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Portraits d’écrivaines en métissage de soi: la quête de l’identité chez Colette, Leduc et Djebar

Boibessot, Stéphanie (2003) Portraits d’écrivaines en métissage de soi: la quête de l’identité chez Colette, Leduc et Djebar. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94220) (KAR id:94220)

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In this study we propose to examine works by Colette, Leduc and Djebar in order to throw light on the main paradigms of the quest for identity in the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on ‘feminine’ identity. Taking as our starting point a rejection of the ‘feminine myth’ that once prevailed and was used to form and manipulate the identity of women, we will suggest that these writers have contributed to the founding of a ‘myth in the feminine’ by their subversive use of the textual interface, a tendency they share with postmodernism. To support this argument, we will look at three general problems related to the formation of identity: conceptual space (to be explored through theories of sychoanalysis and existentialism); the connection between body and identity (especially in mother/daughter relationships); and the importance of the voice as a means of asserting the self and its possibilities (especially within the textual space). Each of these problems will be linked primarily to the work of one of the authors examined; thus we will explore the space of childhood for Colette, the importance of the body for Leduc and the birth of a new voice in Djebar. However, we will also show how all three paradigms of identity are connected within each text. Through comparison of these authors, a new image of a liberated (feminine) self gradually emerges: that of a self that cannot be defined in terms of gender or of a particular group but reinvents itself each time it talks through the text. The work of these authors suggests, then, that representations of the self in the twentieth century are inflected by differing paradigms of identity and that the portrait of the self can only henceforth be drawn by a use of multiple perspectives on the self.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.94220
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 25 April 2022 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Women writers
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PQ Romance Literature > PQ1 French Literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2022 11:10 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 11:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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