The Representation of Motherhood in the Novels and Short Stories of Marie NDiaye
Mothers and mothering are significant features of contemporary women’s writing in France and mothers are narrators and key protagonists in nearly all Marie NDiaye’s novels and short stories. These mothers rarely strike the reader as attractive personalities and, in their mothering role, are portrayed as inadequate, abusive or even murderous. A pattern of maternal failure is passed on from mother to daughter and the relationship between mothers and daughters is one of rejection and suppression.
This book explores what this negative representation tells us about mothers and about how mothers represent their own mothering to themselves. Close readings of text and intertext are at the centre of the analytic approach, embracing references to existing commentaries on the author and to the psychoanalytic, mythological, religious and literary background against which NDiaye’s mothers demand to be read.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1Mythologies and Models of Motherhood: Medea, Madonna and More
CHAPTER 2The Good Mother, the Bad Mother and the Ordinary Devoted Mother
CHAPTER 3Mothers and Daughters: Suppression and Subjectivity
CHAPTER 4Counterpoint: Joy, Ambivalence and Success
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