L'Oubli pour mémoire: l'expérience liminaire desnon-lieux Open Access

Kherbi, Souad (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/d504rm21k?locale=en


This dissertation examines the status of non-places in 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Film and Literature. I use French anthropologist Marc Augé's concept of "non-lieu"/non-place, to explore and question films by Chantal Akerman and Jean-Luc Godard, and novels by Hélène Cixous and Kateb Yacine that deeply engage historical backgrounds in an indirect mode. They are "non-places" from which history has been blanked out. I argue that this very vacancy is the mark of a repression that bears on traumatic histories. My first chapter focuses on Jean-Luc Godard's film Eloge de l'amour (2001): through its images of 21st century Paris urban landscape, I reconsider the debate between Godard and Claude Lanzmann that focused on the status of images and the possibility or not of representing anything at all of an event such as the Shoah. In my second chapter on Chantal Akerman's film Les Rendez-vous d'Anna (1978), I demonstrate how within the individual psyche and the repressed questions of genealogy and memory, Akerman integrates in her style, particularly through linguistic transference and constrained film framing, the very performativity that has allowed the emergence of feminist theory as a praxis/practice. My third chapter focuses on Algerian writer Kateb Yacine's novel Le Polygone étoilé that describes the fragmented history and memories of a colonized land, North Africa and more specifically Algeria, and its self-estrangement from a violent official history. Emphasizing the arbitrariness and violence of nomination in a colonial context, I argue that the name and the place itself are troubled by what I refer to as a defective nomination. My fourth chapter is on Hélène Cixous' novel Les Rêveries de la femme sauvage (2000). I demonstrate how Cixous' staging of a primary scene of origins in her writing, within the context of her conflicted relationship with French and with an Independent Algeria, encompasses issues of natural and unnatural behavior through the prism of gender difference, that in the end points to the socially constructed nature of sexual identities as much as identities in general.

Table of Contents


L'expérience liminaire de la Zone: Orphée pour mémoire 1

Ecorces ou comment cartographier l'absence 10

Chapitre I. Sur les pas d'Orphée, Eloge de l'amour ou la Zone au 21e siècle 20

1. Introduction: Ce qui a toujours déjà eu lieu 21

2. Survivance et retour des images: une zone de mémoire 33

3. L'Espace de la Zone: la dimension paradigmatique des images 42

4. Conclusion: Sur les pas d'Edgar, une mémoire de la Zone (ce qui aura eu lieu) 49

Chapitre II. "Traverser, dit-elle": Les Rendez-vous d'Anna ou l'extension du domaine de la Zone 58

1. Introduction: Un premier plan-séquence inaugural 59

2. La voyageuse immobile: à travers la zone de la perlaboration silencieuse 70

3. Dans le cadre du "rendez-vous": une zone de prétextes 83

4. Conclusion: Traduire l'intraduisible 91

Chapitre III. Utopies de Kateb Yacine 96

1. Introduction: Nom de pays: les îles! 97

2. Le Polygone : espace et violence coloniales ou comment échapper au lieu 107

3. Lieux hantés : une poétique de l'espace et de l'oubli 118

4. Conclusion: Nom d'île: U-topos 131

Chapitre IV. A-topies/sang lieux d'Hélène Cixous 136

1. Introduction: La Fugitive 137

2. Scènes fraternelles, portes et seuils: espace textuel et spécularité 151

3. Jardins, cimetières: lieux clos et espaces infinis 161

4. Conclusion: Scènes originaires 178

Bibliographie 183

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