By Scott Carpenter
In his engagingly written and unique booklet, Scott chippie 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 kind of literary mystifications, the thematic portrayal of frauds, or the privileging of falseness as a classy precept. Focusing relatively at the aesthetics of fraudulence in works through Merimee, Balzac, Baudelaire, Vidocq, Sand, and others, wood worker locations those literary representations in the context of different cultural phenomena, reminiscent of comic strip, political historical past, and ceremonial occasions. As he highlights the certain courting among literary fiction and fraudulence, wood worker 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 obstacles demanding situations notions of authenticity and sincerity, different types that Romantic aesthetics championed first and foremost of the 19th century in France. Carpenter's research makes an incredible contribution to the cultural value of mystification in nineteenth-century France and furthers our realizing of French literature and cultural background.
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Extra info for Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France
I heard stifled laughter, which increased my discomfort. Finally I figured I was close to the wall, when suddenly my finger, with which I was reaching forward, entered into something cold and viscous. I grimaced and jumped back, much to the amusement of those watching. ] Who would have believed it? L ost in the middle of a forest in distant L ithuania, in a country so secluded that one still finds certain animal species long extinct in the civilized world—and so primordial that the inhabitants speak a language (T odorov, Introduction à la littérature fantastique 37), and Mérimée is cited as particularly skilled at this narrative balancing act.
And occasionally a chapter spans so many years (chapter 4 is an especially bumpy ride in this respect) that it is impossible to assign it to a particular chronological slot. Whenever possible I draw connections between chapters, showing divergent goals and techniques, and occasional influences. Because the chapters are not rigorously interlocked, they can be detached from the whole, easily read in isolation. H ere, then, are the steps awaiting us: • • • • • • The next two chapters are dedicated to the works of Prosper Mérimée, a foundational figure in nineteenth-century hoaxes—which is one of the reasons he is often accorded second-string status in literary histories.
As in La guzla, the narrator’s appetite is evoked indirectly here, and it will be sated more by the bloody narrative than by the direct consumption of bodily fluids. In several other texts there exist traces of the vampire, and it is significant for our purposes that the references become more indirect, more heavily metaphorized. For example, the murderous statue in “La Vénus d’Ille” (1837) will be described as a cadaver rising from its grave, after which she returns to life, enters the wedding chamber, and suffocates the bridegroom; in this she is loyal to the description of vampires given in La guzla, where suffocation is given as one of the ways vampires prey on the living.