What does it mean to write I in postmodern society, in a world in which techlogical advances and increased globalization have complicated tions of authenticity, origins, and selfhood? Under what circumstances and to what extent do authors lend their scriptural authority to fictional counterparts? What role does naming, or, conversely, anymity play vis-a-vis the writing and written I ? What aspects of identity are subject to (auto)fictional manipulations? And how do these complicated and multilayered narrating selves problematize the reader's engagement with the text? Seeking answers to these questions, Protean Selves brings together essays which explore the intricate relations between language, self, identity, otherness, and the world through the analysis of the forms and uses of the first-person voice. Written by specialists of a variety of approaches and authors from across the world, the studies in this volume follow up a number of critical inquiries on the thorny problematic of self-representation and the representation of the self in contemporary French and francophone literatures, and extend the theoretical analysis to narratives and authors who have gained increasing commercial and academic visibility in the twenty-first century.
Adrienne Angelo is Associate Professor of French at Auburn University, USA. Her research focuses on life-writing narratives and practices in contemporary women's writing in France and the Francophone world. She has published on authors such as Calixthe Beyala, Clemence Boulouque, Nina Bouraoui, Nathalie Gassel, Camille Laurens, Marie Nimier, Nina Bouraoui, and Nathalie Rheims. Erika Fulop is Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Interdiscinplinary Center for Narratology at the University of Hamburg. She has published a monograph entitled Proust, the One, and the Many: Identity and Difference in A la recherche du temps perdu (Oxford: Legenda, 2012) and articles on Proust and on contemporary fiction, including Eric Chevillard and Amelie Nothomb.