The Dead Body as a 'Lieu De Mémoire'. The Body-Object and the Living Body in Caitlin Doughty’s Nonfiction

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Cristina-Mihaela Botîlcă


Between Pierre Nora’s lieux de mémoire and Paul Ricoeur’s body-object there appears to be a relation of community and personal memory. Before death, the human body holds three meanings: material, symbolic, and functional, but post-mortem the body also becomes a place where both community and individual can update their relationship with death and mortality. In the twenty-first century, secularization of death practices inevitably leads to a secular view of the body. In Cailin Doughty’s nonfiction, the body seems to stand at the crossroad between spirituality and secularization, so between the meaning of the body and the body as a lieu. This paper will discuss how Nora’s and Ricoeur’s interpretations of memory and body apply to Doughty’s representation of the dead body within a death denying twenty-first century Western society.

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How to Cite
Botîlcă, C.-M. “The Dead Body As a ’Lieu De Mémoire’. The Body-Object and the Living Body in Caitlin Doughty’s Nonfiction”. Linguaculture, vol. 12, no. 1, June 2021, pp. 87-101, doi:10.47743/lincu-2021-1-0189.
Author Biography

Cristina-Mihaela Botîlcă, University of Bucharest, Romania

CRISTINA-MIHAELA BOTÎLCĂ has a BA in English and French Philology, and an MA in Literary Translation, from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She is a PhD candidate, researching contemporary death acceptance literature, and she teaches a practical course in English at the same university. She has published articles in various publications, so far only in Romanian.


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