Commemoration and Narcissism in Anne Godard's L'Inconsolable

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The article argues that, despite its apparent focus on grief, Anne Godard's L'Inconsolable can be read as a chilling examination of pathological narcissism. It explores with relentless precision the dark impulses that underlie the narrator's obsessive commemoration of her son's death. Even as the mother creates the illusion of an unfettered outpouring of sorrow and rage, Godard crafts a tightly structured work in which the cross-textual correspondences, recurrent visual and musical motifs, and narratorial inconsistencies highlight the mother's overriding instinct for self-preservation and self-justification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-79
Number of pages18
JournalRomance Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2010


  • commemoration
  • Godard
  • image
  • L'Inconsolable
  • music
  • narcissism


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