Echoes of Contemporary Indian Francophone Literature

A Cognitive Reading of Shumona Sinha’s "Fenêtre sur l’abîme" (2008)

  • Diana Mistreanu University of Luxembourg / Université Paris-Est
Keywords: Shumona Sinha, Indian-Francophone literature, fictional minds, cognitive literary studies


This article analyzes Shumona Sinha’s first novel, Fenêtre sur l’abîme (Window to the Abyss, 2008) from a cognitive perspective. As the narrator, a young Bengali woman named Madhuban, is struggling to make sense of her existence, past events and present sensations, as well as nightmares and memories unfold in an accelerating rhythm, questioning the impact of her life experience upon her mental health. Drawing on Alan Palmer’s typology of fictional minds, the aim of this work is to provide some preliminary remarks on the textual representation of the narrator’s mind, depicted on the verge of a mental breakdown triggered the by physical and emotional abuse she was subjected to by her family in Calcutta, and reinforced by her emigration to Paris.

Author Biography

Diana Mistreanu, University of Luxembourg / Université Paris-Est

is a doctoral researcher in French literature and cognitive literary studies at the University of Luxembourg and at Université Paris-Est. Her work consists of a systematic analysis of Andreï Makine/Gabriel Osmonde’s twenty novels (1990-2019), which she examines through the prism of cognitive psychology and neuroscience on the one hand, and philosophy and literary theory on the other. She has published several articles on French and comparative contemporary literature (Andreï Makine, Pierre Michon, José Saramago). She is also the founder of the University of Luxembourg’s reading club, (“Lecteurs d’hiver”), whose aims are to revive the practice of collective reading and to provide a framework in which both students and researchers can discover the pleasure and the benefits of reading and interpreting fiction.


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How to Cite
Mistreanu, Diana. 2019. “Echoes of Contemporary Indian Francophone Literature: A Cognitive Reading of Shumona Sinha’s "Fenêtre Sur l’abîme&quot; (2008)”. Politeja 16 (2(59), 177-94.