By Welch, Edward; Barnet, Marie-Claire
'Famille, je vous ai (encore et toujours a l'esprit?), je vous aime un peu, beaucoup, ou je vous hais enormement?' What are households like in modern France? And what starts to emerge after we contemplate them from the viewpoint of modern theoretical views: (faulty) harmony, (fake) coherence, (carefully deliberate or subversive) deconstruction, loss (of love, self belief or credibility), or, even (utter) chaos and (alarming) confusion? Which media revamp outdated stereotypes, generate substitute reinterpretations, and suggest extra ambiguous solutions? What photographs, scenes or frames stand out in modern representations of the family members? Uneasy contradictions and ambiguities emerge during this bilingual selection of ways and style stories. The kinfolk plot turns out to thicken as kinfolk ties seem to loosen. Has 'the kinfolk' been misplaced from sight, or is it being reinvented in our collective imaginary? This e-book proposes a brand new sequence of views and questions about an previous and 'familiar' subject, exploring the kingdom and standing of the kin in modern literature, tradition, serious and psychoanalytic thought and sociology
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Extra resources for Affaires de famille : the family in contemporary French culture and theory
La voir tomber, juste une fois, comme Anne, Jeanne, maman et Daddy ensemble l’ont vue, un dimanche après-midi de 1976, bien avant 21 See François Busnel and Thierry Gandillot, ‘Rencontre’, L’Express, 23 August 2001, p. 12. 22 This image migrates from text to text in Darrieussecq (see for example pp. 43-4 and p. , 1999)). 23 Marguerite Duras, L’Amant (Paris: Minuit, 1984). , 1998) not only does the narrator’s husband literally disappear, he also gradually disappears from the couple’s wedding photographs (pp.
The first reveals not only that the father has yet another wife, but that this wife is the same age as the narrator and was in schooldays her closest friend. The role shift from ‘meilleure amie’ to ‘belle-mère’ 35 is unsettling. Children borne to the father by his several wives inundate the family and the narrator fears that this new couple will continue to procreate, ‘nous engloutissant tous’ and ‘[brouillant] l’ordre des générations’ (AV 36). Upon her second visit, her recognition of her father is challenged as she learns that in Ouagadougou he is known as an architect (‘Vraiment, mon père est-il architecte?
Léda had said that if her sister didn’t go through with it she would marry him herself. Like the silent Ami in Papa doit manger, the absent Léda seems to represent an enduring if powerless lucidity as to the realities that underlie social, familial and racial ideologies. Clearly then, trying to restore Léda to the family was always a deluded enterprise on Fanny’s part. And like that other dogged and deluded Norman heroine, Emma Bovary, Fanny’s delusions spring in large measure from the rich fantasies generated by the novels and magazines she reads voraciously whenever she can find a refuge, a ‘niche’ where provisionally she feels secure (or falsely secure in the – erroneous – belief that she is on the right track to attain her objectives).