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Écriture de la pureté dans l’œuvre d’Anatole France

Abstract : While Anatole France (1844–1924) is considered a skeptical, ironic writer, one of his short stories, entitled “Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame” can not easily be reduced to such a reading. Instead, it is a pious and sincere story based on a legend from the Middle Ages – a perspective contradictory to his skepticism, anticlericalism, and classicism. Rather than counting as exceptional cases texts like this that portray “purity” in a religious sense, an attempt to integrate them into the overall view of the works of A. France will enable us to discover a new side to the writer and apprehend his ideas and his works in a complexity and depth that are hidden under simple surface appearances. As a first step, we connect the medieval themes of A. France with the medievalist movement of the 19th century, seen in both historical study and literature, in order to clarify the influence of his times on his image of the Middle Ages, and the meaning of that image. As a second step, we consider the practice of rewriting. By comparing the texts of A. France with their sources, and comparing rewriting of those sources by A. France with rewriting of similar sources by his contemporaries, we identify A. France’s method of rewriting and the characteristics of the product. In addition, we find that the use of “frame story” narration is as necessary as rewriting in the texts of A. France, serving to accentuate the modesty of the author and as a result affecting a decrease in authorial authority. All these analyses reveal the importance of the “simplicity” that appears at several levels in the texts of A. France, and which can give access to the harmonious “purity”.
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Yuko Rokukawa. Écriture de la pureté dans l’œuvre d’Anatole France. Littératures. Université Toulouse le Mirail - Toulouse II, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013TOU20066⟩. ⟨tel-00921453⟩

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