Few full-length studies exist in English on French-speaking authors from Belgium. What, if any, are the particular features of francophone Belgian writing? This book explores questions of cultural and literary identity, and offers an overview of currents in critical debate regarding the place of francophone Belgian writing and its relationship to its larger neighbour, but also engages with broader questions concerning the classification of ‘francophone’ literature.
The study brings together well-known and less well-known modern and contemporary writers (Suzanne Lilar, Neel Doff, Dominique Rolin, Jacqueline Harpman, Françoise Mallet-Joris, Jean Muno, Nicole Malinconi, and Amélie Nothomb) whose works share a number of recurring themes and features, notably a preoccupation with questions of identity and alterity. Overall, the study highlights the diverse ways in which these questions of cultural identity and alterity emerge as a dominant theme throughout the corpus, viewed through a series of literary and cultural frameworks which bring together perspectives both local and global.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2009. 230 pp.
Contents: Francophone Belgian writing: from Neel Doff to Amélie Nothomb (a literary and cultural analysis of selected writings
by Neel Doff, Suzanne Lilar, Dominique Rolin, Jacqueline Harpman, Françoise Mallet-Joris, Jean Muno, Nicole Malinconi, and
Amélie Nothomb) – Identity and alterity: intertextuality and its relationship to canon formation – Depictions of the themes
of marginality and belonging, exile and alienation – Belgium and beyond – Experimental writing practices: autobiography and
autofictions – Genre innovations – The place of Belgian francophone writing in francophone (and other) frameworks.