Vietnam and the Colonial Condition of French Literature


Vietnam and the Colonial Condition of French Literature

Leslie Barnes

312 pages


December 2014


$70.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

December 2014


$70.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

December 2014


$70.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Vietnam and the Colonial Condition of French Literature explores an aspect of modern French literature that has been consistently overlooked in literary histories: the relationship between the colonies—their cultures, languages, and people—and formal shifts in French literary production. Starting from the premise that neither cultural identity nor cultural production can be
pure or homogenous, Leslie Barnes initiates a new discourse on the French literary canon by examining the work of three iconic French writers with personal connections to Vietnam: André Malraux, Marguerite Duras, and Linda Lê.
In a thorough investigation of the authors’ linguistic, metaphysical, and textual experiences of colonialism, Barnes articulates a new way of reading French literature: not as an inward-looking, homogenous, monolingual tradition, but rather as a tradition of intersecting and interdependent peoples, cultures, and experiences.
One of the few books to focus on Vietnam’s position within francophone literary scholarship, Barnes challenges traditional concepts of French cultural identity and offers a new perspective on canonicity and the division between “French” and “francophone” literature.


Author Bio

Leslie Barnes is Lecturer in French Studies at the Australian National University. Her articles have appeared in French Forum and Journal of Vietnamese Studies.


"Vietnam and the Colonial Condition of French Literature offers an important and innovative perspective on the role of Vietnamese language and culture in metropolitan French literary production."—L'Esprit Créateur

“Barnes raises a crucial question at this juncture in francophone literary research, a question whose implications for future research far exceed the sole bounds of French literature, although she poses it in that domain: What impact did intercultural colonial contact have on the development of French culture?”—Jane Bradley Winston, author of Postcolonial Duras: Cultural Memory in Postwar France

Table of Contents

Part 1: Intersections: Andre Malraux Between the Exotic and the Existential
1. Andre Malraux's Tentation de L'Occident: Exoticism and the Crisis of the West
2. The Metaphysical Adventurer: The Indochinese Novel and Malraux's Asian Trilogy

Part 2: Dissections: The Politics and Poetics of Marguerite Duras's Metissage
3. "C'est beaucoup cela, mon style": Reading Vietnamese in Marguerite Duras's Autobiographical Returns

Part 3: Vivisections: Lina Lê and the Expression of Universal Pain
4. Trauma and Plasticity in Lina Lê's Metaliterary Project
5. Toward a "Littérature déplacée": The Aesthetics of Exile in Lê's Nonfiction

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