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Patrick Modiano’s (Auto)Biographical Fictions


This is the first in-depth study of the twelve Modiano texts specifically concerned with life-writing in autobiographical and biographical-cum-historiographical projects. The texts covered range from La Place de l’étoile (1968) through to La Petite Bijou (2001). Close textual analysis is combined with a theoretical approach based on current thinking in autobiography, biography, and reader-response. Modiano’s use of autofiction and biofiction is analysed in the light of his continuing obsession with both personal trauma and History, as well as his problematic relationship with his paternally-inherited Jewish links. His view of identity (of self and other) is thus discussed in relation to a particular literary and socio-historical context– French, postmodern, post-World War II, and post-Holocaust.

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Dervila Cooke is an IRCHSS Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin. She has lectured in French literature and culture at University College Dublin and at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She received B.A., M.A., and Ph.D degrees from University College Dublin, and completed part of her doctoral studies at the École Normale Supérieure, rue d’Ulm.
Introduction 1: Storytellers and Interpreters 2: Autobiography and Autofiction 3: The Autofictions 4: Self-Narration as Theme 5: Modiano and Biography 6: Biographical Creation in Les Boulevards de ceinture and Chien de printemps 7: Fusion and Distance: Biography in Voyage de noces and Dora Bruder Conclusion Bibliography Index