Writing about the in-between in Suzanne Lilar’s Une Enfance gantoise

Susan Bainbrigge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores Lilar’s depiction of individual and collective identity in her autobiographical text, Une Enfance gantoise. It is argued that the text reveals a preoccupation with fragmentation, subversion and disorder which resists recuperation by the ideal of a universalising “whole” presented by Lilar in her capacity as self-confessed “rassembleur”. Divisions are not always resolved, and the presentation of identity becomes more complex than the French-Flemish binary opposition initially suggests. While the binary oppositions analysed by other critics are important, they reveal themselves, on closer examination, to be unstable and rendered problematical by expressions of plural identities and positionings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-313
Number of pages13
JournalForum for Modern Language Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004


  • Autobiography
  • Belgium
  • Carnival
  • Childhood
  • Dissolution
  • Identity
  • Language
  • Marginality
  • Philosophy
  • Theatre


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