L'Indécidabilité de genre ( gender ) dans le premier roman du cycle de Marie, de Jean-Philippe Toussaint

Abstract : In the first novel of the Marie cycle, Faire l'amour, categories of gender seem initially stable both in terms of the protagonists’ emotional and professional lives. But the author proceeds to perform a first inversion in conferring an aggressive virility to his feminine heroine. Conversely, the male character, also subjected to this redistribution, finds himself deprived of the attributes of masculinity. Yet the double destabilization of gender norms does not allow for the discovery of a new equilibrium, except in the ironic mode. In fact, as the Japanese way of life brings a counterpoint that undermines the so-called legitimacy of Western norms, the gender reconfiguration is dramatized through the intercultural context. Toussaint subjects this unlikely couple set between two continents, between two cultures, to an overwhelming displacement that symbolizes the stakes of civilization and paradoxically sparks empathy through its own incapacity to create new norms. In a masterly manner, Toussaint succeeds in transforming this tragedy of coexistence into the humorous saga of a world in transition, freed from ancient stereotypes but still powerless to reinvent itself.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 5:42:28 PM
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Marie-Françoise Berthu-Courtivron. L'Indécidabilité de genre ( gender ) dans le premier roman du cycle de Marie, de Jean-Philippe Toussaint. Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2017, 21 (2), pp.169-180. ⟨10.1080/17409292.2017.1343013⟩. ⟨hal-02187350⟩

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