Texas Tech University

La Figure du loser



Book Description:

This volume examines the representations of the loser on screen and in narratives in French-speaking cultures (France, Belgium and Haiti) throughout the decades. It raises several questions: does the term loser, also used in French, cover the same meanings from one culture to another? Who designates the loser as such and what does this tell us about the one who makes this judgment? Does the loser make us laugh or cry? Does he inspire us with pity, anger, or any other feeling that would betray either a repressed identification or a distance, spontaneous or not? Furthermore, is the loser essentially associated with socio-economic failure? Does it refer to a particular social class? From physical defect to inferior intellectual impairment, what most surely characterizes the loser? Is it conceivable that a loser be handsome, rich and intelligent?  

The loser is a fragile and endearing figure, a marginal outlaw, an idealistic individual, a poet rejected by a materialist society, a clumsy dredger or a transient lover. He/She belongs to a categorical the public loves to hate. Like an icon who never stops investing cinema, television and literature, the loser tells us the story – albeit thwarted - of our societies dominated by the cult of success and the dream, often disappointed, of a better ourselves. Through the blurred and changing contours of this new hero, subjectivities and social representations are taking shape. In this volume, we analyze some exemplary forms of the loser somewhere in between, where art rejects success and conventions to transform counter-demonstrations into poetic inventions that tell us all the political and aesthetic issues at stake. 


Author Bio:

Carole Edwards is a Professor of French and Francophone Studies. As a 20th/21th Century scholar, her research interests include North African, Sub-Saharan and Caribbean Francophone literature. She published a monograph on Francophone women dramatists (L'Harmattan 2008), a volume on Sacrifice (Rodopi 2014), co-directed a volume with Françoise Cévaër on the Representation of the loser in French-speaking Film and literature (Presses Universitaires de Limoges, 2018), and a monograph on novelist Laurent Gaudé with Revue des Lettres  Modernes Minard (Classiques Garnier, 2021). She has also published articles ranging from literature, history to cultural studies (Expressions maghrébines, women in French Studies, Routledge, Nouvelles Etudes Francophones, The French Review etc). She is a Fulbright alumnus to Morocco. She is currently working on literary postures focusing on North African author Mohamed Nedali and contemporary Moroccan authors.