By Scott Carpenter
In his engagingly written and unique e-book, Scott wood worker analyzes a number of manifestations of the fake in nineteenth-century France. less than Carpenter's thorough and systematic research, fraudulence emerges as a cultural preoccupation in nineteenth-century literature and society, no matter if or not it's within the type of literary mystifications, the thematic portrayal of frauds, or the privileging of falseness as a cultured precept. Focusing relatively at the aesthetics of fraudulence in works by means of Merimee, Balzac, Baudelaire, Vidocq, Sand, and others, chippie areas those literary representations in the context of alternative cultural phenomena, reminiscent of cartoon, political heritage, and ceremonial occasions. As he highlights the unique courting among literary fiction and fraudulence, wood worker argues that falseness arises as a cultured preoccupation in post-revolutionary France, the place it introduces a blurring of limits among hitherto discrete different types. This transgression of limitations demanding situations notions of authenticity and sincerity, different types that Romantic aesthetics championed before everything of the 19th century in France. Carpenter's learn makes a massive contribution to the cultural value of mystification in nineteenth-century France and furthers our knowing of French literature and cultural background.
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What the dénouement reveals, paradoxically, is that nothing was hidden: the murder mystery is itself killed off, and the ghost story turns out to have been a mere apparition. What Mérimée does, in fact, is shift the locus of violence, removing it from the stories and redirecting it Violent Hoaxes: Mérimée and the Booby-trapped Text 23 instead toward the reader. Although we sense during our reading that the narrator is being lead into a trap, it is we ourselves who are ensnared. T hese two tales, both of which occupied Mérimée shortly before his death, do nothing if not demonstrate how the dynamics of mystification framed his literary work—appearing explicitly in his very first and very last works.
T here! ” cried the General. I walked ahead very slowly, convinced that I would encounter a rope or a stool treacherously placed in my path to trip me up. I heard stifled laughter, which increased my discomfort. Finally I figured I was close to the wall, when suddenly my finger, with which I was reaching forward, entered into something cold and viscous. I grimaced and jumped back, much to the amusement of those watching. ] Who would have believed it? L ost in the middle of a forest in distant L ithuania, in a country so secluded that one still finds certain animal species long extinct in the civilized world—and so primordial that the inhabitants speak a language (T odorov, Introduction à la littérature fantastique 37), and Mérimée is cited as particularly skilled at this narrative balancing act.
In both cases it is a question of the public’s susceptibility— for, from the narrator’s point of view, the whole problem of the vampire stems from belief, from the gullibility of the local population. T he narrator himself, who claims not to believe in vampires, starts from an external, objective perspective. He speaks about such creatures, and he comments on the superstitious nature of the family, while trying to combat their beliefs with logical explanations. When he fails to make any headway, he finds himself forced as a last resort to play their game: by engaging in incantations, he pretends to speak the language of the supernatural himself in order to save the girl.