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Reviewed by:
  • Hybrid Genres / L'Hybridité des genres ed. by Jeanne M. Garane
  • Edward Ousselin
Hybrid Genres / L'Hybridité des genres. Edited by Jeanne M. Garane. (French Literature Series, 42.) Leiden: Brill Rodopi, 2018. vi + 186 pp.

This collective volume on hybridity succinctly defined by editor Jeanne M. Garane as 'an unexpected interaction or combination between two or more forms—whether literary, filmic, ethnic, generic, or gendered' (p. 1), contains twelve articles, eight of which are written in French, with the remainder in English. The first chapter is in fact the editor's very short (three pages) introduction: 'On Hybridity in Scholarship'. The range of the remaining articles varies widely, from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, from Ronsard to Robbe-Grillet, from famous authors (Diderot, Aimé Césaire) to less well known writers (André Baillon, Léon Schwarz-Abrys). The following articles were of particular interest to this reviewer. 'An Ethnographic Fable: Yasmine Kassari's L'Enfant endormi', by Greta Bliss, provides an analysis of Kassari's film of 2004, which 'represents contemporary Moroccan life in a mountain hamlet depopulated by male clandestine migration to Europe' (p. 25). 'Gaston Miron: From Hybrid Genres to Hybrid Identities', by Jeremy Patterson, examines the case of the twentieth-century Québécois poet 'to see how hybrid genres and hybrid identities can interact' (p. 41). 'Hybridité du récit de folie: le cas d'André Baillon et de Léon Schwarz-Abrys', by Anaëlle Touboul, argues that for both of these two writers, 'leur expérience personnelle de la maladie mentale et de l'institution asilaire mettent en jeu une hybridité générique et discursive similaire' (p. 74). 'L'Hybridité dans Et les chiens se taisaient d'Aimé Césaire: une forme de médiation', by Pierre Huguet, posits that 'l'hybridité du texte, qui touche à la fois au genre et aux personnages du récit—et se trouve à la source même de l'incompréhension du texte—peut être lue comme une manière de concevoir une forme de médiation entre les deux pôles antagonistes de la colonisation: colonisateurs et colonisé' (p. 139). And 'Hybridité narrative et indistinction des voix dans Jacques le fataliste de Diderot et La Rose pourpre du Caire de Woody Allen', by Zeina Hakim, justifies the unlikely pairing of an eighteenth-century novel and a twentieth-century film by stating that 'ce que ces deux œuvres ont en commun, c'est que chacune d'elles souligne son caractère proprement fictionnel et se joue des limites mêmes de la fictionnalité, avec toutes les interrogations et les ambiguïtés qu'une telle remise en cause implique' (p. 157). Overall, the volume suffers from a lack of contextualization of the concept of hybridity and of its theoretical underpinnings. The editor's introduction provides little or nothing in this regard. A brief discussion of it is found in Patterson's article, which seeks 'to demonstrate the applicability of hybridity to genres, identities, language, culture—in short, to the humanities' (p. 45). However, those readers seeking a wider analytical framework, particularly relating to the uses and meanings of hybridity in genre studies and postcolonial theory, will have to look elsewhere. [End Page 320]

Edward Ousselin
Western Washington University


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