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Ni ennemie, ni rivale: female friendship in works by alice rivaz, anne-lise grobety and noelle revaz

Charnley, J. (2008) Ni ennemie, ni rivale: female friendship in works by alice rivaz, anne-lise grobety and noelle revaz. Forum for Modern Language Studies, 44 (1). pp. 53-66. ISSN 0015-8518

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Abstract

This article studies the theme of female friendship in work by three women writers from French-speaking Switzerland: La Paix des ruches by Alice Rivaz (1947), Pour mourir en février by Anne-Lise Grobéty (1969) and Rapport aux bêtes (2002) by Noëlle Revaz. The writers chosen for this study represent three generations, having been born in 1901, 1949 and 1968 respectively. The article compares and contrasts their different representations of friendships between women. Rivaz, writing before Le Deuxième sexe and the modern women's movement, has a very idealistic view of relations between women, which she contrasts strongly with male-female interaction; Grobéty, writing in the wake of 1968 and during the early days of modern feminism, is perhaps more realistic but again sees men as potential threats to relationships between women; finally, Revaz is completely different since her female character is isolated from other women, dominated by the male narrator and sidelined. This article thus seeks to show how, over a period of sixty years, the theme of female friendship has been dealt with in different ways by women writers, and establishes links with changing attitudes to the women's movement.