In conclusion to this examination of narration in wandering women’s stories in twentieth-century French films and novels, it seems fitting that one of the first fictional French vagabond women of the twentieth century should have the “last word,” so to speak. The above epigraph is the final utterance of the novel’s vagabond character, Renée Néré, as she prepares to go on tour in South America, leaving her doting suitor Max nothing more than an unfinished letter. However, it is only after she has sealed the letter’s envelope that Renée speaks frankly about her future with him, expressing what he will only come to learn with time: “You will no longer know anything of me” (Colette 223). Akin to Mona and David in the abandoned ch â - teau in Sans toit ni loi, René wishes to leave without a trace: “I pass furtively through this refuge of mine without taking off the white dust-sheets, without writing a name on the bloom of dust, without leaving any other trace of my passage than that letter, unfinished” (Colette 222). For Max and the reader, this female vagabond’s life story will be forever shrouded in a cloud of mystery. Consequently, Renée’s “unfinished letter” is in many ways emblematic of the works studied in this book: as the women’s stories come to an end, certain aspects of their vagabond lives remain unclear and undetermined and therefore incomplete.
KeywordsGraphic Scene French Government Iraqi Refuge Narrative Voice Male Protagonist
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