• 'Écriture féminine, écriture traumatique': Reinscribing the Wounded (Female) Body in 'The Ravishing of Lol Stein'

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    'Écriture féminine, écriture traumatique': Reinscribing the Wounded (Female) Body in 'The Ravishing of Lol Stein'

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Abstract

Marguerite Duras’ novel, The Ravishing of Lol Stein, is considered an exemplary novel of écriture féminine which breaks through the patriarchal discourse by portraying a woman who is dealing with psychological damage caused by her fiancé’s betrayal. This novel has been regarded as an important work in world literature as well as in feminist studies, but the insights that the novel provides into the human – especially feminine – psyche deserve more attention. The Ravishing of Lol Stein was even praised by the celebrated French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, as grasping his teachings without needing his help. Accordingly, this novel contains elements that are crucial to gender studies as well as to psychoanalysis. This leads to the question: what is the relationship between the two disciplines and how does the celebrated novel use psychological wounds as a vehicle through which to link gender issues, physical and psychological trauma, and the potential for empowerment of a woman who experienced a psychologically damaging experience? In this study, I analyze how the violent language of trauma serves as a crucial point of intersection for écriture féminine and psychoanalysis in the case of The Ravishing of Lol Stein . Coetaneous psychoanalytic terms refer to trauma as the repression caused by an encounter with the Real which is manifested as a disruption in language (Jacques Lacan). Both écriture féminine and trauma become acts of textual violence that defy language, causing narratives to challenge conventional language, structure, and form. This textual violence permeates the The Ravishing of Lol Stein and I will demonstrate how it occurs on various levels such as narration, structure, form, and – of course – language and content itself.

How to Cite: Kasten, J . (2014) “'Écriture féminine, écriture traumatique': Reinscribing the Wounded (Female) Body in 'The Ravishing of Lol Stein'”, Dandelion: Postgraduate Arts Journal and Research Network. 5(1). doi: 10.16995/ddl.303

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Published on
30 May 2014
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