Ginette Raimbault, Caroline Eliacheff

Indomitables Portraits of Anorexics Publication date : May 1, 2001

Sissi, the Empress of Austria, Sophocles’ Antigone, the French philosopher Simone Weil who wrote about Saint Catherine of Siena: each one of these women illustrates an essential facet of an enigmatic but currently highly widespread disorder: anorexia. Each one of them asked the same basic questions: What cause is worthy of my self-sacrifice? What does it mean to be a woman? Why live rather than die? Ultimately, each one of them tried, within her own historical context, to proclaim her own truth in engaging — and even sacrificing — herself and her body.
In a careful blending of portraits, narrative and theory, the authors’ fascinating investigation shows how the rebellion of the women portrayed here raises issues for all of us on the basic difference between desire and need, order and disorder, and life and survival.

Ginette Raimbault is a psychoanalyst and head of research at INSERM. She is the author of Lorsque l’Enfant Disparaît, published by Editions Odile Jacob.
Caroline Eliacheff is a psychoanalyst and child psychiatrist. She is the author of A Corps et à Cris, Etre Pyschoanalyste avec les Touts-petits and Vies Privées.