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From the individual to the universal: Ying Chen’s Un enfant à ma porte

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Abstract:

The question of the universal, figuring in the majority of Ying Chen’s texts due to the lack of spatial and temporal reference points, develops into a major theme in Un enfant à ma porte (2009). A foundling, adopted by the narrator and her husband, causes the former to become strongly attached to the present and to contemplate the future in depth, rather than to remain preoccupied with the memories of her previous reincarnations. The text proves to be much more than a simple ‘récit de filiation’, as some critics have understood it, since it not only presents the individual and unusual circumstances of an unconventionally formed family, but it also raises concerns affecting the whole of humanity in the twenty-first century. In this way, it acts as a social manifesto, both advocating the re-evaluation of the role of mothers and warning against the possible demise of our species

Keywords: Francophone-Chinese; Ying Chen; migrant writing

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ijfs.15.1.119_1

Affiliations: Queens University Belfast

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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