Male Imagination and Representation of Home Spaces in Times of War: Julien Gracq’s Un Balcon En Forêt [Balcony in the Forest]

Chapter

Abstract

Representations of home as a nurturing space connect imaginatively with the structure of our psyche. They resemble the protective, motherly envelope we all emerged from at birth to face the world and form our own identity. This chapter examines how literary narratives portraying the aggressive environment of war frequently call on these images of home and the cultural values they represent—for example through the dialectics of inner and outer, and the need to protect the physical as well as the intimate self. In the traditionally male world of the warrior, everyday domestic practices meet primitive but essential needs; encounter with the feminine order means ambivalence and sometimes regression. A range of French literary narratives of World War I and World War II is used here, particularly Julien Gracq’s 1958 story of the phoney war, unfolding in the mythic environment of the Ardennes forest, Un balcon en forêt.

References

  1. Adams, A. (1994). Reproducing the Womb: Images of Childbirth in Science, Feminist Theory and Literature. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Anzieu, D. (1995) [1985]. Le Moi-peau (2nd ed.). Paris: Dunod.Google Scholar
  3. Aragon, L. (1951). Les Communistes. Paris: Éditeurs français réunis.Google Scholar
  4. Atack, M. (1991). Weekend à Zuydcoote and La Mort dans l’âme: History, Politics and Sexuality. In A. Pugh (Ed.), France 1940: Literary and Historical Reactions to Defeat, Durham Modern Language Series (pp. 16–17). Durham: University of Durham.Google Scholar
  5. Bachelard, G. (1948). La Terre et les rêveries du repos. Paris: José Corti.Google Scholar
  6. Bachelard, G. (1964). The Poetics of Space (M. Jolas, Trans.). Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  7. Barbusse, H. (1926). Under Fire: The Story of a Squad (W. Fitzwater Wray, Trans.). London: Dent.Google Scholar
  8. Barbusse, H. (2013) [1916]. Le Feu (Folio, Ed.). Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  9. Baudelaire, C. (1947) [1861]. Les Fleurs du mal, Le livre de poche ed. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  10. Freud, S. (1920). Beyond the Pleasure Principle. In J. Strachey, A. Freud, A. Strachey and A. Tyson, Trans. and Eds, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (Vol. 18 (1920–1922), pp. 7–64). London: Hogarth Press, 1955. Google Scholar
  11. Gracq, J. (1958). Un balcon en forêt. Paris: José Corti.Google Scholar
  12. Gracq, J. (1992). A Balcony in the Forest (R. Howard, Trans.). London: Harvill.Google Scholar
  13. Gracq, J. (2011). Manuscrits de guerre, posthumous (Bernhild Boie, Ed.). Paris: José Corti.Google Scholar
  14. Harris Williams, M. (2009). An Introduction to the Work and Thinking of Donald Meltzer. Talks given at St Marylebone Healing and Counselling Centre and at the Psychoanalytic Association of Biella. http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/meghwilliams/hmt/MeltzerIntro.pdf. Accessed 29 March 2015.
  15. Janov, A. (1983). Imprints: The Lifelong Effects of the Birth Experience. New York: Coward-McCann.Google Scholar
  16. Kaplan, A., & Ross, K. (Eds.). (1987). Introduction to Everyday Life: Yale French Studie. The Everyday Life Reader, 73, 1–4.Google Scholar
  17. Klein, M. (1975). Weaning. In Love, Guilt and Reparation and Other Works 1921–1945 (pp. 290–305). London: The Hogarth Press.Google Scholar
  18. Lefebvre, H. (1947). Critique de la vie quotidienne. Paris: Grasset.Google Scholar
  19. Lefebvre, H. (1991). Critique of Everyday Life (J. Moore, Trans.). London: Verso.Google Scholar
  20. Merle, R. (1949). Week-end à Zuydcoote. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  21. Merle, R. (1965) [1950]. Weekend at Dunkirk (K. Rebillon-Lambley, Trans., Signet, Ed.). New York: The New American Library.Google Scholar
  22. Peyronie, A. (2007). ‘Un balcon en forêt’ et les guetteurs de l’apocalypse. Caen: Lettres modernes Minard.Google Scholar
  23. Sartre, J-P. (1975) [1949]. La Mort dans l’âme (Folio, Ed.). Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  24. Theweleit, K. (1987) [1977]. Male Fantasie (Vol. 1, S. Conway, Trans.). Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  25. Vignes, S. (2007). Un balcon en forêt: une brèche vers l’enfance? In Julien Gracq 5: Les dernières fictions – ‘Un balcon en forêt’ ‘La Presqu’île’ (pp. 115–130). Caen: Lettres modernes Minard.Google Scholar
  26. Whyte, P. (1991). Julien Gracq au bois dormant: autobiographie, poésie et la drôle de guerre. In A. Pugh (Ed.), France 1940: Literary and Historical Reactions to Defeat, Durham Modern Language Series (pp. 121–133). Durham: University of Durham.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BirminghamBirminghamUK

Personalised recommendations