Writing selves as mourning and Vita Nova: Abdellah Taïa’s Un pays pour mourir

Boulé, J.-P. ORCID: 0000-0003-0556-8386, 2016. Writing selves as mourning and Vita Nova: Abdellah Taïa’s Un pays pour mourir. Contemporary French Civilization, 41 (1), pp. 25-47. ISSN 0147-9156

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Using for the most part Kleinian analysis, this article presents Abdellah Taïa’s latest novel Un pays pour mourir as a work of reparative mourning. It is divided in three parts: “Mourning the father,” “Melancholy gender and mourning,” and “Reparative work through characterization.” The approach encompasses the sociology of the author and a blend of online interviews, social media, and fictional accounts of “family”. The article
finds that it is not in (psycho)analysis but within the realm of writing the self/selves, and more specifically the multiple characters invented in the novel, that Taïa the author revisits the relationship with the father, his
younger self, sets up a dialogue between his more fluid gender and his more rigid identity, between his younger and his older self, and tries to reach some kind of mutual understanding, on the way to possible reintegration. Taïa accomplishes what Klein sees as a journey of reconciliation since, for the psychoanalyst, it is by reinstating inside himself the “good” parents, and by rebuilding his inner world that the patient overcomes his grief. Taïa has achieved a Vita Nova in the sense used by Roland Barthes for this expression: the discovery of a new practice of writing.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Contemporary French Civilization
Creators: Boulé, J.-P.
Publisher: Liverpool University Press
Date: April 2016
Volume: 41
Number: 1
ISSN: 0147-9156
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 15 Mar 2016 14:07
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 03:00
Related URLs:
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/27137

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