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Fictionalising Trauma

The Aesthetics of Marguerite Duras’s India Cycle

Sirkka Knuuttila

With Marguerite Duras being the most disputed French artist after World War II, symbolising trauma represents the most problematic crux of contemporary trauma research. This book brings together these troublesome issues by way of integrating Duras’s aesthetics and the challenge of working through major historical trauma. Starting from the concept of an embodied mind as developed in current social neuroscience, the study illuminates the stylistic devices of the famous India Cycle that arose from Duras’s relentless struggle with the trauma of French colonialism. It reveals how converting trauma into fiction can become a powerful emotional strategy for surviving traumatic events, which may provoke necessary changes in our cultural memory through collective sharing.


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Abbreviations 13


13 Abbreviations The references to Maguerite Duras’s works and Sigmund Freud’s Mourning and Melancholy will be given in the text using the abbreviations listed below. When citing the novels of the India Cycle such as Le ravissement de Lol V. Stein (The Rav- ishing of Lol Stein, trans. Richard Seaver), and Le Vice-consul (The Vice-Consul, trans. Eileen Bellenbogen), the English translation regularly follows the original text, each provided with corresponding abbreviations and page references. When some of the English translations are amended so as to draw attention to Duras’s style, this is indicated in the footnotes. Similarly, when quoting Duras’s interviews such as La Vie matérielle (Practicalities, trans. Barbara Bray) and Les Parleuses (Woman to Woman, trans. Katharine A. Jensen), both original and English versions are used with abbreviations and page references. As for the excerpts of the novel L’amour as well as the quotations of Écrire and some interviews including Les Lieux, I provide my own English translations. The excerpts from the film India Song are translated either by Elisabeth Lyon or myself, as specified in the footnotes. A L’amour AM L’amant C Cahiers de la guerre et autres textes E Écrire H Hiroshima mon amour (film script) FG La Femme du Gange (film script) IS India Song (film script) L Les Lieux de Marguerite Duras LVS The Ravishing of Lol Stein MM Mourning and Melancholy O Outside P Les Parleuses PR Practicalities R Le ravissement de Lol V. Stein SNV Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta d...

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