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The Becoming of the Body

Contemporary Women's Writing in French

Amaleena Damlé

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A critical investigation of contemporary statements of the female body in French literature and philosophy

Following a long tradition of objectification, 20th-century French feminism often sought to liberate the female body from the confines of patriarchal logos and to inscribe its rhythms in writing. Amaleena Damlé addresses questions of bodies, boundaries and philosophical discourses by exploring the intersections between a range of contemporary philosophers and authors on the subject of contemporary female corporeality and transformation.

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1. Introduction: Contemporary Women’s Writing in French
2. The Orchid, the Wasp and the Text: Encountering Bodily Becoming through Deleuze and Feminism
3. Making a Body without Organs: Amélie Nothomb’s An-Organic Flux of Immanence
4. Becoming Otherwise: The Transformative Encounter in Ananda Devi’s Writing
5. The Flux and Folds of Consciousness: Marie Darrieussecq’s Literature of Simulation and Dispersal
6. Nomadic Vitalities: Becoming Beyond Boundaries in Nina Bouraoui’s Writing
7. Conclusion
Works Cited.

About the Author

Amaleena Damlé is Assistant Professor in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Durham University. She is a specialist in 20th and 21st century French philosophy and literature, with a particular interest in identity, the body, gender and sexuality. She is the author of several articles on contemporary women’s writing in French, and the co-editor (with Gill Rye) of Women’s Writing in Twenty-First-Century France (2013), Experiment and Experience (2013) and, with Aurélie L’Hostis, The Beautiful and the Monstrous (2010).


In this bold and challenging study, Amaleena Damlé brilliantly engages with both literature and philosophy as they attempt to address the vexed question of human embodiment. Reading contemporary writing by women alongside works by Gilles Deleuze proves to be both theoretically bracing and politically enlightening. This book deserves to be widely read.

- Colin Davis, Royal Holloway, University of London

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