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 after we contemplate them from the perspective of contemporary theoretical views: (faulty) team spirit, (fake) coherence, (carefully deliberate or subversive) deconstruction, loss (of love, self assurance or credibility), or, even (utter) chaos and (alarming) confusion? Which media revamp outdated stereotypes, generate replacement reinterpretations, and suggest extra ambiguous solutions? What photos, scenes or frames stand out in modern representations of the family members? Uneasy contradictions and ambiguities emerge during this bilingual selection of ways and style stories. The relations plot turns out to thicken as relatives ties seem to loosen. Has 'the family members' 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 country and standing of the kinfolk in modern literature, tradition, serious and psychoanalytic concept and sociology
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Additional resources for Affaires de famille : the family in contemporary French culture and theory
34 There is a rich vein of the fantastic in Ndiaye (see again sources under note 30, both of which discuss this element of her work). 54 Shirley-Ann Jordan Reunions with the father – one in Paris, one in Ouagadougou – highlight the disruption of family roles and relationships. The first reveals not only that the father has yet another wife, but that this wife is the same age as the narrator and was in schooldays her closest friend. The role shift from ‘meilleure amie’ to ‘belle-mère’ 35 is unsettling.
N 102). The weight of what must be suppressed to bolster family respectability is overwhelming in Nobécourt: systematic beatings of children by their mothers, psychological cruelty and sexual abuse, infidelities and the hidden shame of numerous abortions – including one performed by a resentful husband on his wife, on the kitchen table ‘au milieu des restes d’un poulet basquaise’ (N 126). Another occulted family snapshot provides a salient articulation of the suppression of secrets upon which family depends.
Ndiaye’s fairy tales for adults involve no such compensatory device or context. Here I discuss some staple features of these family tales: ironic family reunion scenes, the inefficaciousness of family photographs, the failure of family memory, and Ndiaye’s distinctively insistent and ironic use of kinship terminology. My examples are mainly drawn from the recent Autoportrait en vert, 33 a text which pursues the author’s family project, adding further layers of complexity through autobiographical threads and through new forms of reference to the family photograph.
Affaires de famille : the family in contemporary French culture and theory by Welch, Edward; Barnet, Marie-Claire