The Papin Sisters

Paperback | September 15, 2001

byRachel Edwards, Keith Reader

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The 1933 killing by the Papin sisters of their mistress and her daughter was an act of unexampled violence by women against women, whose repercussions have been felt in French culture ever since. It received wide journalistic coverage at the time, and subsequently prominent literary figuressuch as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Genet have dealt with the case, which has also formed the basis of a stage play (by Wendy Kesselmann) and films by Nico Papatakis, Nancy Meckler and Claude Chabrol. The case casts fascinating light on French provincial life between the wars, therole of women (especially unmarried ones) in French society, and French views of the criminal outsider. Its impact on psychoanalytic discourse, through the work first of Jacques Lacan, then of Francis Dupre and Marie-Magdeleine Lessana, has also been considerable, notably in its contribution to thedevelopment of the key notion of the mirror-phase. The almost obsessive recurrence of the case makes of it a fascinating prism through which to examine multiple aspects of recent French culture.

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The 1933 killing by the Papin sisters of their mistress and her daughter was an act of unexampled violence by women against women, whose repercussions have been felt in French culture ever since. It received wide journalistic coverage at the time, and subsequently prominent literary figuressuch as Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir a...

Rachel Edwards is Lecturer in French, University of Newcastle upon Tyne Keith Reader is Professor of French, University of Glasgow

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:142 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.43 inPublished:September 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198160119

ISBN - 13:9780198160113

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Table of Contents

Introductionb1. The Facts of the Case2. Mirrors, Fusions, and Splittings: The Papins, the fait divers, and the Psychoanalysts3. Literary Reproductions4. Cinematic ReproductionsConclusionAfterwordChronologyBibliographyIndex