Ecrire, c'est Devenir: Une Etude de Deux Romans Epistolaires, Une si longue lettre et Lettres d'une Péruvienne or Writing is Becoming: A Study of Two Epistolary Novels, Une si longue lettre and Lettres d'une Péruvienne

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Arts and Humanities | French and Francophone Literature


Camilla Krone


In my paper I have compared and contrasted two epistolary novels by women, Lettres d'une Péruvienne by eighteenth-century French novelist, Françoise de Graffigny, and Une si longue lettre by twentieth-century Senegalese writer, Mariama Bâ. Though the cultural and historical contexts of the two the novels differ greatly, I have found that the similar experiences of the two female protagonists testify to the importance of women's "coming to writing" (to use the term of the French feminist author, Hélène Cixous). Through their letter-writing, both Graffigny's Zilia and Bâ's Ramatoulaye find their voices and are able to create identities for themselves as autonomous individuals in societies often oppressive to women.