"Le Voile Noir" by Anny Duperey: The Use of Photography as a Legitimate Autobiographical Means and Facilitator of the Mourning Process
Dr. Isabelle Chapuis-Alvarez
In 1995, when she was merely eight years old, Anny Duperey’s parents died accidentally and disastrously, asphyxiated by carbon dioxide in their bathroom. Having been the first to arrive on the scene and discover the bodies of her mother and father, Anny Duperey would later be incapable of recalling any other memory than this of her parents, for a “black veil” would proceed to cover her former life and everything that she had known and lived prior to the accident. Feeling anger and a lack of comprehension, Duperey spent several years tormented and depressed. Twenty years later, Duperey decided to develop some of her father’s photographic film that she had found in a drawer at her house. Her father was an amateur photographer of great talent, known to the art world as Lucien Legras. Although developed, Anny Duperey refused to actually look at the photographs and could not bring herself, once again, to come to terms with her parents’ fate. A few years later, upon encountering the prints again, Anny felt a strong desire to comment on these works and this reflection is what leads her to question a variety of aspects of her own personal life. The main focus of my research, then, is to explore the fundamental relationship between written text and the photographic image in an author’s literary and creative approaches. Through this discussion, I will also investigate how contemplating aged photographs can surpass memory in some ways and subsequently push Duperey to question her numerous years of internal struggle based on the emptiness and suffering that followed her in life ever since the disappearance of her parents. These photographs serve as a to
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