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Fin de millénaire French FictionThe Aesthetics of Crisis$
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Ruth Cruickshank

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199571758

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571758.001.0001

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Jean Echenoz: problematic patterns and symbolic violence

Jean Echenoz: problematic patterns and symbolic violence

Chapter:
(p.69) 2 Jean Echenoz: problematic patterns and symbolic violence
Source:
Fin de millénaire French Fiction
Author(s):

Ruth Cruickshank (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571758.003.0003

This chapter examines patterns of crisis in the 1990s prose fictions of Goncourt prize winner Echenoz. Countering contradictory critiques of Echenoz as epitome or observer of postmodernity, it identifies in representations of cultural production (including novels, cinema, the art market, and reality television) implicit critical challenges to the symbolic violence of the mass media. Foregrounding the patterns of a parallel crisis‐generating postcolonial economy underlying the global market, it also identifies how Echenoz's avoidance of overt criticism risks perpetuating market‐driven stereotypes and misogyny. Analysis of language games and intertexts (including, via Žižek, Hitchcock's Vertigo) identifies how both deliberately and unintentionally Echenoz draws on and draws attention to the agency—critical and oppressive—of different fictional constructions, bringing into the tropes of his novels, the media, and the market alike, and thus leadng readers to consider their own responsibility in challenging or perpetuating symbolic violence.

Keywords:   Echenoz, stereotypes, misogyny, postcolonial, reality television, intertexts, cinema, Žižek, symbolic violence, implicit critique

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