Louie’s secret language in Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children
Chupin, Helen (2011-12), Louie’s secret language in Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children, "Le Secret", colloque annuel du groupe "Résonances-Femmes", Université Paris 8, 2011-12, Paris, France
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference title"Le Secret", colloque annuel du groupe "Résonances-Femmes", Université Paris 8
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Abstract (EN)Four pages of Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children (1940) are devoted to a play entitled “Herpes Rom,” written by the adolescent Louisa in a secret, invented language. This article explores what this strange episode, a text-within-the-text, contributes to the novel as a whole. It focuses not only on how the young girl uses the play to express her revolt against her father’s authority and to make a personal foray into the family’s embattled discursive space but also explores its autobiographical, psychoanalytical and intertextual references. The presence of narcissism, incest and the rejection of the literary conventions of the time combine here metonymically in a mise-en-abyme of the novel as a whole.
Subjects / KeywordsThe Man Who Loved Children; Christina Stead
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