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Identité composite et métissage dans « Letter to Friends » de Leontia Flynn

Abstract : In “Letter to Friends” (Profit and Loss, 2011), a long epistolary poem inspired by Letters from Iceland (1937) by W. H. Auden and Louis MacNeice, Leontia Flynn paints an introspective and retrospective self-portrait in which she examines all the elements that have formed her existence until her recent maternity. The identity that emerges from this intimate inventory is plural, “mixed” or “multi-breed” (Édouard Glissant), the cultural mix resulting not only from history, globalization and travel but also from temporal, linguistic and psychological shifts or ruptures. Flynn’s lyrical and polyphonic (if not cacophonous) piece, bursting with asides, debating a multitude of subjects in an infinite variety of tones and registers as the young woman sifts through the “relics” of times past, is thus a “rhizome-like” poem that reflects a “rhizome-like” identity (Glissant, Deleuze and Guattari). This paper shows how this identity is built upon and around a multitude of subdividing and changing centres rather than one unique centre. This paper also explores how interculturality results from “history’s incessant forward schlep” and the evasion of the past; how it materializes in the cacophony of speeches (tweets, texts, emails but also the “oddball words” of poetry vs. mass culture); finally how it is experienced in intersubjective relationships, the other – Flynn’s Alzheimer-stricken father or ghost-like friends and lovers on faded photographs and computer screens – being the source of the greatest reconfigurations of identity.
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Contributor : Christelle Seree-Chaussinand <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 6:28:02 PM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-01355633, version 1



Christelle Seree-Chaussinand. Identité composite et métissage dans « Letter to Friends » de Leontia Flynn. Miroirs : Revue des civilisations anglophone, ibérique et ibéro-américaine, Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, Département des Langues et Civilisations, 2015, Irlande : Identité et interculturalité / Ireland: Identity and Interculturality, pp.45-61. ⟨halshs-01355633⟩



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