Whatever became of ‘Génération Mitterrand’? Virginie Despentes’s Vernon Subutex
The first two volumes of Virginie Despentes's trilogy, Vernon Subutex (2015), offer an assessment of the "Génération Mitterrand" and those born during François Mitterrand's presidency (1981-95). Drawing on sociological and historical studies, this article argues that Vernon Subutex charts the contemporary consequences of the neoliberal turn taken during Mitterrand's era. This socioeconomic context significantly impacted the characters' identities and life paths: while some have benefited from class privileges, others have fallen down the social ladder. As for the younger generation, it has internalized the rules of the neoliberal system.
This article is published as Schaal, Michèle. "Whatever became of ‘Génération Mitterrand’? Virginie Despentes’s Vernon Subutex." French Review 90, no. 3 (2017): 87. Posted with permission.