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Critical Subjectivities

Identity and Narrative in the Work of Colette and Marguerite Duras

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Victoria Best

This comparative study of the work of Colette and Marguerite Duras analyses the complex and intricate links between identity and narrative, and challenges recent theoretical discussion in both literary and psychoanalytic domains. Exploring the textual preoccupations that Colette and Duras shared – in particular their concerns with gender relations, with the genesis of the woman writer, and with the fraught but fascinating bonds between mothers and daughters and lovers – this analysis highlights how the profoundly different perspectives of Colette and Duras mark out space for a new interrelation of self and other; an interrelation that emphasises the enigmatic territories of consciousness such as fantasy and memory, and the significant collision of subjectivities in erotic, desiring and familial relations. Working with the most recent and innovative developments in performative theory and Kristevan psychoanalysis, this book offers a new reading of subjectivity through the creative interplay of theory and text.
Contents: Performing Rites – Relations of Power: Body Maps and Sexual Secrets – Writing the Body: A subtext of desire – Having Mothers: Victims, Tyrants and the Legacy of Perfect Love – Losing Mothers: Art, Love and Melancholia – Love scenes: Narcissism, Solipsism and Performance – Transgression, Eroticism and Narrative.