Journal of Romance studies

Food and societal (dis)order in Marie Darrieussecq’s works

Journal of Romance studies (2020), 20, (2), 299–321.

Abstract

This article analyses the way Marie Darrieussecq explores oppositions intrinsic to food, both as a lens that reflects the absurdities of various societal orders and as an instrument to contest, respond to, and subvert these orders. First I focus on fictional works (Truismes [1996] and Il faut beaucoup aimer les hommes [2013]), and on the othering processes they depict. In its relationship to the animal–human distinction and to colonial and postcolonial discourses, food in these works is shown to be both welcoming and divisive. Then I study non-fictional texts (Darrieussecq’s autobiographically inspired Le Bébé [2002] and her biography of Paula Modersohn Becker, Être ici est une splendeur [2016]) in which food is linked to discourses of mothering and to the upholding of the patriarchal order. Finally I draw on recipes published by Darrieussecq to show how reading as we eat can contribute to the development of new types of readerly hospitalities.

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Author details

Daroczi, Sandra