Neophilologus

, Volume 94, Issue 4, pp 557–567 | Cite as

Metatheatricality and Subversion in the Comtesse de Murat’s Voyage de campagne

Article
  • 46 Downloads

Abstract

In his book Le roi-machine, Jean-Marie Apostolidès describes Louis XIV as the principal director of his own spectacle at Versailles. Alongside this micromanaged world, the petite société represents another permanent space of representation which escapes the court’s watchful eye. The Voyage de campagne by the Comtesse de Murat highlights the adventures of a group of six aristocrats who spend two months in the Comte de Sélincourt’s country château entertaining one other. We shall examine the metatheatrical aspects of this dramatic space, in which the characters, aware of their own role-playing, continually perform, becoming spectacles of one another. Colored with theatrical rhetoric, the characters’ language is seen as a symptom of the intermediate space. A closer look brings the insubordinate aspect of this “prise du pouvoir” to light. Far from the constrictive domain of the capital, the characters improvise their own spectacular world which at times spills into the realm of the supernatural, in direct opposition to the constraints of aesthetic codes. I will argue that the subversive nature of their otherworldly existence is in reaction to the controlled rational literary space of the capitol. It is through their own embracement of the irrational that these six romantic sojourners are able to escape, for a short time, the tragic puppeteered space of the roi-machine.

Keywords

Metatheatricality Subversion Spectacle Petite société Voyage de campagne Comtesse de Murat Supernatural 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allaire, É. (1970). La Bruyère dans la maison de CondÉ (Vol. 1, pp. 482–483). Geneva: Slatkine Reprints.Google Scholar
  2. Apostolidès, J.-M. (1981). Le roi-machine. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit.Google Scholar
  3. Aristotle. (1996). Poetics. London: Penguin books.Google Scholar
  4. Borie, M. (1997). Le fantôme ou, le théâtre qui doute. Paris: Actes Sud.Google Scholar
  5. Brenner, C. D. (1977). The French dramatic proverb. Diss. Berkeley.Google Scholar
  6. Cromer, S. (1984). Édition du Journal pour Mademoiselle de Menou, d’après le Manuscrit 3471 de la Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal: Ouvrages de Mme la Comtesse de Murat. Diss, UniversitÉ de la Sorbonne.Google Scholar
  7. De Murat, C. (1697). Mémoires de la Comtesse de M*** avant sa retraite, ou la Défense des dames. Paris: Veuve de Claude Barbin.Google Scholar
  8. De Murat, C. (1699). Voyage de campagne. Paris: Veuve de Claude Barbin.Google Scholar
  9. Delaporte, V. (1968). Du merveilleux dans la littérature française sous le règne de Louis XIV. Geneva: Slatkine reprints.Google Scholar
  10. Flœck, W. (1989). Esthétique de la diversité: Pour une histoire du baroque littéraire en France. Tübingen: Papers on French Seventeeth-Century Literature.Google Scholar
  11. Forestier, G. (1981). Le théâtre dans le théâtre: Sur la scène française au XVIIe siècle. Geneva: Droz.Google Scholar
  12. Harth, E. (1992). Cartesian women: Versions and subversions of rational discourse in the old regime. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  13. King, J. (1949). Science and rationalism in the government of Louis XIV. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.Google Scholar
  14. La Fontaine. (1964). Fables. Paris: M. Didier.Google Scholar
  15. Lopez, D. (2006). Le Théâtre à l’Hôtel de Rambouillet. Papers on French Seventeenth Century Literature, 33.64, 239–268.Google Scholar
  16. Lyons, J. D. (1999). Kingdom of disorder: The theory of tragedy in Classical France. Purdue University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Patard, G. (2006). Madame de Murat: Contes. Paris: Champion.Google Scholar
  18. Perrault, C. (1971). Parallèle des anciens et des modernes 1692, (Vol. 3.) Geneva: Slatkine Reprints.Google Scholar
  19. Rivara, A. (2003). Deux conceptions de la temporalité et de l’Histoire, Le Voyage de campagne de Mme de Murat (1699) et Les Mémoires de d’Artagnan par Courtilz de Sandras (1700). L’Année 1700. Aurélia Gaillard et al. (Ed.). Tübingen: Gunter Narr, 91–109.Google Scholar
  20. Scholem, G. (1987). Kabbalah. New York: Dorset Press.Google Scholar
  21. Valincour. (1972). Lettres à Madame la Marquise *** sur le sujet de la Princesse de Clèves. 1678. Tours: Université François Rabelais.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Foreign LanguagesBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

Personalised recommendations