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    Telling the Untellable: Negotiating Maternal Bereavement in Sophie Daull's Camille, mon envolée (2015)

    Rodgers, Julie (2019) Telling the Untellable: Negotiating Maternal Bereavement in Sophie Daull's Camille, mon envolée (2015). Irish Journal of French Studies, 19 (1). pp. 165-185. ISSN 1649-1335

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    Sophie Daull's Camille, mon envolée (2015) is an autobiographical depiction of the sudden and traumatic loss of an only daughter (Camille) due to an undetected fatal bacterial infection. It is recounted uniquely from the maternal point of view and directly addresses the daughter throughout. It concerns an incredibly recent bereavement as the writing of the text, the author tells us, commences just one week after the daughter's death. Camille, mon envolée is a markedly intimate and brutally honest account of a mother who is an active witness to and, one could argue, participant in her daughter's agonizing death scene. The text captures the sense of powerlessness that is experienced by the mother, the incomprehensibility of the loss, the self-blame, and, finally, the coming to terms with it and the learning to live on, not without guilt, however. It also offers insight into maternal motivation for writing such a text, ranging from a quest for understanding and an outlet for grief, to a desire to preserve the daughter's memory. Furthermore, through close examination of the physical, psychological and social impact of the death of a child on mother figure subjectivity, Camille mon envolée successfully traces out for the reader the very specific characteristics of maternal bereavement and its overwhelmingly embodied nature. Finally, the text represents an engagement on the part of the grieving mother with what has been termed 'scriptotherapy' in a bid to negotiate this trauma and find a means, not only of remembering the daughter, but also of surviving the tragedy. In this respect, Camille, mon envolée is a text of resistance, where the unthinkable is confronted and the untellable bravely told.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as:
    Keywords: Camille, Mon envolé; Embodied grief; Maternal bereavement; Mother-daughter relationship; Scriptotherapy; Sophie Daull;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures > French
    Item ID: 15469
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Julie Rodgers
    Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 14:34
    Journal or Publication Title: Irish Journal of French Studies
    Publisher: Association des Études Françaises et Francophones d'Irlande
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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