Distinctly Narcissistic: Diary Fiction in Quebec


307 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-2882-9
DDC C843.009'353




Marguerite Andersen is a professor of French studies at the University
of Guelph.


This interesting analysis of Quebec diary fiction, which considers both
the positive and negative aspects of narcissism, is influenced by
psychoanalytical theory, as revised by French feminist theorists within
a Lacanian framework.

The book is divided into five parts (“Identity and Difference,”
“Narcissism and Femininity,” “Narcissism and Colonized Men,”
“Gender Confusion and Self-Generation,” “Writing and Self-Esteem:
From Mirror to Voice”) and a conclusion [“Collective (Con)texts and
(In)difference”]. It begins with the study of “real diaries,” and
then moves on to explore the diary as narrative form, in which, for
example, turn-of-the-century diaries speak of strong females; male
diarists of the 1940s and 1950s reveal the weakness of the Quebec male;
and diaries of the 1960s develop the ideal of androgyny or indicate the
need for individuation.

In her conclusion, Raoul points out that recent Quebec writings
recognize “otherness in the self and sameness in the other.” She
also points out that French language and culture, particularly in
Montreal, are being threatened (or even eclipsed) by assimilation.


Raoul, Valerie., “Distinctly Narcissistic: Diary Fiction in Quebec,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/6593.