By Welch, Edward; Barnet, Marie-Claire
'Famille, je vous ai (encore et toujours a l'esprit?), je vous aime un peu, beaucoup, ou je vous hais enormement?' What are households like in modern France? And what starts off to emerge once we think of them from the viewpoint of contemporary theoretical views: (faulty) harmony, (fake) coherence, (carefully deliberate or subversive) deconstruction, loss (of love, self belief or credibility), or, even (utter) chaos and (alarming) confusion? Which media revamp outdated stereotypes, generate substitute reinterpretations, and indicate extra ambiguous solutions? What pictures, scenes or frames stand out in modern representations of the relations? Uneasy contradictions and ambiguities emerge during this bilingual choice of methods and style experiences. The kin plot turns out to thicken as family members ties seem to loosen. Has 'the kin' been misplaced from sight, or is it being reinvented in our collective imaginary? This booklet proposes a brand new sequence of views and questions about an previous and 'familiar' subject, exploring the kingdom and standing of the kin in modern literature, tradition, serious and psychoanalytic concept and sociology
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Extra info for Affaires de famille : the family in contemporary French culture and theory
Taking in her washing, she meditates on her own mother’s experiences of wash days – on the sores upon her hands and especially on ‘cette soupe infâme’ (BS 239) of family excretions with which she dealt. If this cas limite of practices of family proximity provokes such disgust in Mrs Johnson, it is in part due to her revulsion at Pierre’s washed-up body: ‘Cet amas de boue en putréfaction, ligoté d’algues et de mucus: votre fils’ (BS 127). It evokes her acute awareness of being 48 Shirley-Ann Jordan the hub of what is left of family, but also her exhausted rejection of the role.
When they think, they think family. In particular, despite the fact that all of them are parents, all speak their interior monologues as the wounded children they have never ceased to be and remain preoccupied by their relationship with their own parents at the expense of that with their children. The novel’s structure is designed to uncover discrepancies in family memory and thus to pinpoint the events from which unresolved trauma springs. For instance, the attempts of Yolande’s father Hubert to construct family – very much along the lines shown by Le Wita – are revealed as profoundly divisive.
9) her five-year-old son Titi by her side, anxiously waiting for her brother Lazare, who never arrives but sends a stranger instead. The family into which Rosie is introduced includes members of whom she has never heard and is unrecognisable in terms of its overall structure as well as at the level of the individual (several times at the airport she mistakes other men for her brother). Both heroines continually attempt to consolidate their sense of who and what family is, but their failure is conspicuous at every turn.
Affaires de famille : the family in contemporary French culture and theory by Welch, Edward; Barnet, Marie-Claire