‘Un spectacle de marionnettes’: Acting out the Lacanian Father in Linda Lê’s Lettre morte | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 18, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 1368-2679
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9142



In Linda Lê’s account of exile, the figure of the father is central: he embodies Lê’s (lost) Vietnamese origins and is intimately linked to language. This article offers a critical analysis of the connection between language and the lost father in Lê’s autofictional novel Lettre morte. Arguing that this text can be considered an almost programmatic interpretation of Lacanian theories of the father and psychosis, the article also considers how Lê extends these theories to account for her narrator’s position between two language systems: French and Vietnamese. In Lê’s literary treatment of Lacanian theory her characters represent different positions within and outside language(s): they are essentially ‘marionnettes’ that she manipulates and uses to act out the power relations at play in language, dramatically enacting the struggle that occurs when the paternal function fails, and an individual is repeatedly exiled from language.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): exile; father; Lacan; language; ; psychosis
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error