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Transgenerational trauma in Gisle Pineau's Chair Piment and Mes Quatre Femmes

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This article explores the notion of transgenerational trauma in Gisle Pineau's 2002 novel Chair Piment and her 2007 autobiographical narrative Mes Quatre Femmes. Initially developed in reaction to the horrors of the Holocaust, transgenerational trauma has since been recognized as a useful psychological phenomenon with which to study other societies that have experienced deep trauma. In addition to the psychoanalytical insights offered by theorists of memory and trauma, the article will also focus on the Caribbean context of Pineau's work through Edouard Glissant's theories of memory and Relation. As a practising writer and psychiatric nurse, Pineau's writing responds well to analysis from the dual perspectives of psychology and cultural theory. The books under discussion demonstrate the value of drawing together literature and psychoanalysis and emphasize the connections between the social and the individual planes. Above all, Pineau underlines the possibility of liberation from transgenerational trauma through openness to others and taking charge of one's own life narrative.
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Keywords: Caribbean identity; Edouard Glissant; Gisle Pineau; Relation; memory; transgenerational trauma

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Western Australia.

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
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