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La place du déplacement: réflexions sur la dimension mythique du Colonel Chabert
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5327-4481
2019 (French)In: Australian journal of French studies, ISSN 0004-9468, E-ISSN 2046-2913, Vol. 56, no 3, p. 287-306Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The place of displacement: reflections on the mythical dimension of Colonel Chabert

This study explores the poetical function of the mythical dimension in the short novel Le Colonel Chabert (1832) by Balzac. The mythical layer is clearly noticeable on the plot level (a hero returns from the war and reclaims his title, his possessions, and his wife) and in a modern version of a catabasis (the colonel is unintentionally buried in a mass grave). Although there are clear connexions to the classical treatment of these elements, the narrative presents a distorted and degraded version of them. Seen in the light of the evolution of Balzac towards becoming a writer who depicts the contemporary society, this displacement of the mythical dimension is interpreted as a way to disqualify, by defective imitation, a henceforth imperfect fictive model for representing reality as it is.

Abstract [fr]

Cette étude examine la fonction poétique de la dimension mythique du court roman Le Colonel Chabert (1832) de Balzac. La couche mythologique y est clairement visible au niveau de l’intrigue (le héros revient de la guerre pour réclamer son titre, ses biens et sa femme) ainsi que dans une version moderne de la catabase (par mégarde, le colonel est enterré dans une fosse commune). Bien que montrant des rapports évidents avec le traitement classique de ces éléments, le récit en présente une version déformée et dégradée. Vu à la lumière de l’évolution de Balzac, qui vise à devenir un écrivain qui décrit la société contemporaine, ce déplacement de la dimension mythique est interprété comme une manière de rendre caduc, au moyen d’une imitation défectueuse, un modèle fictif désormais inadéquat pour représenter fidèlement le réel.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 56, no 3, p. 287-306
Keywords [en]
Balzac, myth, Colonel Chabert, realism
Keywords [fr]
Balzac, mythe, Le Colonel Chabert, réalisme
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176943DOI: 10.3828/ajfs.2019.20ISI: 000502046800005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176943DiVA, id: diva2:1377384
Available from: 2019-12-11 Created: 2019-12-11 Last updated: 2020-01-07Bibliographically approved

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