Candeille, Julie, 1767-1834 -- Performances -- France -- Paris -- History.
Opera -- France.
Recent research has demonstrated that a central feature of many women's operatic creations from late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century France was a marked autobiographical element. Although this autobiographical style resulted in numerous box-office successes, it also limited the lifespan of these successes because it linked the works too closely with their authors. This article will discuss a work that appears to be an exception to this rule: Julie Candeille's Catherine, ou la belle fermière, a musical comedy that became the longest-running operatic work by a woman in history, playing virtually uninterruptedly between 1792 and 1839. In fact, the work and the title role remained intimately connected to the person of Candeille, who could never rid herself of the curiosity engendered by the public image she had earlier created for herself. (Jl and RA)
Girodet-Trioson, Anne-Louis, 1767-1824. Portrait de Jean-Baptiste Belley, député de Saint-Domingue [visual works]
Belley, Jean-Baptiste, b. 1747 -- Portraits.
Masculinity in art.
Blacks in art.
This essay focuses on the "construction" of masculinity in two of Anne-Louis Girodet's paintings: Portrait de Jean-Baptiste Belley (1797) and Portrait de Chateaubriand (1811). While the representation of Chateaubriand draws simply on an idealist classical model, which has never been challenged (indeed, at the time, Winckelmann's writings on the "beau idéal" were very influential), the realist representation of Belley allows the visibility of what was then the "irreprésentable." I argue that this is not a mere fixation on the sexuality of the black man, but rather a subtly representation of an unconscious "beau idéal," which could only appear/materialize via transgression of the classical model and transference on the exotic Other. (in French MB)
Mérimée, Prosper, 1803-1870. Chronique du régne de Charles IX.
Mérimée, Prosper, 1803-1870. Mateo Falcone.
Mérimée, Prosper, 1803-1870. Tamango.
French literature -- Political aspects.
In December, 1829, Mérimée wrote to Mme Récamier: "Etranger toute ma vie à la politique, dans mes liveres j'ai montré (et peut être trop crûment) mon opinion. J'ai pensé que sous l'administration actuelle, accepter des fonctions quelque peu importantes qu'elles soient, serait n'être pas d'accord avec moi-même" (Correspondance générale 1: 51). In his novel and short stories published in 1829, Mérimée allegorically shows his political opinion and works to un-dermine the "administration actuelle," that is, the Restoration government of Charls x. He questions the regime's representation of history and reminds readers of the Revolution and its effects. Instead of literature written by a bureaucrat faithful to the ruling establishment, Mérimée's fiction may be seen as an outlet for his frequent disgust with these regimes, as signs of his resistance to order, and as attacks targeting the dominant historical discourse of the nineteenth century.
Balzac, Honoré de, 1799-1850. Physiologie du mariage.
Balzac, Honoré de, 1799-1850. Traité des excitants modernes.
This article offers a comparative analysis of the pairing of two critical texts on food: the 1839 re-edition of Brillat-Savarin's Physiologie du goût, and Balzac's Traité des excitants modernes, which appeared at the end of Brillat-Savarin's book. Situated within the burgeoning gastronomic context of the time, Balzac's renowned obsession with the culinary is examined as a creative decoction made at the intersection of alimentation, generation, and textual production. (in French PCD)
Lélut, F. (François), 1804-1877. Du démon de Socrate.
Baudelaire, Charles, 1821-1867. Assommons les pauvres!
Physicians in literature.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, French alienists, imbued with the ambitions of the emerging psychiatric discipline, often regarded themselves as public figures. They did not hesitate to speak to philosophical, social, political, and even aesthetic matters. Louis François Lélut is a case in point: in Du démon de Socrate (1836) he used his medical expertise to diagnose Socrates as a lunatic. In the wake of the Revolution of 1848, he launched a fierce critique against proponents of equality such as Proudhon (Egalité, 1849). Through an analysis of Baudelaire's prose poem "Assommons les pauvres!" this essay explores Baudelaire's subversive critique of Lélut's intellectual claims. Baude-laire depicts a narrator who displays similarities with the allegedly "lunatic" Socrates and yet defies any simplistic equation between philosophical "genius" and pathology. Baudelaire's parody is directed at Lélut's medical and political views: the narrator's stand on equality overtly challenges Lélut's inegalitarian beliefs. (FV)
Baudelaire, Charles, 1821-1867. Chien et le flacon.
Baudelaire, Charles, 1821-1867. Bons chiens.
Baudelaire, Charles, 1821-1867 -- Symbolism.
This piece argues that Baudelaire's two dog-centered prose poems covertly invite an allegorical reading of his collection. After briefly outlining the poet's understanding of allegory, it identifies, in both "Le Chien et le flacon" and "Les Bons Chiens," a network of allusions to Rabelais's Gargantua prologue and to Cynic philosophy. The hypothesis that these allusions point to the presence of hidden, ironic allegories in Le Spleen de Paris is then contextualized by reference to Baudelaire's interest in duplicitousness, to current criticism of the collec-tion, and to the poet's association of allegory and anamorphosis. (MS)
This article shows how Corbière's Paris poetry in Les Amours jaunes (1873) evokes the destabilizing quality of city life. Combining close textual analysis with examination of the socio-economic context, it surveys his parodic versions of stereotypical prostitute and flâneur figures, and shows how his condensed urban landscapes reflect his fragmented subjects, particularly his poet personae. It then focuses on his representation of the difficulties facing poets in the marketplace, and argues that his ironic clash of discourses represents both conflict between value-systems and contradictions within the bohemian milieu. It concludes that Corbière conveys the underlying workings of urban society by dramatizing the sensation of doubt about values. (JL-R)
No legal action was taken against Edmond de Goncourt's prostitute-prisoner novel, La Fille Elisa (1877); however, three adaptations of it "La Fille Elisabeth" (1877), La Fille Elisa: scène d'atelier (c. 1880), and La Fille Elisa: pièce (1890) were repressed. The two former ignored the issue of prisons, but attacked the portrayal of prostitutes. The latter was praised for its description of prisons, but repressed because of its depiction of prostitutes. In each case, La Fille Elisa was used as a scapegoat for more general complaints about Naturalist themes, even when public tastes, along with Naturalism itself, were evolving. (KA)
Krysinska, Marie, 1857-1908 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Marie Krysinska's "Symphonie des Parfums" reveals that she was aware of her role as the only woman artist at the Chat Noir cabaret. She employed her free verse techniques in conjunction with the parodic mode of self-expression popularized at the cabaret to reject the feminine ideal and legitimate her status as an original poet. Krysinska parodies descriptions of imaginary women associated with flowers in conventional poetry by revising synaesthesic analogies and tropes of women's adornments that Baudelaire designated as symbols of alluring signifying power to represent a multiform "feminine" subjectivity in figures of women performing various, interrelated genres of art. (TLP)
In both Avant l'amour (1897) and Hellé (1899), Marcelle Tinayre (1872-1948) investigates the discursive, narrative, and ideological extrapolations offered by female virginity. In both cases, virginity allows a discourse of opposition to normative patriarchal preconceptions, and a discourse of repossession of female sensuality, freedom and independence to emerge. Thus apprehended, the preserved hymen symbolizes the temporal, spatial, physical, and ideological threshold where the heroines stand. (in French FG-K)