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Revisioning DurasFilm, Race, Sex$
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James S. Williams

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780853235460

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313943

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

Photography and Fetishism in L′amant

Photography and Fetishism in L′amant

(p.191) Chapter 10 Photography and Fetishism in L′amant
Revisioning Duras

Alex Hughes

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the roles of photography, photographic invention, and fetishism in Marguerite Duras's autobiographical novel L'amant, which features a récit that derives its impetus from a verbalised, fantasised image, a ‘fantasme de photographie’. This phantasmatic, verbalised self-image conforms to the ‘fetish = pocket phallus’ paradigm mentioned by Christian Metz in his essay entitled ‘Photography and Fetish’. Viewed through Freudian psychoanalysis, the photo-images associated with the narrator's mother in L'amant seem to symbolise a (refused) maternal ‘castration’ or failed female phallicity. In other words, they can be interpreted as symbols for a maternal Lack that arises every time the mother suffers from (de)privation, whether of money, sanity, authority, or, most especially, jouissance.

Keywords:   Marguerite Duras, photography, photographic invention, fetishism, self-image, psychoanalysis, photo-images, mother

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