As the postwar mass media in France imagined her, the teenage girl was no longer a demure and daughterly jeune fille. Instead, she was an enfant terrible, a “bad girl”—implying that she was unapologetically and unsentimentally no longer a virgin. Focusing on the role of gender in representations of youth in post-World War II France, Susan Weiner traces how, after 1945, young men and women came to symbolize different aspects of social order and disorder in a country traumatized by the Nazi Occupation and Cold War paranoia, seduced by consumerism and Americanization, and engaged in an undeclared war in Algeria. While overtly political discourses about “youth” generally referred to middle-class young men, Weiner argues that it was in media representations of “bad girls” that anxieties over the loss of a morally and socially coherent national identity found their expression.
Enfants Terribles looks at French culture from the Liberation to 1968 through images of the teenage girl which appeared in a broad range of texts and institutions: magazines such as Elle and Mademoiselle, newspapers, novels, popular essays, popular music, surveys, and film. Weiner highlights the new importance of youth as a social category of identity in the context of the postwar explosion of the mass media and explores the ways in which girls both defined and disrupted this category.
Recasting French literary history in terms of the cultures and peoples that interacted within and outside of France’s national boundaries, this volume offers a new way of looking at the history of a national literature, along with a truly global and contemporary understanding of language, literature, and culture.
The relationship between France’s national territory and other regions of the world where French is spoken and written (most of them former colonies) has long been central to discussions of “Francophonie.” Boldly expanding such discussions to the whole range of French literature, the essays in this volume explore spaces, mobilities, and multiplicities from the Middle Ages to today. They rethink literary history not in terms of national boundaries, as traditional literary histories have done, but in terms of a global paradigm that emphasizes border crossings and encounters with “others.” Contributors offer new ways of reading canonical texts and considering other texts that are not part of the traditional canon. By emphasizing diverse conceptions of language, text, space, and nation, these essays establish a model approach that remains sensitive to the specificities of time and place and to the theoretical concerns informing the study of national literatures in the twenty-first century.
Available for the first time in English, this is the definitive account of the practice of sexual slavery the Japanese military perpetrated during World War II by the researcher principally responsible for exposing the Japanese government’s responsibility for these atrocities. The large scale imprisonment and rape of thousands of women, who were euphemistically called “comfort women” by the Japanese military, first seized public attention in 1991 when three Korean women filed suit in a Toyko District Court stating that they had been forced into sexual servitude and demanding compensation. Since then the comfort stations and their significance have been the subject of ongoing debate and intense activism in Japan, much if it inspired by Yoshimi’s investigations. How large a role did the military, and by extension the government, play in setting up and administering these camps? What type of compensation, if any, are the victimized women due? These issues figure prominently in the current Japanese focus on public memory and arguments about the teaching and writing of history and are central to efforts to transform Japanese ways of remembering the war.
Yoshimi Yoshiaki provides a wealth of documentation and testimony to prove the existence of some 2,000 centers where as many as 200,000 Korean, Filipina, Taiwanese, Indonesian, Burmese, Dutch, Australian, and some Japanese women were restrained for months and forced to engage in sexual activity with Japanese military personnel. Many of the women were teenagers, some as young as fourteen. To date, the Japanese government has neither admitted responsibility for creating the comfort station system nor given compensation directly to former comfort women.
This English edition updates the Japanese edition originally published in 1995 and includes introductions by both the author and the translator placing the story in context for American readers.