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Staging Dialogues and Performing Encounters in French AIDS Narratives

Staging Dialogues and Performing Encounters in French AIDS Narratives Alexandre Dauge-Roth Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) testimonies often stage two different spaces of dialogue, a recurrent and traumatic dialogue with the mirror and a posthumous dialogue with the former lover who has died of AIDS. This article explores how the first of these two "personal" dialogues is rhetorically organized as a site of both subjective positioning and social negotiation for gay writers such as Christophe Bourdin, Gilles Barbedette, Bertrand Duquénelle, and Pascal de Duve--authors who all died of AIDS before or shortly after their books were published.1 Witnessing one's own dying of AIDS represents a provocative gesture through which the author transgresses the silencing injunctions that enforce the "public" death of the testimonial subject by framing AIDS pain and dying as a "private" matter--which is to say a matter that does not really matter. Ultimately, these specular and elegiac dialogues perform various types of encounters, affirming the necessity to reformulate prior forms of social belonging in the AIDS (con)text. I will argue that the specular and posthumous dialogues staged within AIDS diaries not only exhibit the crises that radically alter the relationships to oneself and to one's interlocutors, but perform a social "noise" that no longer allows http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French Forum University of Nebraska Press

Staging Dialogues and Performing Encounters in French AIDS Narratives

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

Alexandre Dauge-Roth Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) testimonies often stage two different spaces of dialogue, a recurrent and traumatic dialogue with the mirror and a posthumous dialogue with the former lover who has died of AIDS. This article explores how the first of these two "personal" dialogues is rhetorically organized as a site of both subjective positioning and social negotiation for gay writers such as Christophe Bourdin, Gilles Barbedette, Bertrand Duquénelle, and Pascal de Duve--authors who all died of AIDS before or shortly after their books were published.1 Witnessing one's own dying of AIDS represents a provocative gesture through which the author transgresses the silencing injunctions that enforce the "public" death of the testimonial subject by framing AIDS pain and dying as a "private" matter--which is to say a matter that does not really matter. Ultimately, these specular and elegiac dialogues perform various types of encounters, affirming the necessity to reformulate prior forms of social belonging in the AIDS (con)text. I will argue that the specular and posthumous dialogues staged within AIDS diaries not only exhibit the crises that radically alter the relationships to oneself and to one's interlocutors, but perform a social "noise" that no longer allows

Journal

French ForumUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Feb 3, 2004

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