Show Less

Guilt and Shame

Essays in French Literature, Thought and Visual Culture

Series:

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.

Prices

See more price optionsHide price options
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Charlotte Baker ‘For a minute, their sense of the ways of the world was ruptured.J ust by looking’: The Black African Albino in the Novels of Didier Destremau, Patrick Grainville and Williams Sassine 201

Extract

Charlotte Baker ‘For a minute, their sense of the ways of the world was ruptured. Just by looking’: The Black African Albino in the Novels of Didier Destremau, Patrick Grainville and Williams Sassine The citation in the title of this article comes from ‘That Rare and Random Tribe: Albino Identity in South Africa’, a study by Ngaire Blankenberg, a person with albinism: My grandfather, as black as tar, was ecstatic. The gods had decided to give him a white grandson; almost white, but not quite. As I got older, people would look at me with horror, with fascination, almost perfect but not quite, and, for a minute, their sense of the ways of the world was ruptured. Just by looking.1 The rupture described by Blankenberg is both a rupture of identity and of the established boundaries that define it; a rupture that expresses the profound and problematic associations of the black African albino body. That the act of looking at the albino body with horror and fascination described by Blankenberg is so closely associated with this sense of rupture leads us to ask a number of questions: why is there an enduring sense that this body needs to be explained, categorised and contained? Why has the albino body come under such scrutiny and what are the consequences for the onlooker and for the albino individual who is the object of that gaze? To explore these questions further, this article will examine literary repre- sentations of the figure of the black...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.