Affaires de famille : the family in contemporary French by Welch, Edward; Barnet, Marie-Claire

By Welch, Edward; Barnet, Marie-Claire

'Famille, je vous ai (encore et toujours a l'esprit?), je vous aime un peu, beaucoup, ou je vous hais enormement?' What are households like in modern France? And what starts off to emerge after we reflect on them from the perspective of contemporary theoretical views: (faulty) solidarity, (fake) coherence, (carefully deliberate or subversive) deconstruction, loss (of love, self assurance or credibility), or, even (utter) chaos and (alarming) confusion? Which media revamp outdated stereotypes, generate replacement reinterpretations, and indicate extra ambiguous solutions? What photographs, scenes or frames stand out in modern representations of the family members? Uneasy contradictions and ambiguities emerge during this bilingual number of methods and style reports. The relatives plot turns out to thicken as family members ties seem to loosen. Has 'the relations' been misplaced from sight, or is it being reinvented in our collective imaginary? This booklet proposes a brand new sequence of views and questions about an previous and 'familiar' subject, exploring the country and standing of the kinfolk in modern literature, tradition, serious and psychoanalytic thought and sociology

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But one of the novel’s brilliant conceits is that Fanny also makes visits to ‘le village du père’ which, although accessible by a 2 Marthe Robert, Roman des origines, origines du roman (Paris: Gallimard, 1977). En famille (Paris: Minuit, 1991), p. 139. All other references will be given in the text, following the abbreviation EF. 3 30 Michael Sheringham bus-ride that is only slightly longer than usual, is hot, dry, sunny, and has red sand, and inhabitants who talk a foreign language that Fanny feels she once used to understand but has now forgotten.

Ndiaye’s major family novels, the epic En famille and Rosie Carpe are a tight weave of abandonment, indifference, cruelty, egotism and estrangement. All share Bref séjour’s attention to the minutiae of family maintenance work; all 30 31 See La Conversation (Paris: Grasset, 1998), p. 144. See especially La Démangeaison (Paris: Sortilèges, 1994). 52 Shirley-Ann Jordan repeatedly underscore the seductiveness of family as a concept, but contrast this with the lived reality of family as corrosive and dangerous to the individual.

10 Béatrix Le Wita, Ni vue ni connue. Approche éthnographique de la culture bourgeoise (Paris: Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 1988). 11 Le Wita, Ni vue ni connue, p. 149. 12 Ni vue ni connue, pp. 128-9. 42 Shirley-Ann Jordan paintings and photographs of people and gatherings celebrate rites of passage, unions and unity, property, place and achievement. It represents – and in so doing seeks to perpetuate – family coherence, exemplifying Anne-Marie Garat’s analysis of the family photograph as the consoling naturalisation of the concept of family.

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