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LeftoversEating, Drinking and Re-thinking with Case Studies from Post-war French Fiction$
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Ruth Cruickshank

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620672

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620672.001.0001

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Food Questioning Values in Marie Darrieussecq’s Truismes/Pig Tales

Food Questioning Values in Marie Darrieussecq’s Truismes/Pig Tales

(p.129) Chapter Four Food Questioning Values in Marie Darrieussecq’s Truismes/Pig Tales

Ruth Cruickshank

Liverpool University Press

Darrieussecq’s scandal-provoking Truismes/Pig Tales (1996), set in a near-future, neo-fascist France, involves much eating, drinking and consumption of others, whilst deliberately chewing up literary, political and feminist discourses. The naïve first-person narrator (as unaware of being a sex worker as she is of the intertexts which feed her retrospective account written in porcine form) experiences a metamorphosis oscillating between sex worker, submissive lover and sow, the flux marked by being consumed physically by food cravings and sexually by male abusers. Until momentarily fueled by acorns and truffles, self-expression through writing and eating involves danger, exemplifying the implications of the squandering of excess. Ambivalent traces of meaning in food-related truisms bring into question the possibility of countering patriarchal, capitalist violence – structural and overt. Carno-phallogocentric, cannibalistic, food- and sex-fueled soirées and the ‘others’ who serve and are sacrificed at them evoke the trauma of colonialism, the Holocaust (and French co-implication in it); excesses in turn linked to late capitalism. With the opposite of nurturing mother’s milk, and countering expectations of feminist readings, re-thinking representations of eating and drinking in Truismes raises questions of the conditions of production for and the consequences of (un)critical writing about gender, race and contemporary modes of consumption.

Keywords:   Marie Darrieussecq, Truismes, Pig Tales, trauma, feminism, excess, incorporation, carno-phallogocentrism, ‘Eating Well’, metamorphosis

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