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Parasitic Reproduction

Title: Parasitic Reproduction: Recording the Female in the Early Works of Patrick Chamoiseau.
Name(s): Altergott, Renée, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Journal Article
Date Issued: 2019-12-31
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: In Solibo Magnifique (1988), Patrick Chamoiseau’s ethnographer laments: “Je n'étais plus dans ce marché qu’une sorte de parasite, en béatitude stérile” (44). The explicit comparison of the ethnographer to a parasite evokes the seminal work by philosopher Michel Serres, Le Parasite (1980), in which he proposes the parasite as a figurative model for social relations. Drawing from the polysemy of the word parasite in French, Serres seeks to demonstrate the intrinsic relation between the three meanings of the word and the ways in which they execute similar functions in a system. These three figures find direct parallels in two of Chamoiseau’s novels, Solibo Magnifique and Texaco (1992), through the constellation of the female body, the ethnographer, and the tape recorder. Since both novels are ostensibly based on the narrator’s recordings, this article thus proposes to use Serres’ theorization of the parasite to posit the tape recorder as a site of renegotiation between oraliture and gender. Through a comparison of the male Maître de paroles, Solibo, and the female conteuse, Marie-Sophie, we may tease out the ways in which sound recording imposes new paradigms of reproductive fidelity onto oraliture, what I term “parasitic reproduction.”
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1578592094_def08834 (IID)
Publication Note: Selected essay from the Women In French International Conference 2018
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Women in French Studies Special Conference Issue.

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Altergott, R. (2019). Parasitic Reproduction: Recording the Female in the Early Works of Patrick Chamoiseau. Women In French Studies Special Conference Issue. Retrieved from