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‘Comment rester vivant avec ce qui est mort en nous?’ L’amitié et la promesse chez Wajdi Mouawad

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This article examines the representation of the monstrous family in the work of Wajdi Mouawad, and the strategies put in place by the plays' protagonists to escape it. The transgression of familial links, a consequence of a state of war, is a central motif of his tetralogy: such transgression may take the form, for example, of rape, incest, patricide and fratricide. The protagonists of Mouawad's plays, children of war, have inherited a genealogy of blood. The family is cursed: it symbolizes violence, a savage world, a primitive state. It is a monster, where promises of solidarity and fraternity are not kept. To escape the hell of the family-in-war and the weight of inheritance, the protagonists must find or create other kinds of inter-personal connections. And such connections exist in two modes: friendship and promises. These journeys towards the other, consubstantial with self-knowledge, allow broken connections to be reconstructed, and long-dead, long-forgotten people to be rediscovered and remembered. Such journeys are complex and diverse, but they allow new modes of understanding, forgiveness and, above all, of rebuilding communities. Le Sang des promesses (2009b) tells us that in spite of a child-hood fractured, injured, betrayed and disconsolate, we are still constructed in and by dialogue.

Keywords: Liban; Wajdi Mouawad; amitié; famille; guerre civile; promesse

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of London

Publication date: August 13, 2012

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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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