La vraisemblance narrative en question : véridiction, probabilité, cohérence à partir de Walter Scott et Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly

by Fiona Macintosh

Doctoral thesis in Littérature comparée

Under the supervision of Jean Bessière.

defended on 1998

in Paris 3 .

  • Alternative Title

    The aspects of verisimilitude in nineteeth century narrative fiction : probability, evidence and coherence from walter scott to jules barbey d'aurevilly


  • Abstract

    Verisimilitude is rarely used in english nineteenth century criticism and belongs essentially to the vocabulary of french academics. However probability, plausibility and possibility are constantly referred to in narrative fiction, though facts play a greater part in the process of illusion-making. Walter scott proves the difficulty of combining reality and fancy and fancy and makes romance serve his political or moral views. Barbey d'aurevilly opposing the naturalist and realist movements also promotes the story-teller as a fragile warrant, instead of the omniscient, unobstrusive and objective narrator. Thus, truth is but a subjective construct made of legends and hearsay. The reader is an important character in the stories of both and influences the form and order of the narrative. For scott, the plot is a winding journey exhibiting numerous descriptions and digressions. Likewise barbey's narrators err before coming to the point. Still both value coherence. But it cannot only be attained by weaving motives and circumstances together by recapitulations or dialogues. Contrasts, analogies and tragi-comedy draw patterns and reveal the prerequisites by which the work is to be judged. Hence, the plot seems necessary and surprising at the same time. The reader is requested to sympathise with the characters and recognize the story as an elaborate combination of details.


  • Abstract

    Le genre narratif au xixe siecle revele une transformation du vraisemblable. Walter scott, barbey d'aurevilly et la vulgate critique contemporaine montrent que le document et l'evenement unique troublent fiction et probabilite. Trois modes de veridiction conditionnent cette confrontation du possible et du plausible. Scott privilegie le plausible, l'autorite narrative, la fable, sur l'histoire et la verite documentaire. Barbey, reprenant les debats des antiquaires, pour lutter contre le realisme et le naturalisme, cherche, comme scott, a sauver l'exceptionnel tout en preservant la lecon morale. Cette gageure influence la coherence et la necessite textuelles, infeodees au modele tragique : scott definit la narration comme un conte amplifie au gre du lecteur, de meme la representation de l'enonciation chez barbey aboutit a multiplier les extrapolations. Pourtant nos auteurs veulent apporter une limite a la representation des circonstances : contrastes et analogies compensent les insuffisances d'un lien causal que les dialogues, les sommaires et les images explicitent dans le recit de facon concurrente. Le melange des genres et les details decisifs servent a creer annonces, commentaires et symbole. Il en resulte une autonomisation relative des oeuvres sans que nos auteurs renoncent a renvoyer au monde exterieur. La vraisemblance depasse la fidelite du reel et l'illusion car le lecteur doit s'interesser a l'action mais aussi reconnaitre les premisses propres a chaque oeuvre.

Other version

This thesis has resulted in a publication by in 2002 by Presses de la Sorbonne nouvelle in [Paris]

La vraisemblance narrative : Walter Scott, Barbey d'Aurevilly


Consult library

Version is available as a paper

Informations

  • Details : 2 vol., 686 p.
  • Notes : Publication autorisée par le jury
  • Annexes : 384 ref.

Where is this thesis?

  • Library : Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. Direction des Bibliothèques Universitaires. Section Censier.
  • Available for PEB
See the Sudoc catalog libraries of higher education and research.

Consult library

This thesis has resulted in a publication by in 2002 by Presses de la Sorbonne nouvelle in [Paris]

Informations

  • Under the title: La vraisemblance narrative : Walter Scott, Barbey d'Aurevilly
  • Details : 1 vol. (364 p.)
  • ISBN : 2-87854-209-6
  • Annexes : Bibliogr. p. 343-356. Notes bibliogr. Index
This thesis is also in paper form.

Where is this thesis?

See the Sudoc catalog libraries of higher education and research.