J.J. Grandville’s Un autre monde (1844) is a parody of nineteenth-century utopianism. One of the themes that the artist and his anonymous collaborator (the author Taxile Delord) are interested in exploring is the way in which the public’s desire to contemplate and, indeed, to possess visions of alternative modes of existence had led to the commodification of utopianism in their day. In the book, the artists’ use of parody shows how the products of the imagination occasion a series of derivatives not unlike––and often rigorously identical to––the paratext. I will argue that these paratextual elements are places where the text’s discourse is transformed and assigned a “use value.” But how, exactly, does Grandville use parody to reveal––and to undermine––this derivative function of the para- and the meta-textual? And what can this tell us about the proliferation of paratextual hermeneutics in our day?
Un autre mondeParatext Transtextuality J.J. Grandville Charles Fourier Utopia Art for Art’s Sake