Beginnings in Classical Literature (Yale Classical Studies by Francis M. Dunn (editor), Thomas Cole (editor)

By Francis M. Dunn (editor), Thomas Cole (editor)

The ways that literary works start have proved attention-grabbing to readers and critics at the least on account that Aristophanes. This number of essays offers lifestyles to an issue of perennial curiosity through providing various unique readings in approximately the entire significant genres of Greek and Latin literature. the topics of those essays variety from narrative voices within the commencing of the Odyssey to ideological purposes for Tacitus' selection of a starting within the Histories, and from a survey of commencing units in Greek poetry to the playwright's negotiations with the viewers in Roman comedy. different papers speak about 'false starts off' in Gorgias and Herodotus, the prologues of Greek tragedy, Plato's 'frame' dialogues, behind schedule proems in Virgil, the position of the consumer in Horace, aristocratic beginnings in Seneca, and 'inappropriate' prefaces in Plutarch. through embracing various authors and a huge diversity of methods, from formal research of commencing units to post-structural interpretation, those twelve contributions via either more youthful and validated students supply an exhilarating new standpoint on beginnings in classical literature.

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On a ainsi une première division entre les « petits-bourgeois », qui n’ont d’autres ressources que leur (bonne) volonté, Deslauriers et Hussonnet33, et les héritiers. Parmi ces derniers, il y a les héritiers qui s’assument comme tels, soit qu’ils se contentent de maintenir leur position, comme Cisy, l’aristocrate, soit qu’ils tâchent de l’augmenter, comme Martinon, le bourgeois conquérant. Cisy n’a de raison d’être, dans l’économie du roman, que de représenter l’une des dispositions possibles à l’égard de l’héritage et, plus généralement, à l’égard du système des positions héritables : il est l’héritier sans histoire, qui se contente d’hériter parce que, étant donné la nature de son héritage, ses biens, ses titres, mais aussi son intelligence, il n’a rien d’autre à faire que cela, rien d’autre à faire non plus pour cela.

Refusant l’illusio comme illusion unanimement approuvée et partagée, donc comme illusion de réalité, il se réfugie dans l’illusion vraie, déclarée comme telle, dont la forme par excellence est l’illusion romanesque dans ses formes les plus extrêmes (chez Don Quichotte ou Emma Bovary par exemple). L’entrée dans la vie comme entrée dans l’illusion de réel garantie par tout le groupe ne va pas de soi. Et les adolescences romanesques, comme celles de Frédéric ou d’Emma, qui, tel Flaubert lui-même, prennent la fiction au sérieux parce qu’ils ne parviennent pas à prendre au sérieux le réel, rappellent que la « réalité » à laquelle nous mesurons toutes les fictions n’est que le référent universellement garanti d’une illusion collective40.

L’espoir désespéré d’être un autre tourne facilement au désespoir d’y échouer et l’ambition par procuration s’achève dans l’indignation morale : Frédéric, ayant ce qu’il a, devrait avoir les ambitions que Deslauriers a pour lui ; ou bien Deslauriers, étant ce qu’il est, devrait avoir les moyens dont dispose Frédéric. Il faut suivre encore Flaubert : « Et l’ancien clerc s’indigna que la fortune de l’autre fût grande. “Il en fait un usage pitoyable. C’est un égoïste. Eh ! ” » On atteint là au principe de la dialectique du ressentiment qui condamne en l’autre la possession qu’il désire pour lui-même.

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