Women’s Individuation in the Works of Pierrette Fleutiaux
Roman: vision et interprétation du monde.
Novel: vision and interpretation of the world.
— PIERRETTE FLEUTIAUX1
‘What is a woman?’ More than sixty years after the publication of Le Deuxième sexe,2 Simone de Beauvoir’s question continues to perplex and inspire, frustrate and fascinate.3 The enduring concern with defining what it means to be a woman is borne out both in feminist theory and in French women’s writing since 1949 as key to women’s liberation, since, as Toril ← 1 | 2 → Moi reminds us, ‘a picture [can hold] us captive’.4 Establishing a picture of womanhood that contributes to women’s ongoing liberation is still a task of vital importance today.
A reconsideration of the question of ‘What is a woman?’ is particularly urgent given the way womanhood is portrayed in French women’s writing at the start of the twenty-first century. Despite the gains achieved since 1949, representations abound of female protagonists in states of fragmentation, despair, relational breakdown, doomed mother–daughter relationships, and various forms of violence, both suffered and inflicted.5 However, the landscape of desolation in French women’s writing is only one side of the story. The representations of women in the works of prize-winning author Pierrette Fleutiaux offer an alternative and a challenge to prevailing strands of feminist theory, yet they are largely absent from recent academic criticism. Fleutiaux’s work highlights the everyday home and working lives of (typically) white, French, bourgeois, educated (and heterosexual) women, experiences...
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.