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Testimony of war in the works of Marguerite Duras : an alternative discourse of otherness and responsibility

Abstract : This study describes the unique conception of responsibility derived from Marguerite Duras' works about World War II by virtue of her unique approach in these works to the themes of otherness (both internal and external) and "Others." It demonstrates how Duras' works (both texts and films) create an interplay between memory and history in a way that offers an alternative to the dominant narratives of her era as well as to its dominant modes of narration. The discussion unfolds within three theoretical frameworks: the historical discourse about France in WWII and about the French collective memory of these years; the feminist discourse about women's writing on war; and the discourse about Holocaust testimony. This historical, cultural, and philosophical-ethical multidisciplinary analysis allows me to demonstrate how Duras' works contribute to the ongoing discussion about the French responsibility concerning their history and at the same time, more broadly, to rethink the concept of "testimony" and testimony’s ethical functions. My main argument is that reading Duras' works as testimonies offers an alternative way of relating to questions of history, memory, narration, and representation, as well as to the meanings of multilayered concepts such as war, gender power relations in war, revenge, enemy, torture, and justice. Hence, the study demonstrates through the fictional and autobiographic works of Duras how the practice of testimony can involve an assumption of responsibility for past events in the present.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 22, 2022 - 12:06:46 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-03649204, version 1



Maya Michaeli. Testimony of war in the works of Marguerite Duras : an alternative discourse of otherness and responsibility. History. Institut d'études politiques de Paris - Sciences Po; Tel Aviv university, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016IEPP0047⟩. ⟨tel-03649204⟩



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