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Material Girl: Becoming and Unbecoming in Marie Redonnet's Forever Valley

Material Girl: Becoming and Unbecoming in Marie Redonnet's Forever Valley Jeanine S. Alesch Material Girl Becoming and Unbecoming in Marie Redonnet's Forever Valley Marie Redonnet's Forever Valley (1986) poses numerous riddles, many of which are never fully resolvable. The first puzzle is surely the title itself. The fact that the novel is named after the village where the first-person narrator lives fails to clarify why either name is in English, when the text itself is written in French. The location of the village is unclear, although it appears to be situated in some part of the Western world, or at least in a Westernized area, given the institutions that are found there: a presbytery, a church and a brothel (previously the school and town hall). The geographical details are no more helpful in placing Forever Valley. The region is dry and mountainous, but the lower valley supports dairy farms; it is located near a border. The temporal setting is similarly vague, although, again, there are clues: the brothel has electricity, but the presbytery and the lower valley do not (Forever Valley [FV] 19); the plumbing at the presbytery is primitive (FV 74). Jean-Claude Lebrun and Claude Prévost have described Redonnet's novels as "de curieuses régions, mi-réelles mi-irréelles": "[O]n http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French Forum University of Nebraska Press

Material Girl: Becoming and Unbecoming in Marie Redonnet's Forever Valley

French Forum , Volume 29 (3) – Feb 3, 2004

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by French Forum, Inc.
ISSN
1534-1836
Publisher site
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Abstract

Jeanine S. Alesch Material Girl Becoming and Unbecoming in Marie Redonnet's Forever Valley Marie Redonnet's Forever Valley (1986) poses numerous riddles, many of which are never fully resolvable. The first puzzle is surely the title itself. The fact that the novel is named after the village where the first-person narrator lives fails to clarify why either name is in English, when the text itself is written in French. The location of the village is unclear, although it appears to be situated in some part of the Western world, or at least in a Westernized area, given the institutions that are found there: a presbytery, a church and a brothel (previously the school and town hall). The geographical details are no more helpful in placing Forever Valley. The region is dry and mountainous, but the lower valley supports dairy farms; it is located near a border. The temporal setting is similarly vague, although, again, there are clues: the brothel has electricity, but the presbytery and the lower valley do not (Forever Valley [FV] 19); the plumbing at the presbytery is primitive (FV 74). Jean-Claude Lebrun and Claude Prévost have described Redonnet's novels as "de curieuses régions, mi-réelles mi-irréelles": "[O]n

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French ForumUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Feb 3, 2004

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