficult issues, refreshing perspectives and exciting new themes at the start of the new millennium and moving forward into the coming decades.
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The Beautiful and the Monstrous

Essays in French Literature, Thought and Culture

Amaleena Damlé and Aurélie L'Hostis

The composition of aesthetic beauty and its necessary correlation with the counterparts of ugliness and monstrosity have been the primary concerns of artists and philosophers through the ages. This collection of articles, selected from the proceedings of a conference on the theme of The Beautiful and the Monstrous that took place at Cambridge University in April 2008, seeks to reassess conceptualizations and representations of beauty and monstrosity and offers a timely critical evaluation of the relationship between the two. By means of a variety of theoretical approaches and methodologies, the authors provide rigorous analyses of philosophical and artistic expression from medieval to contemporary literature, thought and culture from France and across the French-speaking world. Throughout, they seek to challenge traditional approaches by addressing a diverse range of questions that relate to the beautiful and the monstrous: from formal, metaphysical and ethical considerations of aesthetics, to the threat of the monstrous in realms of psychoanalysis and politics; from figures of beauty and monstrosity as prescriptive social and identitarian categories, to transformations and metamorphoses which challenge the boundaries between human and monstrous other. Engaging with discourses on aesthetics, metaphysics, ethics, politics, psychoanalysis, feminism and postcolonialism, and discussing a spectrum of figures from angels to zombies, this collection offers a fresh range of perspectives on a fundamental transgeneric and transdisciplinary topic.