The Pleasures of the Text: Violette Leduc and Reader Seduction
- Publish Date: 2002-01-15
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Elizabeth Locey
Why was Violette Leduc's 1954 novel ThZr_se et Isabelle not published in its entirety until November 2000? Under threat of scandal and obsenity charges, French publisher Gallimard withheld the novel, but Leduc continued to write of her life as a woman writer in wartime Paris, frankly depicting her own and imagined lesbian experiences. Mentored by Simone de Beauvoir and a contemporary of French twentieth-century luminaries Sartre, Camus, Genet, and Cocteau, Leduc is, however, known best as France's great unknown writer. In The Pleasures of the Text, Elizabeth Locey restores Leduc to her rightful place in the canon, bringing to light her singular and important contributions to contemporary literary theory. Locey reads Leduc's works from the perspective of reader seduction, which erodes the divide between body and text. Situating Leduc within a continuum with Emma Bovary and Roland Barthes at its extremes, Locey investigates Leduc's use of the erotic touch, look, and voice to seduce her readers. More than an accessible introduction to an overlooked writer, The Pleasures of the Text confronts and challenges the philosophical debate between pornography and erotica and pins down some of the often slippery ways pleasure is mapped onto the body of the reader.