Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale > 52 | 2018 > « Un cœur désolé, une santé dévastée »

« 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.

Sept. 28, 2018
July 11, 2018
May 22, 2018

Keywords: Jules Barbey d’AurevillyBodies19th centuryMetaphorNovel

Copyright: © 2018 Ilaria Giacometti. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.