Dr Ruth Cruickshank (Modern Languages, Literatures and
Cultures, Royal Holloway, University of London)
An untapped convergence of post-war French cultural products elucidate how food and drink always carry surcharges of meaning. This paper draws on a range of theoretical approaches which use or are legible through food; structuralist (Barthes and Lévi-Strauss); sociological (Bourdieu); feminist (Beauvoir and Cixous); post-Freudian (Lacan); poststructuralist (Derrida) and socio-anthropological (Fischler). Demonstrating their potential for rethinking diverse genres, places and periods, here we analyse represpentations of food and drink in Duras’ Moderato cantabile (1958) and Queneau’s Zazie dans le métro (1959). Destabilizing received understandings, these cases studies reveal surprising aesthetic, class and gender aftertastes as well as new insights on repressed trauma and the ethical dilemmmas of the Occupation.
Dr Ruth Cruickshank is Senior Lecturer in French at Royal Holloway, University of London. A specialist in post-war French fiction, film and thought, and author of Fin de millénaire French Fiction: The Aesthetics of Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2009), she is currently writing a monograph, Leftovers, using the fiction of the Trente Glorieuses as a case study to establish how critical analyses of representations of food offer a multivalent conceptual tool for the analysis and reassessment of cultural practices in their contexts of production. She has also published articles on food in fiction, film and thought, and on Denis, Ernaux, Houellebecq, Redonnet and Varda.
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Part of the Cambridge Food and Drink Network series.
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