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A theory of matrixial reading: Ethical encounters in Ettinger, Laferriere, Duras, and Huston

Carolyn P. T Shread, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

Matrixial reading is a new methodology for literary criticism that emphasizes the ethical relevance of literature. Adhering to an interdisciplinary approach, I adopt feminist artist and psychoanalyst Bracha Ettinger's paradigm of subjectivity-as-encounter, based on the maternal/late pre-natal infant relation, to refigure reading relations. Analyzing selected texts, I show how readers are invited to form an ethical covenant based on matrixial, as opposed to phallic, relations. I discuss exile and the foreign in Dany Laferrière's novels; Marguerite Duras' work provokes an epistemological reflection on ignorance; with Nancy Huston I demonstrate the role of reading in healing trauma. ^

Subject Area

Modern literature|Romance literature|French Canadian literature|Caribbean literature|Women's studies

Recommended Citation

Shread, Carolyn P. T, "A theory of matrixial reading: Ethical encounters in Ettinger, Laferriere, Duras, and Huston" (2005). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3179925.
https://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3179925

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