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Abstract  

This article investigates the textual embedding of epigraphs in the first decades of the nineteenth century. While it had long been customary to use a Latin or Greek quote on title pages, many British and French Romantics went further, placing one or several mottoes at the beginning of each chapter or poem. From an intertextual perspective, these quotes are indexical traces of absent texts. The paratextual dialogue, this article’s main focus, rather involves equally present elements (motto and title, motto and chapter, motto and motto). As a form of commentary, epigraphs shed light on the text they accompany, thus operating in a convergent manner, but their divergent potential should not be underestimated: instead of helping us plod through the plot, mottoes can lead us astray, much like unreliable narrators. Taken as a whole, they form a parallel text, an alternative narrative, where writers sometimes allow themselves to develop a different, paradoxical, poetics. The above-mentioned issues are illustrated with examples from Stendhal, whose Red and Black, arguably the most playful and ironic example of “motto-mania” in French Romantic literature, is reread in light of Roland Barthes’ S/Z.

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Towards the end of his life Jules Verne wrote four novels that involve the Danube basin:Mathias Sandorf (1885),Le château des Carpathes (1892),Le secret de Wilhelm Storitz (1910), andLe beau Danube jaune (written in 1901; first published 1988). Neither the Danube itself, nor a new preoccupation with women or death can be said to link all four of them. Alternatively, one may consider these texts as parts of an unintended “roman du fleuve,” a cycle ofFamilienromane in Freud’s sense, in which the plot is based on conflicts among family members. Seen this way, Verne’s narrators portray clashes among siblings in the “Danubian family,” sympathizing now with this now with that nation. The main characters of these novels are not, however, defined by their ethnic affiliations. Le pilote du Danube (1908), a radically revised version ofLe beau Danube jaune by Verne’s son Jules, may be linked to Péter Esterházy’s work, both for being mentioned inHahn-Hahn grófnő pillantása — lefelé a Dunán (1991) and for representing a rewriting of the father.

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Abstract  

Andrée Chedid’sLes Saisons de passage is a collection of selected personal memories published more than two years after her mother’s death. Dedicated to the memory of Alice Godel, this text serves as a process of mourning and a celebration of life. Through this maternal portrait, the narrator offers us intersections of real and imagined memories, biography and autobiography, and national and personal histories whose content determines its form. This hybrid approach to the text reveals not only a subjective perspective of the mother, source of identity and language, but also a socio-historical vision of Cairo and Paris in the middle of the last century. This article is divided into three parts. First, I derive certain specificities fromLes Saisons de passage and compare them to traditional autobiography in order to show how Chedid’s approach, organization, and refusal of mimesis excludes it from classification as any single genre. Second, I consider biographical aspects ofLes Saisons de passage and the effects of a mother-daughter (con)fusion on the aging process, identity, and textual fluidity. Third, I analyze intersections between national history and autobiography inLes Saisons de passage in order to highlight the influences of certain historical events on Chedid’s personal life and their effects on her beliefs, her writing process, and her body of works.

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In this article I attempt to trace the premise of Longus’ novel Daphnis and Chloe, that is the structural principle which organizes the entirety of its narration. By pointing out that the purpose of the narrator and of Eros, the deity who continuously instigates the chain of events in this novel, is practically identical, I argue that love is consistently associated in Longus’ romance with the element of strife. Contrary to the other surviving works of its genre, strife actually forwards the process of the primary couple’s erotic progression; it does not forestall or pose obstacles to it. It is the combination of these two seemingly contradictory forces that brings about the elevation of Daphnis’ and Chloe’s status, an assertion which encourages a symbolic reading of the novel. Consequently, the paedeutic message of Daphnis and Chloe consists mainly in an implicit reassurance to the reader that if s/he embraces the element of strife, when s/he experiences the feeling of love, s/he will be led to a spiritual elevation and reinstatement. Finally, it must be noted that Longus’ thesis probably modifies Empedocles’ philosophical view that love and strife regulate the entire universe.

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The study analyses innovative stylistic means of French novelist Louis-Ferdinand Céline - one of the first writers who has introduced the need to place spoken language into written text. The author treats theoretical paradox of spoken French in its written form, analysing the double linguistic distinction between the phonetic code and the graphic code and between the spoken code and the written code. Célin's style, which modifies the rules of standard French, is characterised by the argotic and vulgarised narration, which decomposes traditional syntax. The use of new means of expression is effectuated on several levels - at the vocabulary level (argot, neologisms, derivation), at the syntagma level (repetition, anticipation, segmentation), and at the sentence level (the use of juxtaposition and coordination on detriment to the subordination). The verb forms typical of colloquial style or, on the contrary, forms which are used in traditional narration are also introduced. The paper deals with Célin's first novel "Voyage au bout de la nuit", where the narration is still traditional, the narrator is fictitious, his name is different from the author's, the narration is linear, the novel is divided into chapters and the story has a beginning and an end. The search for the new means of expression is therefore reflected exclusively at the level of language and style.

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Stream of consciousness is the manifestation of verbality in writing. Through the narrative technique of stream of consciousness, the writer has the opportunity to use the a very personal tone. This study examines three short stories by Valery Larbaud, the French writer and translator, which are characterized by this unique symbiosis of verbality and orality. This narrative technique is mainly suitable for the depiction of feelings and thoughts and not the narration of events. Its striking structural feature is the incoherent composition of sentences. Larbaud attributed great significance to narration carried out with the technique of stream of consciousness. The heroes of the three Larbaud short stories, which are in the scope of this study, have emotional problems to solve. The main topic of their ``audible thinking'' is the problem of faithfulness and the spiritual and physical distances between man and woman. Journey through time and space often gives the impression of a film script: the narrator depicts past and imaginary future in incoherent structured sentences which resemble the form of snapshots.

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The long stay of writers in emigration caused stylistic changes in their language. They preferred more general themes, existential problems to Czech or any other special local ones (especially if they had earlier such inclination, like Fischl, partly also Hostovský or Kundera). They (mainly Fischl) liked creating a story out of an actual place and time. Škvorecký, a born narrator, who was applying the narrative devices of modern realistic prose from the beginning of his carreer, followed another strategy. Partly he profited from the experiences gained in his second homeland, partly (later) he turned to historical themes about Czechs who had stayed or lived on the American continent. The life isolated from home changed the literary language of emigrants. Most authors wrote in Czech also in exterland, but their style became different. Those who lived in foreign countries for several decades used a highly literary language. The emigrants after 1968 wrote in “common Czech” (obecná čeština), slang or even in vernacular. Škvorecký's style has also been saturated by Anglo-Czech elements characteristic for Czech emigrants living in English speaking countries. Kundera, for the insufficient number of Czech readers in reach, turned more and more to French and world public. He chose a style easy for translation. From the middle of the '90s he has been writing mostly in French.

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The paper entitled “The poetic development of the motifs word and deed in Turgenev's novel, Rudin” examines the structure and the semantic evolution of the motifs under scrutiny. It throws light upon the different semantic configurations the variants of word and deed systematically form in different layers of the text-on the plot-level where they reveal themselves focussing around the main hero of the novel (see the protagonist's debate with Pigasov or his complaint about his fate); in their linguistic representations including their lexical and phonic manifestations (cf. e.g. the expression ???????? ??????); in the consequently constructed motif clusters, which reveal significant semantic parallelisms (cf. the semantic sequence of variants: fire-love-wandering-speaking), and in the intertextual practice of the novel. The interpretation formulates the idea of the isomorphic structural and semantic composition of the motifs word and deed, relating their poetic meaning to the problem of semantic motivation. This latter one “overwrites” the evaluation of Rudin's figure offered in the framework of his unrealized love story with Natalya or given by the characters or the narrator. The paper aims at elucidating the true semantic character of the literary figure, deeply embedded in his intertextual role incarnations, out of which the Rudin-Onegin parallelism is paid special attention.

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This paper intends to present the innovation of stream of consciousness techniques by Sasha Sokolov in School for idiots within the theory of post-structuralism, William James' concept of “consciousness” and the aspects of fictionality. The main stress is laid on how radically Sasha Sokolov renewed a special end of the 19th-first half of the 20th century novel tradition marked by Lewis Carroll, Dujardin, Proust, James Joyce, Faulkner, Vaginov. This article undertakes to demonstrate that Sasha Sokolov in 1970 took with his new concept of the deviant personality and intertextualism a step towards the postmodern, thereby considerably contributing to wind up normative restrictions then reigning soviet belles-lettres. In the narrator's free schizophrenic act of speech, fighting for freedom against the power of persons in control, where the distance between presentation and representation is apparently abolished, strained relations between speaking and writing are created. There is no author's intention which could direct the reception. Past, present and future, imagination and “reality” (within the scope of fiction), life and death are perceived to be reciprocally exchangeable. But despite this discursive way of “showing” the ill boy's inner world, a considerable composing attitude prevails in the text, which is established by the exact mythological and quotational structure, made up mainly by motifs borrowed from Hermetism, by allusions to poems of Pushkin, Hölderlin or Rilke and short stories by Gogol´ and Poe.

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In my paper, I call attention to a literary trend of contemporary Hungarian prose fiction, in which the communist past is narrated from a child’s point of view. I will concentrate on the relation among the focalization of the narrative through the eyes of a child, the theme of dictatorship, and present-tense narration. I will relate my approach to Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s ideas on the problem of representing disempowered people, in other words, representing the subaltern. I take the narration of a child situated in a fictional dictatorial time as a special case of giving voice to the subaltern. In the first part of my paper I will address the theoretical and narratological problem of giving voice and understanding the subordinated figures. The second part consists of the analysis of the novels by Zsuzsa Rakovszky and Ferenc Barnás. I will argue that the communist past is a counterfeit referent since it is narrated by an unreliable child narrator. The object of representation is not the historical past but it is itself the perspective of the child through which we come to understand a hidden pattern of dictatorship: infantilization.

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