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The Reparative in NarrativesWorks of Mourning in Progress$
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Mireille D. Rosello

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781846312205

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846315916

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Conclusion: Repentance and Detective Fiction:

Conclusion: Repentance and Detective Fiction:

Legal Powerlessness and the Power of Narratives

(p.187) Conclusion: Repentance and Detective Fiction:
The Reparative in Narratives
Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines an episode of the French detective television series P.J. Saint Martin entitled ‘Erreurs de jeunesse.’ It highlights the failure of the detectives to bring a peaceful conflict resolution because when they find out the truth they also learn how powerless they are to offer any kind of compensation, legal or symbolic reparation, to the victim. The chapter argues that this episode functions as a representative fictional microcosm of the ongoing debate about the direct role which national memory plays in the evolving definitions of Frenchness in the daily conduct of French society and in the policies that the government can or must implement to take into account the dominant narrative that each moment of memory imposes as the norm.

Keywords:   P.J. Saint Martin, detective television series, Erreurs de jeunesse, reparation, fictional microcosm, memory, dominant narrative

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