Toward an Agoraphobic Travel Narrative. France Daigle’s “Pas pire” (Just Fine)

Zuzanna Szatanik





The narrator of France Daigle’s 1998 novel entitled Just Fine is an agoraphobic woman named France Daigle who, like the author, is an Acadian writer. The narrative revolves around the theme of movement – walking, driving, and flying — the most transgressive of which being Daigle’s journey to Paris, where she is invited to appear on a renowned TV show Bouillon de culture. Although the “imaginary space out of a space” that Daigle creates in her novel is unmistakably “tied to the memory of Acadia and one which Acadian history penetrates,” as Carlo Lavoie puts it, its dimensions are determined, first and foremost, by the narrator’s agoraphobia, which is understood as a gendered disorder. “Alongside those who travel unselfconsciously,” proposes the narrator, “there are all those, mostly women, who struggle to understand their behavior and wonder why they feel like tourists — individuals at once complex and suffering from complexes — five kilometers from home.” The main goal of this paper, therefore, is to advance a reading of agoraphobic movement as transgressive. The agoraphobic perspective, in other words, enables an experimental, decolonizing, and revisionary reading of the notions of travel, movement, and migration.





Narratorką powieści France Daigle z 1998 roku zatytułowanej Pas pire jest cierpiąca na agorafobię kobieta, która nazywa się tak jak autorka powieści i podobnie jak ona jest pisarką akadyjską. Narracja koncentruje się na temacie ruchu i przemieszczania się — chodzenia, jazdy samochodem i latania samolotem. Centralna jest tu podróż Daigle do Paryża, gdzie bierze ona udział w prestiżowym programie literackim we francuskiej telewizji. Chociaż „wyimaginowana przestrzeń poza przestrzenią”, którą Daigle tworzy w swojej powieści, jest niewątpliwie „związana z pamięcią o Akadii i przenika ją historia Akadian”, o jej wymiarach decyduje przede wszystkim agorafobia narratorki. „Obok tych, którzy podróżują nieświadomie”, proponuje Daigle, „są wszyscy ci, głównie kobiety, którzy mają trudności ze zrozumieniem swojego zachowania i zastanawiają się, dlaczego czują się jak turyści — osoby jednocześnie skomplikowane i z kompleksami — pięć kilometrów od domu”. Głównym celem niniejszego artykułu jest więc zbadanie natury agorafobicznej podróży, która okazuje się transgresywna i, jak sugeruje Daigle, rewolucyjna. Koncepcja agorafobicznej podróży, innymi słowy, podważa utarte definicje wędrówki, wyprawy, czy migracji.


Słowa kluczowe

Acadian literature; France Daigle; agoraphobia; transgression; literatura akadyjska; agorafobia; transgresja

Pełny tekst:



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ISSN 2391-7911 (online)

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