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Nous sommes tous poursuivis par un monstre: postcolonial hauntologies in the works of Chamoiseau, Ollivier and Haneke

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This article seeks to explore the usefulness of Jacques Derrida's notion of hauntology, whereby the past is always revenant and the repressed returns, through analysis of two acclaimed contemporary Caribbean novels by Patrick Chamoiseau and mile Ollivier, and a critically successful film by Austrian director Michael Haneke. A key theoretical concept, the philosopher's neologism is looked at in a postcolonial frame to explore how painful memory is often repressed or elided to mask historical events, and how the traumas of the past perpetually impinge on the present. This article contributes to the ever-growing rhetoric around memory in a postcolonial world deeply concerned with issues of remembrance and commemoration. It highlights the important role literature and film have to play in helping us retrieve our forgotten and fragmented past as we continually seek to make sense of the present.
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Keywords: Chamoiseau; Haneke; Ollivier; hauntology; postcolonial memory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Queen's University Belfast.

Publication date: 01 June 2010

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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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