Gill Rye
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Textual mirrors and uncertain reflections
Gender and narrative in L’Hiver de beauté, Les Ports du silence and La Rage au bois dormant by Christiane Baroche
in Women’s writing in contemporary France

Christiane Baroche was acclaimed in France first as a short-story writer, although, her œuvre as a whole now comprises not only short stories but also poetry, novels and essays. Baroche's first novel Plaisirs amers was published in 1984, but it was her second L'Hiver de beauté, first published in 1987, that really marked a new departure in her writing career. In the two later novels Les Ports du silence and La Rage au bois dormant, the literal Venetian mirror of L'Hiver de beauté has completely given way to complex systems of textual mirroring. As in L'Hiver de beauté, narrative uncertainty is a prime player and it impacts on the portrayal of gender in similar ways. Deeply implicated in the construction of identity, the effects of the mirror motif are multiple, operating, in all these novels, in particularly creative ways on the representation of gender.

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Women’s writing in contemporary France

New writers, new literatures in the 1990s

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