CHAPTER FOURTEEN

It is summer in Paris, 1913. Mélanie L’Heuremaudit has arrived in the city at the invitation of a group of avant-garde artists who are planning the premiere of a new ballet in which she is to be the star. Mélanie, who was the object of her father’s incestuous attentions, has been more or less abandoned by her mother after her father has fled the country. In Paris, she becomes the focus of an intense erotic attraction for the lady V., the chief sponsor of the ballet. On the evening of the premiere a riot erupts at the theater and during the performance, Mélanie is killed when she is impaled on a sharp pole, having neglected to put on the metal plate that was intended to protect her. The lady V. disappears from Paris.

PC424 PF393 B369 V. in love Berressem argues that the story of V.’s affair is designed to undermine Freudian psychoanalysis by demonstrating its inapplicability to “a subject completely determined by forces outside of psychoanalysis” (“Love” 6–7).

PC424.4 PF393.4 B369.23 the hands might have stood anywhere “Mélanie’s exact time of arrival in Paris is not her time, and can only be extrapolated by its relation to various time-systems operating simultaneously…. Her arrival time is the interface of various paradigms, its time not an instance in a general flow, but already colonized by differing forces and determinations and a specific historical moment [“By the cover of Le Soleil”]. Against these geographically, culturally and politically mediated times, Mélanie herself is explicitly undefined” (Berressem, “Love” 7).

PC424.10 PF393.34 B369.28 the Orleanist morning paper The Orleanists had long been the supporters of the claims of the dukes of Orleans to the throne of France.

-171-

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A Companion to V
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • A Note on the Title xvii
  • Chapter One 1
  • Chapter Two 22
  • Chapter Three 35
  • Chapter Four 61
  • Chapter Five 66
  • Chapter Six 74
  • Chapter Seven 80
  • Chapter Eight 110
  • Chapter Nine 115
  • Chapter Ten 141
  • Chapter Eleven 147
  • Chapter Twelve 163
  • Chapter Thirteen 168
  • Chapter Fourteen 171
  • Chapter Fifteen 182
  • Chapter Sixteen 184
  • Epilogue 191
  • References 205
  • Index 213
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