Heterographies: Sexual Difference in French Autobiography / Edition 1

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Overview

Within the domain of French literary analysis, gender criticism has until now focused primarily on women's writing and has drawn largely on the writings of French feminist theorists, even though male-authored texts provide an equally revealing window through which to analyze gender. Except by mainly male critics working predominantly in the field of gay and queer studies, the issue of how 'maleness' informs the construction of the self and the creative act more broadly has been virtually ignored. Further, even though much more work has been done on women, it can be argued that the construction of 'femaleness' is most profitably illuminated by an approach that allows for a comparison between the sexes.

This book starts with the premise that sex and gender are fundamental components of the autobiographical writing of both sexes. This is demonstrated through close readings of works by a number of twentieth-century authors who are paired, one male with one female. In tackling, amongst other things, colonial and postcolonial writing, Aids writing, the question of photography and fetishism, queer politics and culture in writings by Sartre, Beauvoir, Gide, Duras, Guibert, Cardinal, Leduc and Doubrovsky, this book provides an excellent model for analyzing gender and the autobiographical act more broadly.

Winner of the R. H. Gapper Prize 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a creative and complex, yet lucid, book that succeeds admirably in bringing sexual difference and gender to the fore without losing sight of other equally important factors that constitute female and male identity." —Times Literary Supplement

"The admirable erudition, subtelty, and critico-theoretical range of Hughes' disquisition into the role played by gender, sexuality and difference [is clear] ... [I] sincerely applaud the consummate skill and intelligence with which Hughes manipulates the founding concepts of these fictions." —MLR

"This work is a fascinating and long overdue tour de force which leaves the reader in no doubt that gender is paramount in autobiographical analysis. Vive la différence!" —New Zealand Jourbanal of French Studies

"This very readable volume ... makes an original and major contribution to the fields of writing selves and writing sexual identities." —AUMLA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859733202
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Hughes is a Professor in French Studies, at theUniversity of Birmingham.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Childhood Memories: Textual Burial and 'Obsessional' Narrative in Violette Leduc's L'Asphyxie and Jean-Paul Sartre's Les Mots 13
2 Photography, Desire and Fetishism: Reading (and) the Autobio/photographical Writings of Herve Guibert and Marguerite Duras 45
3 Imagining North Africa: Sexuality, Gender and Colonial Space 75
4 Configuring the Clinic: Medical Geographies in Guibert and Beauvoir 105
5 Queer Articulations 137
Afterword 167
Select Bibliography 169
Index 181
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