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In uncertain terms: mothering without guilt in Marie Darrieussecq’s 'Le Mal de mer' and Christine Angot’s 'Léonore, toujours'

Citation: Rye, Gill (2005) In uncertain terms: mothering without guilt in Marie Darrieussecq’s 'Le Mal de mer' and Christine Angot’s 'Léonore, toujours'. L'Esprit Createur, 45 (1). pp. 5-15. ISSN 0014-0767

This article addresses the issue of maternal guilt, by focusing on contemporary French literature - 'Le Mal de mer' (1999) by Marie Darrieussecq and 'Léonore, toujours' (1994) by Christine Angot, in which mothers refuse to compromise their own needs. It argues that, in their respective expressions of what is arguably guilt-free mothering, both texts using uncertainty tempt the readers’ judgement of the mothers’ mothering, on the one hand, while, on the other, they work against the formulation of a negative judgement. Thus they confront readers with their own prejudices and invite a productive interrogation of mothering itself.

Additional Information: This is a post-peer-reviewed, pre-copyedited version of the article originally published in 'A New Generation: Sex, Gender and Creativity in Contemporary Women’s Writing in French', ed. Gill Rye, special issue of L’Esprit Créateur 45.1 (Spring 2005), pp.5-15; an extended and further developed version subsequently appeared as a chapter in Gill Rye, Narratives of Mothering: Women’s Writing in Contemporary France (Newark DE: University of Delaware Press, 2009).
Creators: Rye, Gill (http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0984-8724) and
Official URL: http://www.espritcreateur.umn.edu/
Related URLs:
Subjects: Culture, Language & Literature
Keywords: maternal guilt, narratives of mothering, Christine Angot, Marie Darrieussecq, uncertainty in literature
Divisions: Institute of Modern Languages Research
Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women's Writing
Collections: IMLR Staff Papers
Dates:
  • 2005 (published)

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