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Wednesday, October 9

Violette Leduc Wounded at Birth: The Bastard, the Insult, the Writer
1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Kaliane Ung, Visiting Assistant Professor of French
501 Cathedral of Learning
Announced by:
European Studies Center on behalf of

This talk on French writer Violette Leduc examines her particular take on the insult from the perspective of sociology and gender studies, and will ask the following question: how does Violette Leduc overcome her feeling of illegitimacy as a woman writer? I investigate the so-called “tarnation” that Leduc places at the heart of a bastard’s existence. In her works, the “wound” (blessure) is inherited from the “womb” (utérus) and is linked to a female existence. The writer regards her unfortunate birth as a shameful stain that relegates her in the margins of society, excluding her from the prospects of a career, money, success, and love. In this talk, I will show that Leduc’s attitude to her condition as an illegitimate daughter informs and propels her writings. What are the stakes of claiming to be a “bastard” as a literary identity? Leduc’s style and themes redefine the boundaries of sex and gender and consider kinship across generations, as she takes her place in a lineage of powerful writing women.