Weaving the tapestry of an unfinished woman : Colette's La Naissance du jour
Anderson, Cynthia J.
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This study analyzed Colette's creation of an ideal self in the novel La Naissance du iour. In particular, I examined how Colette used her writing to recreate her past and to foresee her future. In doing so, she created a new identity, and accepted the inevitable arrival of old age. In Chapter 1, I examined how Colette combined truth and fiction to create a fictional autobiography. I discussed how Colette took her real life and changed it into a literary text, thereby "hiding" herself from her readers. Chapter 2 focused on Sido's influence on the fabrication of the textual Colette. I analyzed several of Sido's letters to Colette which were included in the novel. I suggested that Colette rewrote these letters, often embellishing them, in order to introduce the themes of selfdiscovery and self-creation. I suggested why Colette may have changed these letters and how these alterations provided the foundation for Colette's renunciation of physical love as she discovered how to live life in her later years. Chapter 3 centered on the therapeutic nature of writing for Colette. Writing, in La Naissance du iour. became a means of bringing peace to her past, turbulent life. I examined how Colette's use of light chid dark imagery portrayed the symbolic "birth" of the new Colette and how Sido gave Colette a new hope for living this final season of her life.