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War survivors can suffer from a certain loss of memory and/or an inability to articulate their experience. These symptoms of trauma can be either permanent or temporary. The personal experience of the survivor, set in a particular cultural context, can also lead to a crisis in the individual’s sense of his/her national identity, by which I mean identity defined in terms of the country to which one belongs. Many artists have tackled the subject, more often than not from an autobiographical perspective. This essay examines how this question has been represented in literature and cinema, namely through one very notable ciné-roman, Hiroshima mon amour (1958). The film centres on an encounter in Hiroshima between a French woman and a Japanese man, which triggers memories of events during the Second World War in France. This article examines the role of testimony in this dual circumstance, as well as the literary and visual devices used in the film to represent the different qualities and effects of testimony, especially in terms of personal trauma and loss of identity. Also considered are the historical context of this cinéroman and its wider significance with regard to the political implications of cultural trauma on an individual’s sense of national identity.

In: War, Virtual War and Society

War survivors can suffer from a certain loss of memory and/or an inability to articulate their experience. These symptoms of trauma can be either permanent or temporary. The personal experience of the survivor, set in a particular cultural context, can also lead to a crisis in the individual’s sense of his/her national identity, by which I mean identity defined in terms of the country to which one belongs. Many artists have tackled the subject, more often than not from an autobiographical perspective. This essay examines how this question has been represented in literature and cinema, namely through one very notable ciné-roman, Hiroshima mon amour (1958). The film centres on an encounter in Hiroshima between a French woman and a Japanese man, which triggers memories of events during the Second World War in France. This article examines the role of testimony in this dual circumstance, as well as the literary and visual devices used in the film to represent the different qualities and effects of testimony, especially in terms of personal trauma and loss of identity. Also considered are the historical context of this cinéroman and its wider significance with regard to the political implications of cultural trauma on an individual’s sense of national identity.

In: War, Virtual War and Society

Abstract

Starting with how Alain Resnais’s and Marguerite Duras’s work influenced the making of H Story, this essay demonstrates that creativity may be triggered in situations of cultural paralysis through the discovery of exterior perspectives. In this case, Hiroshima mon amour allows Nobuhiro Suwa express his perspective on his native town. Two main aspects of the H Story project are examined here. First, how Suwa apprises Resnais’s and Duras’s common views on the impossibility of making a film about Hiroshima. Second, how he focuses on Hiroshima’s identity, and his own, through a representation of the dichotomy at the heart of the city, as represented through his characters’ positions: their questioning of the historical nature of the destroyed space, on one hand, and their celebration of its current modernity, on the other. Past and present are thus indivisible. Pierre Nora’s theory of sites of memory (lieux de mémoire) contributes to the exploration of these questions.

In: Spaces of Longing and Belonging

Abstract

Starting with how Alain Resnais’s and Marguerite Duras’s work influenced the making of H Story, this essay demonstrates that creativity may be triggered in situations of cultural paralysis through the discovery of exterior perspectives. In this case, Hiroshima mon amour allows Nobuhiro Suwa express his perspective on his native town. Two main aspects of the H Story project are examined here. First, how Suwa apprises Resnais’s and Duras’s common views on the impossibility of making a film about Hiroshima. Second, how he focuses on Hiroshima’s identity, and his own, through a representation of the dichotomy at the heart of the city, as represented through his characters’ positions: their questioning of the historical nature of the destroyed space, on one hand, and their celebration of its current modernity, on the other. Past and present are thus indivisible. Pierre Nora’s theory of sites of memory (lieux de mémoire) contributes to the exploration of these questions.

In: Spaces of Longing and Belonging

Résumé

Certains critiques ont défini le mythe comme une parole relatant un événement et portant un message dont l’origine reste non identifiable. Marguerite Duras explore de façon créative la nature du récit mythique et des possibles identités de ses auteur et destinataire, par le biais du cinéma, tout en respectant les mécanismes qui assurent son universalité (comme l’effacement du genre de la voix et la superposition des temporalités). Partant des plus anciennes traces de la présence humaine sur terre, elle transporte le premier discours mythique, non écrit, jusqu’à nos jours. Cette trace, c’est la main négative, caractéristique de l’art du Paléolithique supérieur, dans laquelle Duras perçoit un cri d’amour. Le court-métrage qui s’y rapporte, et dont il est question ici, mêle passé et présent par l’usage d’un récit oral ne correspondant en rien au récit visuel qui l’accompagne: l’un parle au nom d’un homme préhistorique; l’autre montre des images sombres d’un Paris qui s’éveille, où seules des silhouettes noires nettoyant les rues se distinguent peu à peu. En actualisant le récit mythique dans un contexte socio-politique qui reste pertinent, Duras nous alerte sur l’inhumanité des sociétés modernes et nous interpelle quant à notre relation à l’Autre, révélant que l’invisibilité des êtres provient d’un aveuglement collectif consenti. Pour Duras, cet état de transparence universelle qu’elle perçoit de manière humaniste passe en premier lieu par elle-même, en tant que narratrice à la voix spectrale d’un récit mythique, Les Mains négatives, et en tant qu’attributaire et légatrice d’un amour atavique.

In: Le mythe au féminin et l’(in)visibilisation du corps
Volume Editor:
The motifs of island and shipwreck have been present in literature and the arts from ancient times. Whether they occur as plot elements, as part of literary or film imagery, as symbols in paintings, as leitmotifs in songs, or as concepts in philosophical theories, both have always been a source of fascination to authors, artists and scholars.
In Shipwreck and Island Motifs in Literature and the Arts, Brigitte Le Juez and Olga Springer have gathered essays that explore shipwreck and island figures in texts as historically, culturally and artistically diverse as Walter Scott’s The Lord of the Isles, Cristina Fernández Cubas’ “The Lighthouse”, reality TV series Treasure Island, pop songs of the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs, or The Otolith Group’s essay-film Hydra Decapita.
Cette nouvelle étude du premier des Trois Contes de Gustave Flaubert, Un Coeur simple, part d'une approche comparatiste et a pour objectif de découvrir divers aspects (dont certains n'ont jamais été explorés auparavant) expliquant le choix du perroquet comme compagnon de la protagoniste du récit.
Ce choix se justifie d'abord du point de vue du genre littéraire favorisé par l'auteur, le conte, dont il réunit toutes les facettes, de ses origines orales et ancestrales à sa forme philosophique et moderne.
C'est ensuite par la présence du perroquet dans l'art que se justifie ce choix, des représentations religieuses du moyen âge aux représentations de femmes contemporaines à l'auteur. A travers ces tableaux, le perroquet exprime l'évolution des croyances mystiques et des valeurs sociales, en particulier la place de la femme dans la société.
Enfin, nul autre animal ne saurait, mieux que le perroquet, traduire un des thèmes chers à Flaubert tout au long de son oeuvre et central à son conte: la difficulté et la vacuité de l'expression humaine.
Le choix du papegai pour Un Coeur simple participe à la dénonciation des divers aspects de la papelardise selon Flaubert.
In: Le Papegai et le Papelard dans «Un Coeur Simple» de Gustave Flaubert
In: Le Papegai et le Papelard dans «Un Coeur Simple» de Gustave Flaubert
In: Le Papegai et le Papelard dans «Un Coeur Simple» de Gustave Flaubert