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Book Reviews225 The novel has a circular motion, where the beginning and the end merge, not only in concepts and symbols, but also in the portrayal ofthe young Domi merging with the older writer, Dominique Rolin. It is as ifthe creative selfhas to adhere more closely to the reality of the fictionalized character. In the "third age," one tends to take stock of the situation, bringing back to light hidden parts of one's life. Rolin uses a structure, which alternates at each chapter between "Here" and "Far" to return to crucial moments of happiness or struggle in childhood and adulthood. Words are seen as children that one has to tame, maladjusted young ones, or "paid flunkies" (13). Like rebellious children, they want to seek revenge and repeat the author's path and attitude towards her mother, Esther. In the long run, children and words win, since children and words usually outlive the parents and the author. Introducing the theme of death, words pose the question of Rolin's own death, writing the present book at more than 80 years of age and drawing peace from it. It becomes a pleasurable garden when one can "agree," where the two pieces of "here" and "far" concur and thus can be joined together. The divided selfofthe past and the lady ofthe present at the end ofthe novel, tame each other, and are reunited to form one body and a single mind. With her nocturnal love making, the girl at the fringes ofthe forest reveals her sexuality, then her destructive, rebellious self. However, the wild child is associated with great resilience, premeditated survival, and a strong "force" that pushes her to write (another method ofsurvival). At times, Rolin paints her youthful self as hard, lacking in compassion. Survival has permitted her to part from her family and her alcoholic husband; to go to Paris, leaving behind her own daughter in the care ofher mother in Belgium; to grieve her murdered publisher/lover, and abort his child. The young Domi who hated old age is now an old lady who understands human errors and has gained compassion. She is a wiser woman with peace of mind. The youthful person still lives on within the heart ofthe old lady. The writer, sharing her remaining days with a younger partner, travels between Venice, her spiritual chosen place, and the Northern shores, her real anchor. She has conquered all fears. This is a slow, well-written, truthful and insightful book beautifully translated by Monique Nagern. It sheds light on Rolin's life while deliberately blurring the differences between autobiography, fiction and autofiction. Claudine G. FisherPortland State University Yolande Helm, éd. L 'Ea u: source d 'une écriture dans les littératures féminines francophones. New York: Peter Lang, 1995. Outil indispensable pour toute introduction aux littératures féminines francophones, ce collectifrassemble dix-huit essais sous la thématique commune indiquée par le titre-l'eau, source d'une écriture pour le féminin. Le vaste corpus 226Women in French Studies étudié par des professeurs et chercheurs spécialistes en littératures francophones comprend des oeuvres par des auteurs très connus et d'autres beaucoup moins: l'un des nombreux mérites du recueil étant précisément de nous faire mieux connaître la richesse de littératures peu connues. La majorité des articles, d'ailleurs, comporte une courte notice bio-bibliographique (en note ou dans le texte même) afin d'aider le lecteur à mieux situer les auteurs étudiés. Après la préface d'Evelyne Wilwerth, "Femmes dans leur élément", qui souligne les vagues prédominantes (ambivalence, mythes obscurs, plaisir et libération) dans l'architecture fluide de l'oeuvre, les prolégomènes de Yolande Helm, éditrice du collectif, apportent unejustification à la composition d'un ouvrage qui, expliquet -elle, "pose les éléments d'un dialogue entre les textes d'auteures françaises post-modernes (Marguerite Duras, Hélène Cixous, Annie Cohen, Luce Irigaray) et d'écrivaines francophones dont la renommée est établie (Anne Hébert, Assia Djebar, Maryse Condé, Andrée Chedid) ou dont l'émergence est en procès (Hélène Ouvrard, Werewere Liking...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-5486
Print ISSN
1077-825x
Pages
pp. 225-226
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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