Journal of Romance studies

Disorderly eating in contemporary women’s writing

Introductory essay

Journal of Romance studies (2020), 20, (2), 193–224.

Abstract

The Introduction presents the rationale for this special issue, and engages with key scholarship in the field. It makes the case for considering eating disorders in the wider context of ‘disorderly eating’, both as a sociological phenomenon and a recurrent literary concern, granted the importance of ordering and regulating food consumption for community cohesion. It is particularly concerned to ask what is, and what is not, specific about the contemporary late-capitalist period, which has seen such an explosion of eating disorders, in the context of ever more disorderly eating. We ask what we can learn from the elaboration of the disorderly preparing, serving, sharing, and eating of food specifically in contemporary women’s writing in French, Spanish, English, Italian, and German. The Introduction adopts a cross-cultural perspective to suggest both some commonalities and some contextual specificities to the lived and represented experience of eating and disorder across sexes, classes, generations, and ethnicities.

Access Token
£25.00

Works cited

Anderson, Arnold E. (ed.) (1990) Males with Eating Disorders (New York and London: Brunner-Routledge). Google Scholar

Arachi, Alessandra (2015) Non più briciole (Milan: Feltrinelli). Google Scholar

Atwood, Margaret (1969) The Edible Woman (Toronto: McLelland and Stewart). Google Scholar

Atwood, Margaret (1976) Lady Oracle (Toronto: McLelland and Stewart). Google Scholar

Bagley, Petra M., Francesca Calamita, and Kathryn Robson (eds) (2018) Eating Disorders in Contemporary Women’s Writing (Berg: Peter Lang). Google Scholar

Balinska, Aleksandra (2003) Retour à la vie: quinze ans d’anorexie (Paris: Éditions Odile Jacob). Google Scholar

Bartel, Heike (2020) ‘Opening up the discourse of male eating disorders: Personal experience in English and German narratives’, in Madness and Literature: What Fiction Can Do for the Understanding of Mental Illness, ed. Lasse Raaby Gammelgaard (Exeter: Exeter University Press). Google Scholar

Barthes, Roland (1957) Mythologies (Paris: Seuil). Google Scholar

Bernheimer, Charles, and Claire Kahane (eds) (1985) In Dora’s Case: Freud, Hysteria, Feminism (London: Virago). Google Scholar

Beyala, Calixthe (2000) Comment cuisiner son mari à l’africaine (Paris: Albin Michel). Google Scholar

Bordo, Susan (1993) Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body (Berkeley: University of California Press). Google Scholar

Bordo, Susan (2009) ‘Not just “a white girl’s thing”: The changing face of food and body image problems”, in Critical Feminist Approaches to Eating Dis/Orders, ed. Helen Malson and Maree Burns (London: Routledge), 46–59. Google Scholar

Brisac, Geneviève (1994) Petite (Paris: Seuil). Google Scholar

Cairns, Lucille (2007) ‘Dissidences charnelles: the female body in revolt’, in The Flesh in the Text, ed. James Baldwin, James Fowler, and Shane Weller (Oxford: Peter Lang), 205–225. Google Scholar

Cairns, Lucille (2015) ‘Bodily dis-ease in contemporary French women’s writing: Two case studies’, French Studies 69.4: 494–508. Google Scholar

Cairns, Lucille (forthcoming) Eating Disorders in Contemporary French Women’s Writing (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press). Google Scholar

Camus, Albert (1957) L’Exil et le royaume (Paris: Gallimard). Google Scholar

Canepari, Michela, and Alba Pessini (eds) (2012) Food in Postoclonial and Migrant Literatures / La Nourriture dans les littératures postcoloniales et migrantes (Oxford: Peter Lang). Google Scholar

Cho, Lily (2007) ‘The turn to diaspora’, Topia 17: 8–20. Google Scholar

Cixous, Hélène (2003) L’Amour du loup et autres remords (Paris: Galilée). Google Scholar

Collins, Elizabeth M. (2017) ‘Cooks and books: Relational dynamics of identity and cuisine in contemporary Francophone Vietnamese literature’, unpublished conference paper delivered at the Study Day Transdiasporic Literature: Vietnam and Beyond, University of London in Paris, 18 December. Google Scholar

Condé, Maryse (2003) Histoire de la femme cannibal (Paris: Folio); trans. Richard Philcox (2008) The Story of the Cannibal Woman (New York: Washington Square Press). Google Scholar

Courtelle, Mélanie (2011) Journal d’une faim de vivre: témoignage (Paris: Beaurepaire). Google Scholar

Crace, Jim (2001) The Devil’s Larder (London: Viking). Google Scholar

Cruickshank, Ruth (2019) Leftovers: Eating, Drinking and Re-thinking Post-war French Fiction (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press). Google Scholar

Damlé, Amaleena (2013) ‘The becoming of anorexia and text in Amélie Nothomb’s Robert des noms propres and Delphine de Vigan’s Jours sans faim’, in Women’s Writing in Twenty-First-Century France: Life as Literature, ed. Gill Rye and Amaleena Damlé (Cardiff: University of Wales Press), 113–126. Google Scholar

Dangarembga, Tsitsi (1988) Nervous Conditions (London: The Women’s Press). Google Scholar

Darrieussecq, Marie (1996) Truismes (Paris: POL); trans. Linda Coverdale (1997) Pig Tales: A Novel of Lust and Transformation (London: Faber and Faber). Google Scholar

Darrieussecq, Marie (2006) Zoo (Paris: POL). Google Scholar

Delamont, Sarah (1995) ‘The golden oranges: Food, appetites and identities’, in Appetites and Identities: An Introduction to the Social Anthropology of Western Europe (London and New York: Routledge), 19–41. Google Scholar

Derrida, Jacques, and Elisabeth Roudinesco (2001) ‘Violences contre les animaux’, in De quoi demain … Dialogue (Paris: Fayard and Galilée), 105–127. Google Scholar

Desportes, Nicole (2016) Voyage jusqu’au bout de la vie; comment j’ai vaincu l’anorexie (Paris: Odile Jacob). Google Scholar

Douglas, Mary, and Michael Nicod (1974) ‘Taking the biscuit: The structure of British meals’, New Society 19, December, 744–746. Google Scholar

Draesner, Ulrike (2002) Mitgift (Munich: Luchterhand). Google Scholar

Durand, Émilie (2006) Ma folie ordinaire. Allers et retours à l’hôpital Sainte-Anne (Paris: Empêcheurs de Penser en Rond). Google Scholar

Duras, Marguerite (1984) L’Amant (Paris: Éditions de Minuit). Google Scholar

Durmelat, Sylvie (ed.) (2015) Food and the French Empire, French Cultural Studies 26.2. Google Scholar

Ellmann, Maud (1993) The Hunger Artists: Starving, Writing and Imprisonment (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: Virago). Google Scholar

Ernaux, Annie (2008) Les Années (Paris: Gallimard); trans. Alison L. Strayer (2018) The Years (London: Fitzcarraldo Editions). Google Scholar

Ernaux, Annie (2016) Mémoire de fille (Paris: Gallimard). Google Scholar

Feminist Studies (2014) 40.2, ‘Food and Ecology’. Google Scholar

Flöss, Helen (1998) Dürre Jahre (Innsbruck: Haymon). Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel (1976) Histoire de la sexualité I: La volonté de savoir (Paris: Gallimard). Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel (1984) Histoire de la sexualité II: Le souci de soi (Paris: Gallimard). Google Scholar

Gay, Roxane (2017) Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (New York: Harper Collins). Google Scholar

Giard, Luce (1994) ‘Faire-la-cuisine’, in L’Invention du quotidien, ed. Michel de Certeau, Luce Giard, and Pierre Mayol (Paris: Gallimard Coll. Folio/Essais), 213–350. Google Scholar

Gray, Margaret E. (2013) ‘The cook, her narrative, its recipes and the textual body in Calixthe Beyala’s Comment cuisiner son mari à l’africaine’, in Experiment and Experience: Women’s Writing in France 2000–2010, ed. Gill Rye with Amaleena Damlé (Oxford: Peter Lang), 143–158. Google Scholar

Groulez, Marianne (2006) ‘Ecrire l’anorexie: évolution de la maladie, renouvellement du discours’, Etudes 10: 330–337. Google Scholar

Hron, Madelaine (2005) ‘Pathological victims: The discourse of disease/dis-ease in Beur texts’, French Literary Studies 16: 159–174. Google Scholar

Huysmans, J.-K. (1977) À Rebours (Paris: Gallimard). Google Scholar

Janes, Lauren (2015) ‘Writing about cannibal diets and consuming Black Africans in France during the first half of the twentieth century’, in Food and the French Empire, French Cultural Studies 26.2: 176–186. Google Scholar

Jones, Katie (2007) ‘Literature as consumption and expulsion: Amélie Nothomb’s “esthétique du vomissement”’, in The Flesh in the Text, ed. T. Baldwin, S. Weller, and J. Fowler (Oxford: Peter Lang), 175–179. Google Scholar

Kemp, Anna (2016) ‘“Le passeport de la douleur ou rien”: Fawzia Zouari’s Ce pays dont je meurs and the politics of pain’, Contemporary French Civilization 41: 49–67. Google Scholar

Keeling, Kara K., and Scott T. Pollard (2008) Critical Approaches to Food in Children’s Literature (London: Routledge). Google Scholar

Keith, W.J. (1989) Introducing Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Edible Woman’ (Toronto: ECW Press). Google Scholar

Khair, Tabish, and Johan Höglund (2013) Transnational and Postcolonial Vampires: Dark Blood (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan). Google Scholar

Lê, Linda (1997) Les trois parques (Paris: Christian Bourgois). Google Scholar

Le Bars, Marie (2014) Appelez-moi plume (Paris: Fabert). Google Scholar

Levi Strauss, Claude (1964) Mythologiques I: Le Cru et le cuit (Paris: Plon). Google Scholar

Loichot, Valérie (2013) The Tropics Bite Back. Culinary Coups in Caribbean Literature (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press). Google Scholar

Mahuzier, Brigitte (2001) ‘Colette’s “Écriture gourmande”’, in French Food: On the Table, on the Page and in French Culture, ed. Lawrence R. Schehr and Allen S. Weiss (New York and London: Routledge), 99–113. Google Scholar

Marzano, Michela (2011) Volevo essere una farfalla (Milan: Mondadori). Google Scholar

McIlvanney, Siobhán (2018) ‘“Impuissance” and “Culpabilité”: Reducing the weight of maternal influence in contemporary French women’s narratives of anorexia’, in Eating Disorders in Contemporary Women’s Writing, ed. Petra Bagley et al. (Berg: Peter Lang), 23–44. Google Scholar

Messem, Alexandra (2014) ‘Spectacles of suffering: Self-harm in New Woman writing 1880–1900’. PhD thesis, University of Portsmouth. Google Scholar

Meuret, Isabelle (2006) L’anorexie créatrice (Paris: Klincksieck). Google Scholar

Meuret, Isabelle (2009) ‘L’Anorexie: entre aliénation “mentale” et revendication d’altérité: le cas des écrivaines algériennes’, International Journal of Francophone Studies 12.1: 19–35. Google Scholar

Nasser, Mervat, Melanie A. Katzman, and Richard A. Gordon (eds) (2001) Eating Disorders and Cultures in Transition (London and New York: Brunner-Routledge). Google Scholar

NDiaye, Marie (1996) ‘La Gourmandise’, in J.P. Géné and Marie NDiaye, La Gourmandise (3 Les Péchés capitaux) (Paris: Éditions du Centre Pompidou), 46–63. Google Scholar

NDiaye, Marie (1997) ‘Le Jour du Président’, in Amélie Nothomb, Marie Ndiaye, Jean-Pierre Ostende, Eugène Nicole, and Jean-Jacques Viton, La double entente du je (Bordeaux: L’été du livre en Gironde), 29–46. Google Scholar

Orbach, Susie (2017) Le Poids un enjeu féministe, trans. Florence Paban (Paris: Marabout). Google Scholar

Osgood, Kelsey (2013) How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia (New York: The Overlook Press). Google Scholar

Peretti, Camille de (2006) Thornytorinx (Paris: Pocket). Google Scholar

Piatti-Farnell, Lorna (2014) The Vampire in Contemporary Popular Literature (London and New York: Routledge). Google Scholar

Plath, Sylvia (1965) Ariel (London: Faber and Faber). Google Scholar

Rifkin, Jeremy (1994) Beyond Beef: The Rise and Fall of Cattle Culture (London: Harper Collins). Google Scholar

Robson, Kathryn (2016) ‘Voicing abjection: Narratives of anorexia in contemporary French women’s (life-)writing’, L’Esprit Créateur 56.2: 108–120. Google Scholar

Rodrigue, Valérie (1989) La peau à l’envers. Le roman vrai d’une boulimique (Paris: Robert Laffont). Google Scholar

Schwartz, Hillel (1990 [1986]) Never Satisfied: A Cultural History of Diets, Fantasies and Fat (New York: Doubleday). Google Scholar

Sirgent, Jacques (2010) Le Vampire en France des origines à nos jours (Aurillac: Éditions Juste Pour Lire). Google Scholar

Still, Judith (2010) Derrida and Hospitality (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press). Google Scholar

Teisson, Janine (2012) L’enfant plume (Paris: J’ai Lu). Google Scholar

Thúy, Kim (2013) Măn (Paris: Liana Levi). Google Scholar

Wilson, Jacqueline (1998) Girls Under Pressure (New York: Random House). Google Scholar

Wilson, Susannah (2014) ‘The iconography of anorexia nervosa in the long nineteenth century’, in Picturing Women’s Health, ed. Kate Scarth, Francesca Scott, and Ji Won Chung (London: Pickering and Chatto), 77–104. Google Scholar

Wilson, Susannah (2017) ‘Emaciation as a subversive strategy in the Goncourts’ Renée Mauperin and an early case of hysterical anorexia’, in Medicine and Maladies, ed. Sophie Leroy (Leiden: Rodopi/Brill), 154–170. Google Scholar

Zouari, Fawzia (2000) Ce pays dont je meurs (Paris: Ramsay); trans. Skyler Artes (2018) This Country of Which I Am Dying (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press). Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Jordan, Shirley

Still, Judith