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 think about them from the perspective of contemporary theoretical views: (faulty) harmony, (fake) coherence, (carefully deliberate or subversive) deconstruction, loss (of love, self assurance or credibility), or, even (utter) chaos and (alarming) confusion? Which media revamp previous stereotypes, generate replacement 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 ways and style experiences. The relatives plot turns out to thicken as family members ties seem to loosen. Has 'the relations' been misplaced from sight, or is it being reinvented in our collective imaginary? This publication proposes a brand new sequence of views and questions about an outdated and 'familiar' subject, exploring the nation and standing of the relations in modern literature, tradition, serious and psychoanalytic conception and sociology
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Additional info for Affaires de famille : the family in contemporary French culture and theory
He reminds us that photography provides family with ‘son unité rêvée’ and ‘sa raison d’être’: ‘Elle confirme le lien du groupe. ’ 16 Like the family portrait these texts are mourning the family even as they attempt to record it. Thematically and structurally they attempt repeatedly to resort to the mechanisms of cohesion through which family is routinely performed. In each case the effective operation of these mechanisms is thwarted. The texts thus give diverse expression 13 ‘Une photographie de famille est comme le portrait d’une très vieille idée.
All share Bref séjour’s attention to the minutiae of family maintenance work; all 30 31 See La Conversation (Paris: Grasset, 1998), p. 144. See especially La Démangeaison (Paris: Sortilèges, 1994). 52 Shirley-Ann Jordan repeatedly underscore the seductiveness of family as a concept, but contrast this with the lived reality of family as corrosive and dangerous to the individual. Their diegetic impetus is therefore achieved through reduplicated patterns of thwarted aspiration, evoking then eroding the familial dream at all levels in the narrative, from its overall thrust to its smallest detail.
4 The scapegoat, who is the inevitable product of the workings of human desire in its social context, is excluded so that the solidarity of the ‘pack’ can be established and consolidated. A bond based on mimetic desire, 4 See in particular René Girard, La Violence et le sacré (Paris: Grasset, 1972) and Le Bouc émissaire (Paris: Grasset, 1982). Race and the Family in Marie Ndiaye 37 wanting the same as the other wants, deriving one’s identity via pathways of mediated desire, determines the creation of a boundary beyond which lies that which is seen as other.