L'impressionnisme Littéraire: Capture De L'insaisissable

by Pouzet-Duzer, Virginie A.

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this dissertation is to give a coherent overview and definition of the concept of "impressionnisme littéraire," and to reveal what relationship this -ism had with romanticism, realism, naturalism and symbolism - the literary categories which triumphed historically. While British and American literature are said to have undergone a period of literary impressionism, and German and Austrian canons also mention "Impressionismus" in literature, "impressionnisme littéraire" is indeed nowhere to be found among all the -isms commonly used to describe French literature of the years 1870-1914. Although "impressionnisme littéraire" was mentioned by Ferdinand de Brunetière only a few years after the official group of painters was born, that name did not prevail. The first part of the dissertation sets the scene and is a historical overview of Paris during the years 1870-1914. Instead of following a strictly chronological order, Barthes' idea that texts and images create a web of signs enables consideration of the portraits impressionist painters made of writers of their time. Ultimately I compare these portraits to the elegiac texts these writers wrote about the painters. The second part focuses on the writer's hand, which can capture and write. Taking into account the fact that stylistics is the decoration of a text, I question the usual canonic boundaries in -isms and explore the genre issues of poetry and stream of consciousness. The third part takes the synecdoche of the impressionist's eye as a point of departure and considers the fragmentation of city life for men and women of the nineteenth century. I show how strolling through an "exhibited" Paris was connected to the matter of reading. Finally, I reveal why it is that the ideal impressionistic text, constructed in the time of reading, demands the production of a ghostly writer.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Bell, David F.

School:Duke University

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:literature romance litterary impressionism text and image nineteenth century historiography the eye hand interactions between painters writers zola mallarmé huysmans les goncourt rimbaud verlaine dujardin


Date of Publication:04/25/2008

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