By Scott Carpenter
In his engagingly written and unique publication, Scott chippie analyzes a number of manifestations of the fake in nineteenth-century France. less than Carpenter's thorough and systematic research, fraudulence emerges as a cultural preoccupation in nineteenth-century literature and society, even if it's within the type of literary mystifications, the thematic portrayal of frauds, or the privileging of falseness as a classy precept. Focusing fairly at the aesthetics of fraudulence in works via Merimee, Balzac, Baudelaire, Vidocq, Sand, and others, wood worker locations those literary representations in the context of alternative cultural phenomena, similar to comic strip, political heritage, and ceremonial occasions. As he highlights the certain dating 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 limitations demanding situations notions of authenticity and sincerity, different types that Romantic aesthetics championed before everything of the 19th century in France. Carpenter's learn makes an immense contribution to the cultural importance of mystification in nineteenth-century France and furthers our knowing of French literature and cultural historical past.
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Here, instead of a story of the supernatural, Mérimée lays the foundations for a murder mystery. We follow a young man, L éon, during a brief escapade with a woman to whom he is Théâtre, romans, nouvelles, 1599-1600. All future references to this edition of Mérimée’s principal literary texts will be signaled by the abbreviation TRN. 22 Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France not married. T raveling incognito, they encounter a rich E nglishman on the train, who stops in the same town and the same hotel as they—after he turns down the desperate, threatening demands for assistance made by his own nephew.
T he narrator appears to fail in this attempt because the girl has understood his sleight of hand, seeing that the incantations are not authentic. H e thus demonstrates by an example that costs his character her life that he is unskilled at mystifications. It’s the girl who will pay the price of the narrator’s ineptitude: she succumbs to the horrors of her imagination, begging her father to fulfill her final wishes—imploring him to slit her throat and slice the backs of her knees to keep her from becoming a vampire herself.
T here is only one other explicit reference to vampirism, appearing in one of Mérimée’s last works (Lokis). It’s worth pointing out now because, as we shall soon see, Lokis plays a key role in the mystificatory aesthetics of Mérimée. The passage comes toward the middle of the text, where the narrator—Professor Wittembach—tells of his travels in S outh America: Je fus obligé moi-même de parler de mes voyages, parce que le comte S zémioth m’ayant félicité sur la manière dont je montais à cheval, et ayant dit qu’il n’avait jamais rencontré de ministre ni de professeur qui pût fournir si lestement une traite telle que celle que nous venions de faire, je dus lui expliquer que […] j’avais passé trois ans et demi dans la république de l’U ruguay, presque toujours à cheval et vivant dans les pampas, parmi les Indiens.
Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France by Scott Carpenter
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