Amélie Nothomb: authorship, identity, and narrative practice by Susan Bainbrigge, Jeanette Den Toonder

By Susan Bainbrigge, Jeanette Den Toonder

Because the book of her first novel in 1992, Am?lie Nothomb maintains to have interaction and to impress her readers via her exploration of the fluid limitations among attractiveness and monstrosity, solid and evil, fantasy and truth, in addition to by means of her interesting presentation of formative years, anorexia, and the abject. In Am?lie Nothomb: Authorship, id and Narrative perform, the 1st full-length examine in English of Nothomb’s paintings, those parts are awarded and interpreted from numerous views, with the participants concentrating on a unmarried novel or evaluating assorted texts. produced from a suite of essays on her autobiographical and fictional works, with contributions from her anglophone translators, additionally it is an interview with the writer, a preface by way of the eminent author and critic, Jacques de Decker and a bibliography of secondary works. Nothomb’s works and the severe responses to them are contextualized in a basic creation and arranged less than the subsequent key issues: autobiography and gender identification, representations of the physique, and narrative perform. This assortment is a necessary source for college students and students of twentieth-century modern literature and gender experiences.

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20. Quoted from an interview with Evelyne Wilwerth, ‘Amélie Nothomb: sous le signe du cinglant’, La Revue générale, 6–7 (1997), 45–51 (p. 47). 21. Marthe Robert, Roman des origines et origines du roman (Paris: Grasset, 1988), p. 76. 22. A critic suggested that the two nannies represent Mélanie Klein’s concept of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mothers, leaving the biological mother ‘hors jeu’, op. htm (accessed 10 May 2001). 23. Romain Gary, La Promesse de l’aube (Paris: Gallimard, 1960). 24. Marcel Pagnol, Le Château de ma mère (Paris: Julliard, 1958).

Dis-moi ce qui te dégoûte et je te dirai qui tu es. Nos personnalités sont nulles, nos inclinations plus banales les unes que les autres. Seules nos répulsions parlent vraiment de nous’ (MT 150–151). If this transformed adage is true, Amélie is repulsed by her own femininity, and the place of woman in a Phallic order. Young Amélie discovers herself in this mirror of the ever-hungry, neversatisfied mouths of carps, whose bodies are reduced to nothing but a digestive tube which eats, processes, expels waste, and asks for more: ‘La bouche des carpes te rendrait-elle si malade si tu n’y voyais pas ton miroir ignoble?

The trivial tends to focus on an ‘éducation sentimentale’ of sorts, and turns the attention away from the more intimate theme of Amélie’s gender identity formation, the real ‘tout’ of her learning. This is after all a love between two little girls. In pre-sexual loves the gender of the ‘lovers’ is often irrelevant to the story, although this same-sex love can be analysed as an attempt at seducing the ‘bad’ mother. In Métaphysique des tubes Amélie’s awareness of gender differences is framed by her avowed disgust for boys and men, ‘les ridicules’.

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