Women’s Individuation in the Works of Pierrette Fleutiaux
Chapter 2: (Co)-Creating the Woman in Histoire de la chauve-souris, Histoire du tableau and Allons-nous être heureux?
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(Co)-Creating the Woman in Histoire de la chauve-souris, Histoire du tableau and Allons-nous être heureux?
La chauve-souris […] est peut-être le plus difficile à dire de ce qui vous est propre, sombre ou clair, de ce qui vous est inséparable, incomparable, irremplaçable.
The bat […] is perhaps the most inexpressible aspect of your very self, dark or light, inseparable, incomparable, irreplaceable.
— ANDRÉ STIL1
The young girl makes transitions throughout her childhood – from stationary to mobile, babbling to talking, home to school. The transition she makes from child to adult is particularly significant, because it is here that her developing personality meets the full force of the world’s constraints – the power of its institutions and ideologies. The adventures of individual women as they enter adult life form the focal points of Fleutiaux’s early short fictions, Histoire de la chauve-souris and Histoire du tableau, and her later novel Allons-nous être heureux? In Histoire de la chauve-souris, the young protagonist is guided through the transition from girlhood to womanhood by a bat which arrives one night in her tower bedroom. The older heroine of Histoire du tableau has already negotiated adolescence, employment, marriage and early motherhood, but is on the brink of a midlife crisis; her path of individuation is triggered by an encounter with a painting. At ← 83 | 84 → a later stage still, Madame Carel in Allons-nous être heureux? has resolved some of the significant transitions...
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