Stolen Limelight

Gender, Display and Displacement In Modern Fiction in French

Author(s) Margaret E. Gray

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: French and Francophone Studies

  • May 2022 · 256 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781786838605
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786838612
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786838629

About The Book

Who has not, in a favored moment, ‘stolen the limelight’, whether inadvertently or by design? The implications of such an act of display – its illicitness, its verve, its vertiginous reversal of power, its subversiveness – are explored in this book. Narrative crafting and management of such scenarios are studied across canonical novels by Gide, Colette, Mauriac, and Duras, as well as by African Francophone writer Oyono and detective novelist Japrisot. As manipulated within narrative, acts of display position a viewer or reader from whom response (from veneration or desire to repugnance or horror) is solicited; but this study demonstrates that display can also work subversively, destabilising and displacing such a privileged spectator. As strategies of displacement, these scenarios ultimately neutralise and even occult the very subject they so energetically appear to solicit. Powered by gendered tensions, this dynamic of display as displacement works toward purposes of struggle, resistance or repression.


Part I: Embodied Display and Effects of Displacement
Ch. 1: Staging the Hyperfeminine: Colette
Ch. 2: ‘Stripped Naked’: Dismantling Gender in Oyono’s Une vie de boy
Ch. 3: Disappearance as Display: Beyond the Strait Gate in Gide
Part II: Narrating Display, Narrating Displacement
Ch. 4: Framing Monstrosity in Mauriac’s Thérèse Desqueyroux: ‘Buried Hearts’ and ‘Filthy Bodies’
Ch. 5: ‘Girl Stuff’: Genre, Masquerade and Displacement in Japrisot’s Piège Pour Cendrillon
Ch. 6: Spectacular Scripts: Transgendering the Mad Mother in Duras’s Different Lover(s)

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Margaret E. Gray

Margaret E. Gray is Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian at Indiana University/Bloomington, USA, specialising in twentieth-century French and Francophone fiction.

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