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Shifting Borders

Theory and Identity in French Literature

Series:

Emily Butterworth and Kathryn Robson

This volume, containing selected papers from a conference held by the Department of French in the University of Cambridge in 1999, addresses the exciting and challenging figure of the shifting border in modern French literature and literary theory. Using a variety of critical approaches, the contributors map the fluctuating borders in specific literary texts and explore how these moving boundaries reflect on their practice of literary analysis. Inspired by the ideas of European and American thinkers, including Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan and Jean-François Lyotard, they consider three major areas of current concern: the construction of identity, the conceptualisation of literary genres and the demarcation of geographical and cultural domains. Applying their insights to a wide-ranging corpus of francophone texts, this volume analyses the work both of canonical figures such as Mallarmé, Proust and Zola and of lesser-known writers such as Aimé Césaire, Assia Djebar and St. John Perse.
Contents: Emily Butterworth/Kathryn Robson: Theorising the Shifting Border – Patrick ffrench: Passage barré: Port Bou, 26th September 1940 – Kevin Inston: A Lesson in Language: Benjamin Constant’s Autobiography – Ingrid Wassenaar: Overspill: Proust and Indifférence – Hannah Thompson: Zola’s Perverse Nature: Aesthetics and Metaphor in the Rougon-Macquart Novels – Elizabeth McCombie: Patterns of the Intermediary: Mobile Boundaries in Mallarmé’s Un coup de Dés and Debussy’s Jeux – Marie Caffari: Butor’s Writings on Art: Expanding Textual Borders – Marie Cabaud: Why Antigone was right after all: Simone Weil’s Mystical Hermeneutics – Andrea Lesic-Thomas: The East and West of European Structuralism – Jean Khalfa: Bords irrémédiables: Vanishing Lines in Caribbean Poetry in French – Victoria Best: The Architecture of the Erotic: Figures of Resistance and Incorporation in Assia Djebar’s Les Nuits de Strasbourg.