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|Keywords||Victor Hugo, death penalty, Parisian Commune, Belgium|
|Abstract||Victor Hugo constantly fought for the abolition of the death penalty. One of his earliest works, Le Dernier Jour d’un condamné (1829), was already devoted to this issue. The present paper discusses how Hugo fought against those who insisted on shooting the troublemakers in the wake of the Parisian Commune (1871). These efforts put the writer in danger: he was living in Belgium at the time and was made to leave the country by order of the government. These events shed a particular light on the genesis of the poem called Les Fusillés in the collection of L'Année terrible.|
|Keywords||Diderot, Bougainville, travel, colonialism|
|Abstract||In the Supplément au Voyage de Bougainville (‘Supplement to Bougainville's Voyage'), Diderot develops the idea of the problem of travelling and colonizing, which the scholars misunderstood. The main point does not focus on the conflict, or the competition, between two civilization patterns — the so-called "primitivism" of Tahiti and the advanced society of Europe. Regarding the anti-colonialist impact, Supplément goes far beyond a simple stand: Diderot indeed anticipates the disastrous consequences (of which we are very aware today) of the travels made by Europeans to the more distant regions of the world from the 15th century.|
|Keywords||Nerval, Watteau, Cythera, Arcadia|
|Abstract||It is a well-known fact that Gérard de Nerval showed a great interest in Jean Antoine Watteau, and especially in the picture of "Le Pèlerinage à l'île de Cythère". This picture evokes the nostalgia for a lost world where the arcadian happiness pervaded: that's also the subject of the novel Sylvie. Nerval, who situates his Arcadia in the Valois, claims to be the heir of Watteau. This article endeavours to examine the connection between Nerval andWatteau, a relationship which does not only concerns Sylvie, but also Les Faux Saulniers and Voyage en Orient.|
|Keywords||Baudelaire, J.G. F. Baillarger, medicine, poetry, French|
|Abstract||The dedication "À J. G. F." appears twice in Baudelaire's work. As a heading to Paradis artificiels (1860) the first time; and a second time in the 1861 edition of Les Fleurs du Mal, where the poem entitled "L'Héautontimorouménos" is addressed to this mysterious person. Up until now, these initials have guarded their secret. To whom do they belong? To this day, no mention has ever been made by critics that those initials match the forenames of a famous contemporary of the author, a doctor twice mentioned by Baudelaire, the alienist (psychiatrist) Jules Gabriel François Baillarger.|
|Keywords||Gérard de Nerval, Théophile Thoré, Arsène Houssaye, Holland, travel|
|Abstract||Gérard de Nerval travelled to Holland twice: in September 1844 and in May 1852. Specialists maintain that an undated letter to Théophile Thoré stems from Nerval's second trip (in 1852). Written in Paris, this letter indicates that the author is about to rejoin his friend Arsène Houssaye in Brussels and asks Thoré to recommend some art galleries in Holland. At the time, Théophile Thoré was in fact a well-known art critic. In May 1852, however, he was living in exile in London. Nerval had been travelling alone at the time. Given that we know that he went to Holland with Arsene Houssaye just once, in 1844, it appears that the letter to Thoré should be dated the first two weeks of September 1844.|
|Abstract||La critique a longtemps confondu l'œuvre de Nerval avec un plaidoyer en faveur de l'ésotérisme et des sciences occultes. Sur la foi des Illuminés, notamment, on a donné de Nerval l'image d'un écrivain féru de nécromancie et de théosophie; mû par un désir quasi faustien de connaître la face cachée des choses, le poète aurait tenté, sa vie durant, de pénétrer les secrets de l'au-delà...|