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Présence Francophone: Revue internationale de langue et de littérature

Abstract

In her novel entitled "Calomnies", Linda Lê depicts a "mad uncle" and a young female writer fascinated with her uncle’s marginality. In this book, Lê presents a complex view of schizophrenia. Sometimes, the actions and thoughts of the uncle are reminiscent of Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts such as le corps sans organe and la machine célibataire. Some other times however, Lê pays attention to the past of the uncle and shows how, in Vietnam, he witnessed the hypocrisy of his family during the war. These passages are then closer to Laing’s theories, since the environment and conditions in which he lived seemed to have impacted his mental state. His niece’s attitude towards the Parisian monde des lettres and towards the occidental bien-pensants is very similar to her uncle’s attitude in the sense that she too feels alienated and cut from the world around her. In doing so, Lê sometimes blurs the frontier between mental sanity and dementia.

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