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Hervé Guibert: Voices of the Self$
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Jean Pierre Boulé

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780853238614

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313271

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(p.145) Chapter Six ‘Autobiography’
Hervé Guibert: Voices of the Self
Liverpool University Press

This chapter presents a reading of Mes parents and argues that what is fundamental in this work is its form rather than its content. The back cover the book is called ‘autobiographie de jeunesse’ (‘autobiography about his youth’), and the author will write the ‘je’ (‘I’) of a narrator who is identifiable with Guibert. The chapter addresses the question of whether the book fulfilled the function the writer desired. It is argued that it did not: firstly because Guibert could only reconstruct a positive sexual identity by abandoning the ‘je’ (‘I’) for the ‘il’ (‘he’ ); and secondly because the book did not reconcile him with his own body. He was unable to reappropriate the latter at the level of fiction, the project having been short-circuited by the mother's illness invading the text.

Keywords:   Hervé Guibert, Mes parents, autobiography

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