Dandyism and "the care of the self": subjectivation essays in Balzac

Abstract : This thesis analyses the universe of dandyism in La Comédie humaine, by Honoré de Balzac, with the instrumental theoretical notion of "the care of the self" according to Michel Foucault. This work is part of the debate on the subjective processes in the literary studies and it emphasizes the point of view of social-critical reading. The starting point of our thought is that our subjectivity is created by the literary text and, essentially, by the act of reading. In Balzac we either identify the evidences of "subjectivation essays" or, based on a Foucauldian approach, we try to perform a reading of Balzac's work that creates the notion of subjectivation. This procedure involves the analysis of scenes from the dandies, which ones dramatize the subject self-care and his reflections on his political and psychological meanings. We assume that the dandyism in Balzac's work is a romantic representation of "the care of the self" moment, in the history of Western culture, by the study of dandyism as a dynamic process of constructing the subject in society. Dandyism is a way of life that constitutes the universe of La Comédie humaine and it shows the change process of individuals and of the society. At the end of this study, we recognize the dandy as a dramatization of a modern hero who lives thinking that is possible to make for himself a desired form of life.
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Fausto Calaça Galvão de Castro. Dandyism and "the care of the self": subjectivation essays in Balzac. Psychology. Universidade de Brasília - UnB; Université Lumière Lyon 2, 2010. Portuguese. ⟨tel-00813069⟩

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