By Siobhan McIlvanney
During this first serious examine in English to concentration solely on Annie Ernaux’s writing trajectory, Siobh?n McIlvanney offers a stimulating and demanding research of Ernaux’s person texts. Following a greatly feminist hermeneutic, this examine engages in a chain of provocative shut readings of Ernaux’s works in a stream to spotlight the contradictions and nuances in her writing, and to illustrate the highbrow intricacies of her literary undertaking. by means of so doing, it seeks to introduce new readers to Ernaux’s works, whereas attractive on much less typical terrain these already accustomed to her writing.
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Extra resources for Annie Ernaux: The Return to Origins (Liverpool University Press - Modern French Writers)
154). That detachment transmutes into a quasi-masochistic pleasure in being seduced by men who denigrate her – if ridicule reflects class difference, then the greater the humiliation, the more impressive the narrator’s ‘catch’. p65 28 04/06/01, 14:20 The Early Years 29 the narrator can be viewed as a ruthless and calculating duper, who sees men as little more than a means to social ascension. ) In earlier relationships, when differences in social class are less conspicuous, the narrator assumes a more dominant role sexually, as highlighted by the repeated references to her first boyfriend as ‘proie’ (LAV, pp.
54). p65 30 04/06/01, 14:20 The Early Years 31 use, given its pivotal role as an indicator of social class, grows increasingly important for her: ‘N’avoir rien à dire, le nez dans son assiette, c’est une langue étrangère qu’ils parlent. ’ (LAV, p. 114). The narrator first refers to the language spoken at school as ‘une langue étrangère’ (LAV, p. 53), hence this designation of her parents’ language indicates the inversion of values undergone by the narrator, and the linguistic domination exerted by the school environment.
121). For Denise, her menarche demonstrates both that masturbation has not irredeemably tainted her, allowing her to begin afresh in her desire to conform to the rules of sexual morality, and that, irrespective of class, women’s physiology comprises certain universal components. 13 The young narrator’s early childhood is characterised by a sense of fulfilment, as exemplified in her designation of it as ‘vrai’, while that of her schoolfriends is termed ‘faux’. In a similar vein, it is her home life which represents ‘reality’ for the young narrator, yet, as school begins to exert an influence on the child – an influence partly encouraged by the parental reverence towards it – the narrator realises the benefits to be accrued from working the system: ‘Comme le café-épicerie était plus réel.
Annie Ernaux: The Return to Origins (Liverpool University Press - Modern French Writers) by Siobhan McIlvanney