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Varianter och versioner: Repetition i Marguerite Duras Älskaren och Monika Fagerholms Den amerikanska flickan
Södertörn University, School of Gender, Culture and History.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay examines the role of repetition in the two novels Älskaren (The Lover) by Marguerite Duras and Den amerikanska flickan (The American Girl) by Monika Fagerholm, through a thematic and comparative reading. The study mainly uses Bruce F. Kawin’s analysis of repetition in literature and language as well as it refers to Cathy Jellenik and her analysis of rewriting in the works of Duras. The study also takes into Julia Kristeva’s idea of Duras as a writer lacking of catharsis. Furthermore, the essay analyses both novels by applying Sigmund Freud’s term “repetition compulsion”.

The essay shows how Fagerholm and Duras both use permissive writing, which means that the authors boldly write clichéd replications in their texts. Both writers practice what Kristeva calls “an aesthetics of awkwardness”. Aswell, the authors both question whether a story at all is able to be told: they work with what Jellenik calls “an aesthetics of doubt”, but in different ways. Moreover, by using the work of Kawin, the essay shows how the authors have different ways of handling time. The study shows indications of repetition compulsion in the characters and also exemplifies instances of what Kristeva calls “reduplication”. Through this a fragmentary and Nietzschean perspective of the self is displayed in the novels. The study review how Duras can be said to be a writer lacking of catharsis, while Fagerholm on the other hand liberates one of her protagonists from repetition compulsion by allowing the character to undergo a catharsis.

Finally, the essay conclusion points out that Duras and Fagerholm are postmodern writers who know how to challenge the concept of truth. Even if they are different writers in many aspects, they both use repetition as a method to express something unspeakable. They can be said to write also by an aesthetics of search for the truth; a search for an origin tale which they both argue as biased and is therefore impossible to capture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 33 p.
Keyword [sv]
repetition, upprepning, Marguerite Duras, Monika Fagerholm, Älskaren, Den amerikanska flickan, Sigmund Freud, upprepningstvång, Julia Kristeva, fördubbling, Cathy Jellenik, Bruce F Kawin, sanning
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-15036OAI: diva2:484092
Subject / course
Comparative Literature
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-01-27 Created: 2012-01-26 Last updated: 2012-01-27Bibliographically approved

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