Book Reviews / 121 female body is reflected in the evolution of her fictional plots toward the autobiographical, but also toward situations where women are given agency. Duras's life-long battle with the phantoms of an oppressive mother (and brother) led to her espousal of writing as a space of inter- and intra-subjectivity where she could "represent" silence, void, and rejection. Operating from outside the confines of conventional love relationships (through adultery, incest, and her later years that she shared with a confirmed homosexual) in both life and fiction, she negotiated new spaces between self and other, imaginary perception and historical reality, in a dynamic, ongoing confirmation of an ever-changing selfhood. Throughout these three chapters, Ladimer offers rich, detailed analyses of the works that merit closer attention than what the confines of this review, unfortunately, can supply. In her conclusion, Ladimer sees hopeful signs of a movement toward the appreciation of difference in France in the opening up of the reading lists required at the secondary and university levels to include more women and Francophone writers. She argues that a more flexible canon, together with an aging population, may succeed in combating clichés and replacing traditional male-female dichotomies by
French Forum – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 5, 2002
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