The French Spectre that Can(not) Be Tamed: The Great War in Short Narrative Forms Cover Image
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Francuskie (nie)oswajalne widmo. Wielka Wojna w małych formach narracyjnych
The French Spectre that Can(not) Be Tamed: The Great War in Short Narrative Forms

Author(s): Piotr Sadkowski
Subject(s): Cultural history, Short Story, French Literature, Pre-WW I & WW I (1900 -1919), Hermeneutics, Philosophy of History
Published by: Instytut Badań Literackich Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: World War I; spectre; trauma; narration; witness in the second degree;

Summary/Abstract: Sadkowski explores French short narrative forms by Henri-Frédéric Blanc, Gisèle Bienne and Cathie Barreau. Their works from the turn of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries – a period associated with post-memory – tackle the spectral presence of trauma related to the experience of World War I. These short works present the figure of the witness in the second degree not so much as a subject haunted by the spectre of World War I but rather as a subject that invokes those ghosts. These characters try – with various degrees of success – to tame those ghosts, to bring them alive and to include them in their own histories. The work of fiction becomes a substitute of verbalizing the trauma. It may come short of bringing about symbolic healing, but it seems to ease the process of coming to terms with the knowledge that the traces of the past will never disappear.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 94-114
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: Polish