“Impersonal” Narrative: Fade to Lack—Detachment and Discontinuity

  • Mariah Devereux Herbeck


Jean-Luc Godard’s film, Vivre sa vie (My Life to Live, 1962) paints a resolutely gloomy portrait of female wanderer Nana Kleinfrankenheim’s meanderings through Paris and her downward spiral to homelessness, police arrest, and eventually prostitution. Despite the fodder for in-depth, psychological character development that such a downtrodden tale could inspire—take Zola’s nineteenth-century eponymous courtesan and Nana’s presumed namesake, for example—Godard’s film remains resolutely distanced from the wandering woman and her story, offering a hint of freedom, if only at the level of narration, for this wandering woman so seemingly enslaved to her destitute state.


Fictional World Silent Film Record Store Narrative Voice Intertextual Reference 
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© Mariah Devereux Herbeck 2013

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  • Mariah Devereux Herbeck

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