Thresholds of Meaning
Passage, Ritual and Liminality in Contemporary French Narrative
Jean Duffy is Professor of French, University of Edinburgh. General Editor of French Studies. Author of 'Reading Between the Lines: Claude Simon and the Visual Arts' (Liverpool University Press, 1998); 'Using French Vocabulary' (Cambridge University Press, 1999); 'Signs and Designs: Art and Architecture in the Work of Michel Butor' (Liverpool University Press, 2003).
Acknowledgements List of illustrations Introduction 1. At death's door: illness, ritual and luminality in Darrieussecq, Lenoir and Mauvignier 2. Suicide and saving face in Bon, Mauvignier and Bergounioux 3. Commemoration, monument and identity in Bergounioux, Darrieussecq and Rouaud 4. Retouching the past, family photographs and documents in Rouaud, Bon and Lenoir Conclusion: Writing passage and the passage to writing Notes Select bibliography Index
... this thought-provoking analysis of contemporary French literature, which astutely balances theory and close reading, engages the reader in the discovery of an original thematic form of narrative, one delimited less by events than by “apparently unremarkable human behavior,” that is, the polyvalence and instability inherent in the creation of meaning and of selfhood negotiated through passage and states of liminality.
Thresholds of Meaning makes a valuable contribution to the study of the contemporary novel, but the non-specialist would also be interested by the Introduction, whose survey of the novel from the postwar period to the present shows that scholarly assumptions about today’s fiction are changing for the better.
French Studies, vol 66, no 1
Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
Size: 239 × 163 mm
Publication: June 16, 2011
Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 18