By Margaret Elizabeth Colvin
This quantity is the 1st in-depth examine of the French novelist Marguerite Yourcenar’s fiction to contend that the author’s texts show in unforeseen methods various features of the neobaroque. This subversive, postmodern aesthetic privileges extravagant inventive play, flux, and heterogeneity. In demonstrating the affinity of Yourcenar’s texts with the neobaroque, the writer of this learn casts doubt on their presumed transparency and balance, features linked to the French neoclassical culture of the previous century, the place the Yourcenarian œuvre is frequently positioned. Yourcenar’s election to the distinguished, tradition-bound French Academy in 1981 as its first girl “immortal” cemented her already well-established area of interest within the twentieth-century French literary pantheon. A self-taught classicist, historian, and modern day French moralist, Yourcenar has been praised for her polished, “classical” type and analyzed for her use of fable and common issues. whereas these components at the beginning appear to justify amply the neoclassical label through which Yourcenar is most generally famous, this study’s shut analyzing of 4 of her fictions finds as a substitute the texts’ opacity and subversive resistance to closure, their rejection of reliable interpretations, and their deconstruction of postmodern Grand Narratives. Theirs is a neobaroque “logic,” which stresses the absence of theoretical assurances and the constraints of cause. The twist of fate of the recent millennium — which in such a lot of methods displays Yourcenar’s disquieting imaginative and prescient — and her centenary in 2003 provides no longer lots an excuse to reject the author’s neoclassical label, yet fairly the duty to re-examine it in gentle of up to date discourses. This examine should be of curiosity to scholars of twentieth-century French fiction and comparative literature, particularly that of the latter half the 20th century. desk OF CONTENTS: I. A Frontispiece II. advent Marguerite Yourcenar and the Writing of Fiction: a cultured crucial III. bankruptcy 1 Anna,Soror...: Neobaroque Sacralizes the Abject IV. bankruptcy 2 Denier du rêve : Baroque Discourses,Fascist Practices V. bankruptcy three Neobaroque Humanism: “Sounding the Abyss ” in L ’Œuvre au Noir VI. bankruptcy four Neobaroque Confessions: Un homme obscur and the Oppressive Superficiality of phrases VII. end An writer for the hot Millennium VIII. chosen Works brought up and Consulted IX. Index of right Names
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Additional resources for Baroque fictions : revisioning the classical in Marguerite Yourcenar
Because of the many social constraints imposed upon the classical ideal, it is sometimes difficult to disentangle aesthetic and ethical claims. They seem to reflect a symbiotic, selfjustifying reciprocity, obviously encouraged by French absolutism, for whose purposes individuality, freedom of self-expression, and departure from the juste milieu were dangerous tendencies. Henceforth, French classicism would serve the cause of power and authority, and this trend grew stronger as it became threatened by economic and social changes.
But here the focus is on Yourcenar the classicist and neoclassical writer. 43 Wellek, “Classicism in Literature,” History of Ideas, vol. I, 455. 44 Ibid. Introduction 37 was complicit with fascist aims of order, control, and manipulation of the popular will. 45 Yet she hardly could have remained immune to the influence of classicism’s progressive adaptation to political, cultural, and social circumstances throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Not only have we seen that some of her earlier fictional works are “classical” in the modernist sense.
It is, essentially, she tells us, the only act left in modern society that is still capable of affecting our deepest emotions: Que l’inceste existe à l’état de possibilité omniprésente dans la sensibilité humaine, attirante pour les uns, révoltante pour les autres, le mythe, la légende, l’obscur cheminement des songes, les statistiques des sociologies et les faits divers en font preuve.
Baroque fictions : revisioning the classical in Marguerite Yourcenar by Margaret Elizabeth Colvin