Lesbian Desire in Post 1968 French Literature



"Cairns (Univ. of Sterling, Scotland) examines "female-authored representations of lesbianism in French literature," and more specifically realist literature. This exciting addition to the still-limited corpus of criticism on lesbian writing in French literature follows Jennifer Waelti-Walters' Damned Women: Lesbians in French Novels, 1796-1996, 2000). Cairns's focus on post-1968 literature allows for a detailed analysis of the texts she examines. She stresses the cultural erasing of lesbians and lesbian writers in French society and argues convincingly for the importance of including the social and cultural context in the analysis of this body of literature. As Cairns states, this extensive reading "provide[s] a useful, quasi-encyclopaedic reference tool within a hitherto unsketched mapping of post-68 French texts treating intra-female love and desire in realist mode." The organization of the volume, chronologically and then alphabetically within this order, allows for an easy reading of her references and comments. Indispensable for upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections supporting work in French literature, gender studies, and cultural studies." - CHOICE

“Cairns takes provocative and cogent issue with what she sees as the lesbophobia of many theoretical divas of both sexes, and the work will thus prove of interest to those working within psychoanalytic and gender studies as well as to French specialists. Conversely, it should also attract a readership from the latter category whose primary concerns may not lie in the field of sexual and textual politics. The book provides valuable material on important recent debates in France around the relative importance of State/republican and community politics and around recent legislative recognition (the PACS) accorded to same-sex partnerships. It thus addresses a number key issues in political, cultural and theoretical debate, and does so in a manner at once sophisticated and approachable.” – Keith Reader

“Her thoroughly-researched book fills a gap of striking proportions in recent writing on French literature. . . . by first rendering visible and the exploring an unprecedented catalogue of female-authored realist fiction published since 1968, she is able to chart her theme across a variety of text destined for both elite and popular readerships. This is a radical and committed book, as well as a work of reference. Cairns is not afraid to express provocative opinions, but her work is always grounded in careful scholarly analysis and sensitive readings. This study is a generous and pioneering piece of academic research.” – Siân Reynolds

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Note on Translations; Preface
1. Prolegomenon
2. Lesbian (En)visionings: The Material Matrix
3. mainstream/External Si(gh)ings
4. The Insider’s Take (i)
5. The Insider’s Take (ii)
6. Conclusion
Bibliography; Index

Other France/French: All Subjects Books