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Research Article

« Un cœur désolé, une santé dévastée »

La représentation de la femme souffrante dans l’œuvre en prose de Barbey d’Aurevilly

Ilaria Giacometti    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



Although Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly has always been an enemy of Naturalism and its theoretical assumptions, he had to deal with the presentation rules of the ‘clinical’ romance while describing his characters’ suffering bodies. On the one hand, the physiognomy theories, very dear to Balzac, enrich Barbey’s modes of expression and justify the analogy between body and soul; on the other, it is not possible to describe the characters’ bodies and to reveal the mystery behind them. Despite this, the lack of psychological analysis in the récit is compensated by metaphorical characterisation: indeed, similes, metaphors, antithesis and oxymorons enrich the description of characters revealing their main passions and features. The aim of this article is to show, by means of the text analysis of some passages, that the realistic details of descriptions are not vain if related to their metaphorical meaning and that, in so doing, the author overcomes the impasse of the rational scientific observation and the physiognomic interpretation.

Keywords: Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly. Metaphor. 19th century. Novel. Bodies.

Language: fr

Submitted: May 22, 2018   Accepted: July 11, 2018   Published: Sept. 28, 2018  

permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/AnnOc/2499-1562/2018/01/008

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