Lauréate 2015

Congrès « Faire le point : quand la littérature fait savoir. Mutations, institutions, interactions », organisé par Adelaïde Russo,  Louisiana State University, Bâton Rouge, 25-28 février 2015 :
Emma Monroy (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) : Creating Space : Zeina Abirached’s Mourir partir revenir: Le jeu des hirondelles

Emma Monroy

Zeina Abirached’s work explores questions of territoriality, both within the space of the narrative and also that of the bande dessinée genre itself: a form that allows her to access traumatic events from another angle. Reconstructing space through drawing—infusing imagination into the narrative—allows Abirached to lay claim to the civil war, as the master of her own narrative, instead of the victim of someone else’s domination. I explore the intradiegetic space of Le jeu des hirondelles and its use of maps as an attempt to represent the fractured space of the civil war and regain a mastery of the city from a privileged point of view. Michel de Certeau’s L’invention du quotidien proves useful to an analysis of space in this work and the way in which characters use certain “tactics” to work within another’s strictly monitored space: “making do” (“faire avec”) as a form of everyday resistance. Just as characters in Le jeu des hirondelles create a space for this resistance to take place, Abirached uses her graphic memoir as a way to represent a traumatic “working-through” in an environment that does not officially accept these narratives.