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La figure de Narcisse dans la littérature et la pensée médiévales

Abstract : Greek myths « font signe sans signifier, montrant, dérobant, toujours limpides disant le mystère transparent, le mystère de la transparence2 ». With these words, Maurice Blanchot insists on the very mystery of all myth. It is also the case for the myth of the Narcissus that has known a considerable success in the medieval time but for which it is difficult to … a stable meaning. It is the famous Augustinian poet Ovidius myth that the medieval authors inherited. They added new meanings to the already rich legend, following the footsteps of Ovidius.Narcissus is foremost a figure in love. Narcissus is the unfortunate lover who suffers such a strong passion he dies from it. What he is in love with can be ignored in the medieval versions. Even if he loved a shadow, it is the intensity of his love and the funest consequences the texts insist on. Passion drives Narcissus on the road to death : spiritual death because of Madness et physical death. Narcissus was a prime subject for fin’amor poetry. Troubadours and trouveres made of Narcissus the perfect example of the fin amant between the XIIth and XIIIth centuries. Moreover Narcissus is the deeply linked to the representation of the melancholic that came from the psycho-physiological philosophical and medical theories of love.Moral Reading were also inspired by the myth. Indeed, Narcissus becomes a sinner full of flaws Under the Christian vision of the myth. Pride is the origin of all the flaws: vanity and arrogance are direct consequences. Narcissus becomes the perfect incarnation of these sins. Depending of the point of view the condemnation may vary but the idea is still the same: Narcissus is self-important and is too pleased with himself. Finally the water from the source, one of the most important aspect of the Narcissus mythology, became the meeting point of several traditions which interlaced in the medieval work: biblical water on one side and neoplatonician conceptions of reflection and ancient myth of Narcissus. The ancient fons transforms itself into a medieval fountain and a true mirror. The mirror becomes more and more independent from the surface of water. The phantasmatical dimension of the Narcissus love for his reflection is developed.
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Magali Romaggi-Trautmann. La figure de Narcisse dans la littérature et la pensée médiévales. Littératures. Université de Lyon, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018LYSE2143⟩. ⟨tel-02078404⟩

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