By Scott Carpenter
In his engagingly written and unique ebook, 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 cultured precept. Focusing rather at the aesthetics of fraudulence in works through Merimee, Balzac, Baudelaire, Vidocq, Sand, and others, chippie locations those literary representations in the context of alternative cultural phenomena, akin to cartoon, political historical past, and ceremonial occasions. As he highlights the specific dating among literary fiction and fraudulence, chippie argues that falseness arises as a cultured 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 firstly of the 19th century in France. Carpenter's examine makes an immense contribution to the cultural importance of mystification in nineteenth-century France and furthers our figuring out of French literature and cultural background.
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Additional info for Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France
In La guzla this imbrication takes place in a context of a vampirism that is not accidental. To understand why, we need look no further than the end of the chapter on vampires, where the narrator gives up in his campaign to enlighten those around him: Je quittai quelques heures après le village, donnant au diable de bon cœur les vampires, les revenants, et ceux qui en racontent des histoires. ] Given his experiences, we can readily sympathize with this sense of frustration, but the way he jumbles together vampires and those who speak of them is at the very least curious: even if he does not believe in these maleficent spirits, he numbers among those who “en racontent des histories” [“spin yarns about them”], for he has just finished doing so.
From this point of view, mystifications may be read as a symptom—which is to say a kind of clue, a thread linked to a deeply concealed truth. In Mérimée, as we shall see, that truth is often monstrous, and always bloody. Textual Violence Let’s review the ground covered so far. In works such as La guzla and Le Théâtre de Clara Gazul, fraudulence is evident in the mode of textual production, as presented in the peripheral publication information of title pages and preface— replete with the old ruse of pen names and claims to authenticity.
TRN 1075; emphasis added) 30 Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France [It became necessary for me to speak of my own travels. Count Szémioth having congratulated me on the way I handled myself on horseback, and having said that he’d never met a minister or a professor who could manage so nimbly the kind of distances we had just crossed, I felt compelled to explain that […] I had spent three and a half years in the R epublic of U ruguay, almost always on horseback, and living in pampas, amongst the Indians.
Aesthetics of Fraudulence in Nineteenth-Century France by Scott Carpenter