Journal of Romance Studies

The sensorial redemption of the perpetrator’s tale

Confession and social reintegration in Wilfried N’Sonde’s Le Silence des esprits

Journal of Romance Studies (2018), 18, (1), 1–23.

Abstract

Since the end of the Second World War, the figure of the perpetrator has given rise to vigorous debates and indictments in both fiction and legislation. Where trauma studies have contributed to apprehending the complexity of the human condition and the will to survive historical atrocities, the link between perpetration and trauma has only begun to gain critical attention. Through a hospitable encounter between a former Congolese child soldier and a French nurse aid in the Parisian banlieue, Wilfried N’Sondé’s second novel, Le Silence des esprits (2010), provides an illuminating example of the ways in which perpetration and trauma are entangled. Using Raya Morag’s groundbreaking work on perpetrator trauma, the present article examines the mediating strategies deployed by the author to represent the subjectivity of the child soldier through the bifocal prism of victim-perpetrator and to suggest healing and redemption via a sensorial experience in postcolonial France.

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Details

Author details

Bragard, Véronique

Lindo, Karen