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Atelier 4 : Etudes Edouardiennes et Victoriennes (SFEVE) - Résumés

Estelle Murail (Paris Diderot)

‘He crossed and re-crossed the way repeatedly’: illegible crossings in Poe’s ‘The Man of the Crowd’

In this paper, I would like to reread Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story ‘The Man of the Crowd’ through the prism of the word ‘crossing.’ The word seems to condense several meanings. It is a spatial term which provides a way of talking about the occupation of space. It is also a social term which provides ways to talk about relationships and connections, or lack thereof. It also has sexual connotations, and can refer to erotically charged encounters. Finally, it is a textual term which may refer to the workings of intertextuality. This combination of spatial, social, sexual and textual connotations makes it relevant to ‘The Man of the Crowd.’ The sense of illegibility which pervades Poe’s enigmatic short story seems to stem from these numerous crossings. Both the narrator and the reader are confronted with the fear of not being able to read and interpret the many crossings which are at work in the (urban) text. These crossings turn both the narrator and the reader into detectives and send them on an endless hermeneutic journey. Indeed, Poe’s text constantly seeks to involve us in the hermeneutic process which shapes his text, and thus forces us to ‘cross and re-cross the way repeatedly.’



Andria Pancrazi (Paris Diderot)

My Heart Swims Blind in a Sea that Stuns Me’ – L'Insensible swinburnien, une traversée vers la mort

La poésie d'Algernon Charles Swinburne se situe souvent dans une zone de frontière, de brouillard, d'interstice. À la croisée des styles et des périodes, un des leitmotive de son œuvre est un autre point de rupture : celui qui sépare la mort de la vie. Swinburne utilise souvent l'image du délitement et de la décomposition pour rendre compte de ce revirement insensible. Insensible parce qu'insaisissable, ou parce qu'au-delà des sens ? La mort ne survient pas, elle s'instille peu à peu et contamine les sens, qui se retrouvent anesthésiés. Dans des poèmes comme "By The North Sea", "Satia te Sanguine", "A Channel Crossing" et "Ave Atque Vale", entre autres, le poète construit l'image de la mort non seulement comme un effilochage progressif de la matière sensorielle du réel, mais aussi comme une traversée. Mers, océans, et fleuves deviennent le royaume de l'instable et du fluctuant, où la vie et la mort sont à armes égales dans une dimension suspendue. Dans cet entre-monde ondoyant et insaisissable, le prosodiste, avec un jeu constant sur la déconstruction rythmique, dépeint ainsi le processus de la mort comme un voyage dont l'issue demeure inconnue, mais qui se constitue comme une dilution progressive du matériau de la vie dans le non-être.


Jean-Charles Perquin (Lyon 2)

Robert Browning–the poet/poetry of crossings

This paper will focus on Robert Browning’s poetic writings, and especially on the way his poems were a constant crossroads of formal choices, from his very first publications to his last poem. He tried and questioned every form, every genre and every mode. His poetry was undeniably one of crossing. His poetry was never stable: as he if he were impossible to satisfy or as if he never managed to create the ideal form, he systematically moved from one form to another, crossed, explored and combined genres and modes. Was it not one of the reasons why Oscar Wilde called him a “prose Browning”?



Céline Sabiron (Paris Sorbonne)

Questioning the Translatability of Walter Scott's Scottish Novels

Walter Scott's novels were extremely popular across the Channel since in 1830 one book out of three published in France was by Scott. And yet, this figure could surprise, as his work is very Scottish, with his plots evolving round the Union of the two kingdoms of England and Scotland and the subsequent Jacobite Rebellions followed by the Highland repression organised to pacify the country. Not only does it deal with Scottish, and more generally British, history and politics, but it is also culturally and linguistically rooted in Scotland with numerous references to the Border culture, Presbyterianism, and the use of Scots and even Gaelic, especially in the dialogues. Despite this very distinct Scottish setting and frame, when the French encountered the Waverley novels, they absorbed them with dazzling speed. Writing in 1828, Sainte-Beuve declared that his was an "epoch in which the imitation of Walter Scott was almost a necessary contagion, even for the highest talents". The qualification "even" is both a tribute to Scott and an expression of amazement: how could this literary fad from across the Channel have crossed and penetrated not only so quickly but also so deeply into French culture, so much so that a whole generation of French writers in the 1820s were filled with enthusiasm when reading Scott's works, all paying tribute to the “man of genius,” the “modern trouvere who vivified [literature] with the spirit of the past” (Preface to the Comédie Humaine)?
This paper wishes to question the translatability of the Waverley novels, understood in the sense of a transfer of meaning, being itself dependent on a transfer of language as the work is exported from one culture to another after crossing the Channel. Auguste Jean-Baptiste Defauconpret, Scott's official translator in France, is indeed partly responsible for the popularity of the author's historical novels: in a 1819 letter addressed to the Journal of Debates, he revealed his aesthetics of translation, which followed the manner of 18th-century translators absorbing the general sense of the original text but rendering it into the target language in their own terms to adapt to the new readership. Yet, his art at turning Scott into a “French author,” as Michel Crouzet stated in his preface to the French edition of Waverley, Rob Roy, and The Bride of Lammermoor published in 1981, cannot explain it all. Other reasons, such as Scott's Europeanism, border character, and focus on history, will also be studied to understand the nature of this literary crossing.

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Dernière modification : 7 avril 2014