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Absent the ArchiveCultural Traces of a Massacre in Paris, 17 October 1961$
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Lia Brozgal

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789622386

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789622386.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

The Seine’s Exceptional Bodies

The Seine’s Exceptional Bodies

Chapter:
(p.163) Chapter Four The Seine’s Exceptional Bodies
Source:
Absent the Archive
Author(s):

Lia Brozgal

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789622386.003.0005

Chapter 4 analyzes the anarchive’s representations of the Seine River. The notion of the iconic Parisian river as a mass burial site remains one of the most gruesome aspects of the massacre. While not all of the dead on October 17 fell victim to the river, it is nonetheless true that the Seine has come to occupy significant symbolic territory in the realm of representation, to a degree that perhaps surpasses the representation of analogous “killing fields” or “technologies” of destruction in other episodes of state violence. The anarchive is replete with images of the Seine and of the experience of what Sidi Mohammed Barakat calls “exceptional bodies,” all of which participate in an implicit project of re-signifying the river. In exploring representations of the Seine in novels, documentary and fiction film, and visual art, this chapter makes visible a poetic and political discourse about the nature of the violence on October 17. It also explores how culture has dealt with the weighty implications of a state hiding evidence of its crimes in a site so geographically, affectively, and symbolically central. Alongside cultural productions, this chapter engages archival material from the files of the Parisian police and the history of the Seine.

Keywords:   Riverscapes, Cinema, Poetry, Archives, Rap, Beur literature, Media, Documentary film, Postmemory, Hypervisiblity, Urban studies

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