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The Mother Mirror

Self-Representation and the Mother-Daughter Relation in Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, and Marguerite Duras

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Laurie L. Corbin

In The Mother Mirror, Laurie Corbin studies the mother-daughter relationships portrayed in autobiographical works by Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, and Marguerite Duras. Psychoanalytic theory, in particular the work of Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva, is used to show how women's self-representations can be determined by the ways in which they see their mothers. Corbin's feminist theoretical framework illuminates both the psychological and the social contexts of these autobiographical works, showing that even the most intimate relationships are shaped by social structures and that social reality is dependent on the workings of the psyche.