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Daily life in Un roman russe and L’Origine de la violence

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quotidian experiences, daily routines, social class, traumatic events, families

Abstract (summary)

This article focuses on the tensions between the banality of the everyday and a traumatic but unspoken family loss, which are at the centre of Un Roman russe and L’Origine de la violence. I trace the ways in which the effects of the repressed family past manifest themselves in the routines of daily life, arguing that the everyday has become haunted by a transgenerational phantom, to use Abraham and Torok’s phrase. In these novels, the daily routines of the bourgeois families are not only a product of their social standing and privilege, but also a performative means of showcasing and creating this social position. I contend that the texts not only emphasize the ways in which the details of an individual’s quotidian actions are determined by class standing, but also ask to what lengths someone might go in order to protect or improve the day-to-day comforts of their family. Ultimately, I argue that quotidian experiences can be read as both the effects and the catalysts of many of the decisions surrounding moments of major upheaval—that is to say, that the exceptional event and the everyday cannot be easily disassociated.

Publication Information

Epp, Marla. “Daily Life in Un roman russe and L’Origine de la violence.” Modern & Contemporary France. 2021. DOI: 10.1080/09639489.2021.1903845


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