I studied for my two first degrees in Classics then English in Grenoble (CPGE Lycée Champollion) and Toulouse (Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès), then spent a year abroad at the University of Edinburgh towards a Master’s degree in English (Université Toulouse II Jean Jaurès).
My Masters’ research project was entitled ‘bash (1999): America and the Politics of Violence’, exploring the ways in which Neil LaBute’s trilogy of plays bash questions the politics of violence in American society. This trilogy stages characters who seem ordinary but who are actually extremely violent. Neil LaBute’s plays studied here offer dark meditations on the origins of violence, which is used by the characters as a constructive and cohesive tool, but which ultimately escapes their control and has devastating consequences. Violence becomes symptomatic of the profound dysfunctionality of contemporary American society and its competitive capitalist morals which generate what René Girard calls mimetic desire—that is, the desire for an object which is the imitation of someone else’s desire for the same object. The characters are thus stuck in a tragic cycle of regression rather than regeneration, and the escalation of violence paradoxically leads to its trivialisation. The notion of tragedy is disfigured and reinvented through words of senseless contagion, as opposed to words of conflict and anagnorisis.