Download e-book for kindle: Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France by Scott Carpenter

By Scott Carpenter

ISBN-10: 075466807X

ISBN-13: 9780754668077

In his engagingly written and unique ebook, Scott wood worker analyzes a number of manifestations of the fake in nineteenth-century France. below Carpenter's thorough and systematic research, fraudulence emerges as a cultural preoccupation in nineteenth-century literature and society, even if or not it's within the type of literary mystifications, the thematic portrayal of frauds, or the privileging of falseness as a classy precept. Focusing rather at the aesthetics of fraudulence in works by way of Merimee, Balzac, Baudelaire, Vidocq, Sand, and others, chippie areas those literary representations in the context of different cultural phenomena, comparable to sketch, political background, and ceremonial occasions. As he highlights the exact courting among literary fiction and fraudulence, chippie argues that falseness arises as a classy preoccupation in post-revolutionary France, the place it introduces a blurring of limits among hitherto discrete different types. This transgression of barriers demanding situations notions of authenticity and sincerity, different types that Romantic aesthetics championed in the beginning of the 19th century in France. Carpenter's research makes an enormous contribution to the cultural value of mystification in nineteenth-century France and furthers our knowing of French literature and cultural heritage.

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What the dénouement reveals, paradoxically, is that nothing was hidden: the murder mystery is itself killed off, and the ghost story turns out to have been a mere apparition. What Mérimée does, in fact, is shift the locus of violence, removing it from the stories and redirecting it Violent Hoaxes: Mérimée and the Booby-trapped Text 23 instead toward the reader. Although we sense during our reading that the narrator is being lead into a trap, it is we ourselves who are ensnared. T hese two tales, both of which occupied Mérimée shortly before his death, do nothing if not demonstrate how the dynamics of mystification framed his literary work—appearing explicitly in his very first and very last works.

H e is often thought to privilege frame narratives, although that is not quite the case in the fantastic tales. Where Balzac might limn a simple frame around a central narrative (as in “Sarrasine” or “Facino Cane”), Mérimée is more complicated: the narrator of the frame is almost always a significant character in the central tale. Violent Hoaxes: Mérimée and the Booby-trapped Text 31 “L a Vénus d’Ille,”12 and he shares many of the tastes of the half-ursine C ount S zémioth in Lokis. These narrators always come from the outside, slipping like intruders into the scenes they will describe.

J’entendais des rires étouffés qui augmentaient mon embarras. Enfin je me croyais tout à fait près du mur lorsque mon doigt, que j’étendais en avant, entra tout à coup dans quelque chose de froid et de visqueux. Je fis une grimace et un saut en arrière, qui fit éclater tous les assistants. J’arrachai mon bandeau, et j’aperçus près de moi mademoiselle Iwinska tenant un pot de miel où j’avais fourré le doigt, croyant toucher la muraille. (TRN 1076-7) [Suddenly Mademoiselle Iwinska threw a handkerchief over my eyes and tightened it as hard as she could behind my head.

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Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France by Scott Carpenter

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