A Palimpsestuous Novel: Claire Legendre's La Methode Stanislavski
Claire Legendre emerged on the French literary scene in 1997 with her novel Making-of. A prolific writer, she went on to publish an additional five novels,1 an anthology of short stories (Le Crépuscule de Barbe-Bleue, 2001), two co-authored books with Jérôme Bonnetto,2 four plays,3 one book-length essay (Le Nénuphar et l’araignée, 2015), as well as numerous smaller essays and short fictions. Despite this prolixity, Legendre’s publications have, thus far, garnered little academic attention.4 Two reasons may explain her current marginality within the field of French Studies. Her second novel, Viande (1999), relegated her to the late1990s trend of scandalous and sexually graphic publications by women writers (Authier 13-31; Bessard-Banquy 25, 95; Schaal TVFL 154-56, 223-24). Her work was, thus, promptly dismissed as antiliterary and a mere fad (Schaal “Portrait...” 26; Schaal TVFL 155-56). Then, although published by Grasset, Legendre has never actively participated in the French or Parisian literary world. She was born and remained in Nice during the early stages of her career, she subsequently moved to Prague (2008-2011), and now resides in Québec where she teaches Creative Writing at the Université de Montréal. This geographical distance has prevented her publications from garnering significant media and cultural exposure in France or elsewhere (Legendre “Personal Correspondance...”).
This article is published as Schaal, Michèle A. “A Palimpsestuous Novel: Claire Legendre’s La Méthode Stanislavski.” Women in French Studies 26 (2018): 143-157. Doi: 10.1353/wfs.2018.0031. Posted with permission.