By Siobhan McIlvanney
During this first severe research in English to concentration solely on Annie Ernaux’s writing trajectory, Siobh?n McIlvanney presents a stimulating and not easy research of Ernaux’s person texts. Following a generally feminist hermeneutic, this research engages in a chain of provocative shut readings of Ernaux’s works in a flow to spotlight the contradictions and nuances in her writing, and to illustrate the highbrow intricacies of her literary undertaking. through so doing, it seeks to introduce new readers to Ernaux’s works, whereas attractive on much less established terrain these already accustomed to her writing.
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Extra info for Annie Ernaux: The Return to Origins (Liverpool University Press - Modern French Writers)
46). ) The damaging consequences of the sexual interdictions the narrator encounters at both home and school, and of the bourgeois denigration of her working-class background, are apparent in her interpretation of abortion as a form of divine retribution. p65 23 04/06/01, 14:20 24 Annie Ernaux: The Return to Origins being born working-class, a conviction which leads her to transgress the parental interdiction on premarital sex. Her working-class past is shown to haunt her like a spectre she may temporarily conceal, but can never completely exorcise.
This cessation may be viewed as signifying Anne’s rebellion against the maternal policing of her body, as well as her desire to arrest her physical development and entry into womanhood, a desire fuelled no doubt by the negative repercussions of recent sexual experiences. Too young to possess a well-defined class consciousness, the narrator is unable to decipher the wider political motives underlying her parents’ involvement – or, to her mind, interference – in her day-to-day life. This involvement clearly has its source in fear: after years of sacrifice in order to ensure a successful future for their daughter, her parents wish to minimise the likelihood of extraneous factors entering, and unbalancing, their carefully calculated equation.
Judith Kegan Gardiner comments on the diffusiveness of the ‘bad mother’ figure in much recent women’s writing: ‘The most disturbing villain in recent women’s fiction is not the selfish or oppressive male but instead the bad mother. ’ Similar instances of ‘matrophobia’ in women’s writing indicate the daughter’s resistance to positional identification with the mother, a resistance clearly articulated in Ce qu’ils disent ou rien: ‘Il m’a semblé que ma mère ressemblait à ma grand-mère, sa jambe était enflée, elle mourra dans trente ans, et moi je serai au retour d’âge, une chaîne atroce’ (CDR, p.
Annie Ernaux: The Return to Origins (Liverpool University Press - Modern French Writers) by Siobhan McIlvanney