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By Margaret Elizabeth Colvin

This quantity is the 1st in-depth examine of the French novelist Marguerite Yourcenar?Ђ™s fiction to contend that the author?Ђ™s texts convey in unforeseen methods a number of features of the neobaroque. This subversive, postmodern aesthetic privileges extravagant inventive play, flux, and heterogeneity. In demonstrating the affinity of Yourcenar?Ђ™s texts with the neobaroque, the writer of this examine casts doubt on their presumed transparency and balance, features linked to the French neoclassical culture of the previous century, the place the Yourcenarian ?“uvre is traditionally positioned. Yourcenar?Ђ™s election to the distinguished, tradition-bound French Academy in 1981 as its first lady ?Ђњimmortal?Ђќ 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, ?Ђњclassical?Ђќ type and analyzed for her use of delusion and common issues. whereas these elements first and foremost appear to justify amply the neoclassical label through which Yourcenar is most generally famous, this study?Ђ™s shut examining of 4 of her fictions unearths in its place the texts?Ђ™ opacity and subversive resistance to closure, their rejection of solid interpretations, and their deconstruction of postmodern Grand Narratives. Theirs is a neobaroque ?Ђњlogic,?Ђќ which stresses the absence of theoretical assurances and the restrictions of cause. The accident of the hot millennium ?Ђ” which in such a lot of methods displays Yourcenar?Ђ™s disquieting imaginative and prescient ?Ђ” and her centenary in 2003 presents now not loads an excuse to reject the author?Ђ™s neoclassical label, yet relatively the duty to reconsider it in gentle of up to date discourses. This research should be of curiosity to scholars of twentieth-century French fiction and comparative literature, specifically that of the latter half the 20 th century. desk OF CONTENTS: I. A Frontispiece II. creation Marguerite Yourcenar and the Writing of Fiction: a classy central III. bankruptcy 1 Anna,Soror...: Neobaroque Sacralizes the Abject IV. bankruptcy 2 Denier du r??ve : Baroque Discourses,Fascist Practices V. bankruptcy three Neobaroque Humanism: ?ЂњSounding the Abyss ?Ђќ in L ?Ђ™?’uvre au Noir VI. bankruptcy four Neobaroque Confessions: Un homme obscur and the Oppressive Superficiality of phrases VII. end An writer for the recent Millennium VIII. chosen Works pointed out and Consulted IX. Index of right Names

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Extra resources for Baroque Fictions: Revisioning the Classical in Marguerite Yourcenar (Faux Titre 271) (Faux Titre)

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Working from within classicism’s assumptions and parameters, Yourcenar the classical academic and artist chips away at the frame she has chosen for her work: for surely the two “classical” protagonists of her most important fictional works, Hadrien and Zénon, embody each in his own way the antipodes of liberation and measure which work continuously to undermine each other. French classicism meanwhile had developed into something quite different by the second half of the seventeenth century and the absolutist reign of Louis XIV.

The rehabilitation of the baroque, shortly followed by creation of the neobaroque, was not a chance occurrence. It had much to do with the fact that the decrepitude of Western liberal humanism, evident even before the Great War, had accelerated to such an extent by the 1960s that the baroque’s return seemed quite appropriate. Even the sciences and mathematics—which had served the cause of the classical ideal (Euclid, Pascal, Descartes, Newton, later Rostand, Planck, and Einstein)—were by the latter half of the twentieth century proposing theories of chaos, catastrophe, and randomness that strangely hailed the baroque while also corroborating postmodernism’s exposure of no center, no eternal Truths, and no founding narrations.

Cela relève de l’histoire littéraire, pas de la littérature” ) (“ If by classical we mean an author who does not write in a careless style, we can use this expression. , 347. Translation mine. 38 Baroque Fictions Yourcenar’s classicism is real and tangible, something else is also taking place that disturbs the unity of her classical image. The purely classical text constitutes a non-discursive, closed system of values, principles, and rules. 46 Yourcenar certainly seems to share Debord’s judgment, for even as she raises the classical standard, she is in the process of driving a wedge into its monolithic unity by establishing a discourse between classical values and traditions and classicism’s subversive “lining,” to which I alluded earlier (Rabelais, Bruno, Vico).

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