Romantisme et mythologie dans la littérature savoisienne. De Xavier de Maistre à Maurice Dantand (1794-1914)

Abstract : The Sardinian restoration, in 1815, aroused a literature that was first devoted to the Savoyan dynasty and which tried to restore its sacredness. As a matter of fact, this situation moved towards the emergence of a mythology whose nature may be questioned. Was this mythology a pure convention or was it based on deeper soul foundations ?The objective conditions of the Savoyan cultural life at the time are known to have shown a constant research for identity in the feudal past. In Savoy, contrary to what happened in France, at first the legacy of the French Revolution was rejected in order to return to the old state of mind. The Academy of Savoy was created in this impetus of cultural restoration, opening widely to a poetry, which would also revive the marvelous medieval. Education, on the other hand, was rendered entirely to the bishops who were anxious to instruct the people in a religious sense. However, despite the romantic personality of Charles Albert, this trend finally collapsed under the pressure of social evolution. Nevertheless, Savoy remained a deeply Catholic region in a remarkable way until the beginning of the 1900s, taking advantage of the arrangements of the Annexation Treaty to preserve its own prerogatives. As its taste for the marvelous focused on local traditions, for a long time Savoy succeeded in keeping ts specificity and rich, shimmering imaginations.In this field, it obtained its inspiration on a literary tradition which was already rich before 1792 and dominated by the work of Francis de Sales. It was also marked by dynastic chronicles and court, or even patriotic, poetry, which appeared in the Renaissance period. Mixing baroque art with the worship of princes and local saints, it brought out the outline of a new mythology from the sixteenth to seventeenth century. Furthermore, Rousseau influenced those who felt nostalgia for an idealized Savoy, perceived as closer to deity than the great cities of the French plains.The landscape was transfigured by a bourgeoning romantic poetry and individuals saw themselves as a summary of the religious history of humanity. As a consequence, the hero became closer to humanity, without losing his links with the deity. The supernatural creatures of the marvelous, pagan or Christian, popular or learned, were also provided with life, connecting themselves with mountains, lakes, princes, people and with all other ordinary realities experienced by the authors. Instead of remaining in abstract and conventional worlds , these creatures inregrated the local life, becoming the expression of a national genius conceived as a secret soul of the Savoyan land, which could even have a thought by itself. Hereafter natural phenomena were regarded as inhabited by divine wisdom, and considered in their overall harmony allowing the existence of an intermediate world situated between the physical world and the divine world and where Providence could communicate and act by itself. A sort of romantic science, similar to the German one, started to develop trying ti test the aims of divinity in the present not only for humanity, as a group, in Europe, but also for the individual, whose own enigmas were touched. This is how a real mythology, alive and moving, emerged in Savoy.Faced with the richness of this inspiration, we may wonder why today these works are disregarded by critics. Among the answers that could explain the situation we may point out the inadequacy of the Savoyan tradition, marked by Italy and Germany, to the standards of French University.
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Rémi Mogenet. Romantisme et mythologie dans la littérature savoisienne. De Xavier de Maistre à Maurice Dantand (1794-1914). Littératures. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAL037⟩. ⟨tel-02171567⟩

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