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Delphine de Vigan

Core reading

Delphine de Vigan, Rien ne s'oppose à la nuit (2011)

Week 1

Read part 1 of the novel (i.e. up to p. 167).

Seminar discussion topics:

  • Vision of motherhood and mother-child relations
  • Meta-narrative: how to write this story?
  • Silence
  • Memory and tricks of the mind
  • Difficulties of relating to the past
  • Mind/body: physical symptoms of mental distress
  • Appearance vs interior world
  • Role of the gaze
  • Death
  • Suicide
  • Fear
  • Money, Class and status
  • Individual vs family identity

Week 2

Seminar discussion topics

  • Inter penetration of personal memories and cultural history
  • The material and the ineffable in memory
  • Prolepsis and determination (or: history and retrospection)
  • Perspective, or How events are lived differently by different people
  • Self-esteem: its nature and pathologies
  • Suicide Structure of revelations (detective work)
  • On the nature and causes of mental illness

Second reading on Delphine de Vigan

Dusaillant-Fernandes, Valérie, ‘Au fil du temps, les masques tombent: Mémoire familiale et vérité chez Delphine de Vigan’, French Forum 40.2-3 (2015): 111-125.

Kathryn Robson, ‘The Limits of Empathy and Compassion in Delphine de Vigan’s No et moi and Les Heures souterraines’, Modern Language Review 110.3 (2015): 677-693, 925.

There are a number of interviews with and discussions around de Vigan on France Culture. See here.