The Dedramatization of Violence in Claire Denis's I Can't Sleep

Paragraph 30 (2):17-33 (2007)
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Abstract

Throughout the twentieth century a significant tradition in French thought promoted a highly dramatized reading of the Hegelian struggle for recognition. In this tradition a violent struggle was regarded as an indispensable means to the realization of both individual and social ideals. The following article considers Claire Denis's film I Can't Sleep as an oblique challenge to this tradition. I Can't Sleep performs a careful dedramatization of an extremely violent story and thereby points to the possibility of an alternative form of co-existence outside a logic of conflict.

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Nikolaj Lubecker
University of Oxford

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