A propos des chefs-d'oeuvre by Charles Dantzig

By Charles Dantzig

« Chef-d'œuvre. » Quand ce très vieux mot du Moyen Âge utilisé pour l'artisanat a-t-il commencé à être appliqué à los angeles littérature ? Y a-t-il un critère du chef-d'œuvre littéraire ? Mieux, une recette ? remark être sûr qu'un livre est un chef-d'œuvre ? Un chef-d'œuvre est-il éternel ? l. a. postérité est-elle le bon juge ? Crée-t-on encore des chefs-d'œuvre aujourd'hui ? remark définir le chef-d'œuvre ?

C'est à toutes ces questions que tente de répondre ce livre. Parcourant les grands livres, de Homère à Heine et de Boccace à Beckett, il suggest une examine inattendue de l'œuvre de James Joyce aussi bien que des considérations sur ce que l'on peut penser des Aristochats de Walt Disney. Charles Dantzig montre encore une fois que l'on peut associer le brillant et l. a. réflexion, los angeles virtuosité et los angeles profondeur, l'érudition et l'esprit.

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Additional resources for A propos des chefs-d'oeuvre

Sample text

Secular shame is often simply not very meaningful to the persons of the Middle Ages. When he is killed by Achilles, at the end of Troilus and Criseyde, the rejected Troilus’s ‘lighte goost’ travels ‘ful blisfully … / Up to the holughnesse of the eighthe spere’ (lines 1,087–8), where it looks down with contempt on earthly vanity. Furthermore, the extreme negativity of the prevailing view of humanity tends to deaden shame’s impact, factoring it out, making it natural and expected: that is why Robert Henryson, in The Testament of Cresseid, is able to ascribe Cresseid’s whoredom to fate and largely excuse her.

337) It is a powerful evocation, but Achilles’s passion subsequently gives way to a burning desire to eradicate shame:2 he takes to the field furiously, securing victory for the Greeks. He pays back shame with shame by not only slaying Hector, but also stripping him, affixing his heels to his chariot, and dragging his corpse through the dust. Achilles’s shame begets shame for his enemy. 4–5). Hector’s father, Dardanian Priam, witnessing this outrage on his son’s corpse, grovels in dung. The outstanding portraits of classical shame are to be found in Greek tragedy.

May I never look on you again, / Revealed as I am’ (lines 118–91). He savages his eyeballs in an attempt to blind himself to his disgrace, so as not to see others looking at him: a concrete realisation of shame as the internal reflex of social judgement, a form especially prevalent under the strong public honour code of antiquity. This is his pathetic exchange with Jocasta’s brother Creon: Oedipus: I only ask one thing, my gentle friend, Whose gentleness to such a one as I am Was more than could be hoped for.

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