Abstract

Through a reading of Alice Kaplan's memoir, French Lessons, this essay explores the dynamics of loss and attachment within learning, teaching, and intellectual history. Drawing on psychoanalytic notions of mourning, melancholia, and reparation, I propose a reading of the memoir as elegiac, as reparative, and as educative—as a work that examines the relationship of self and other, through the emergence of a personal and professional ethics, within the vicissitudes of learning and teaching. In so doing, I argue that reading French Lessons as an account of the relationship of teaching, learning, and loss demonstrates how memoir and autobiography matter, educationally, and how their study can contribute signifi cantly to intellectual history.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1456
Print ISSN
0162-4962
Pages
pp. 350-365
Launched on MUSE
2010-09-12
Open Access
No
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