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Guilt and Shame

Essays in French Literature, Thought and Visual Culture


Edited By Jenny Chamarette and Jenny Higgins

As theoretical positions and as affective experiences, the twin currents of contrition – guilt and shame – permeate literary discourse and figure prominently in discussions of ethics, history, sexuality and social hierarchy. This collection of essays, on French and francophone prose, poetry, drama, visual art, cinema and thought, assesses guilt and shame in relation to structures of social morality, language and self-expression, the thinking of trauma, and the ethics of forgiveness. The authors approach their subjects via close readings and comparative study, drawing on such thinkers as Adorno, Derrida, Jankélévitch and Irigaray. Through these they consider works ranging from the medieval Roman de la rose through to Gustave Moreau’s Symbolist painting, Giacometti’s sculpture, the films of Marina de Van and recent sub-Saharan African writing. The collection provides an état-présent of thinking on guilt and shame in French Studies, and is the first to assemble work on this topic ranging from the thirteenth to the twenty-first century. The book contains nine contributions in English and four in French.


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Acknowledgments vii Jenny Chamarette and Jennifer Higgins Introduction 1 Bill Burgwinkle Guilt, Shame and Masculine Insufficiency: The Case of La Fille du Comte de Pontieu 15 Irène Fabry ‘Si en i ot de teus qui i conterent plus lor honte que leur honour’: Enadain et Gauvain, les chevaliers transformés en nains dans la Suite Vulgate du Merlin 31 Mary Flannery The Shame of the Rose : A Paradox 51 Emilia Wilton-Godberfforde Guilt’s Reconfiguration of Time and Relational Ties in Seventeenth- Century French Theatre: A Study of Molière’s Dom Juan, Rotrou’s Cosroès, Tristan L’Hermite’s La Mariane and Racine’s Phèdre 71 Frédéric Miquel Quand le langage spirituel plaide coupable: linguistique et péché au XVIIe siècle 87 Natasha Grigorian Guilt and Desire in the Dream World: Gustave Moreau and Jean Moréas 101 vi Najate Zouggari L’Impardonnable, l’imprescriptible et l’exigence éthique de pardon 113 Eszter HorvÁth Psyché: le péché originel 125 Ruth Kitchen Guilt and Shame in Occupation Narrative: Reading the Open Secret and Cultural Amnesia in Blanchot’s L’Instant de ma mort and Grimbert’s Un secret 141 Timothy Mathews Trauma, Witness, Form: Thinking Walter Benjamin with Alberto Giacometti 161 Davina Quinlivan ‘Whispering on the threshold of the flesh’: The Breathing Body, Silence and Embodied Shame in Marina de Van’s Dans ma peau (2002) 177 Lucy Bolton Remembering Flesh: Morvern Callar as an Irigarayan Alice 189 Charlotte Baker ‘For a minute, their sense of the ways of the world was ruptured. Just by looking’:...

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