P/Reparation: Barthes and Sedgwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article highlights peculiar affinities between Roland Barthes’ last works, particularly his seminars on La Préparation du roman, and the later work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. Barthes and Sedgwick reflect on attachments that exceed the boundaries of genealogical affiliation (both familial and intellectual); in turn, they foster similarly queer attachments in their readers. Both draw on the theories of Melanie Klein to reflect on love, mourning, fantasy, and their link to creativity differently, through an alternative to Freudian models of Oedipality and sublimation. The Kleinian concept of reparation, where powerlessness in the face of loss is lucidly acknowledged but simultaneously transformed into an impetus for creative work, infuses the later works of both critics. I observe that these parallel critical trajectories share a fantasized, avowedly fictional ‘mother’, who also worked in the shadow of loss: Marcel Proust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-184
Number of pages11
JournalRomance Studies
Volume34
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Fingerprint

Roland Barthes
Reparation
Reader
Fiction
Marcel Proust
Powerlessness
Impetus
Queerness
Creative Work
Sigmund Freud
Familial
Affinity
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
Fantasy
Creativity
Sublimation
Trajectory
Melanie Klein

Keywords

  • Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
  • Marcel Proust
  • Melanie Klein
  • Roland Barthes
  • queer filiation
  • reparation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

P/Reparation : Barthes and Sedgwick. / Proulx, Francois.

In: Romance Studies, Vol. 34, No. 3-4, 01.10.2016, p. 174-184.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Proulx, Francois. / P/Reparation : Barthes and Sedgwick. In: Romance Studies. 2016 ; Vol. 34, No. 3-4. pp. 174-184.
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