Contenu du sommaire

Revue Revue française d'études américaines Mir@bel
Numéro no 5, avril 1978
Texte intégral en ligne Accessible sur l'internet
  • Introduction - Yves Carlet p. 2 pages accès libre
  • I – Reformers

    • The Age of Reform: A Reappraisal - Ronald Creagh p. 12 pages accès libre
    • "Respectable Iniquities" : le transcendantalisme et l'ordre social - Yves Carlet p. 13 pages accès libre avec résumé en anglais
      American Transcendentalism is usually described as a philosophical, religious or literary quest, and the high spirituality of the enterprise is assumed to have made its members indifferent or hostile to social issues. The present article questions this interpretation, quoting as evidence specific passages from Emerson, Thoreau, Ripley, Margaret Fuller, Parker and Brownson. It argues that the American Scholar had a keen sense of his social mission, and aimed at the regeneration of society, through poetry, preaching or reform ; that the Utopian side of Transcendentalism is not so far apart from its « literary » side as has sometimes been suggested ; and that what draws together the various ventures of the Party of Hope is a common strategy based on a retreat from the world, followed by a counter-attack of the « Spirit ».
  • II - Circles

    • Analyses structurales de Rip Van Winkle - Jean Béranger p. 13 pages accès libre avec résumé en anglais
      This essay suggests a new reading of Rip Van Winkle as a text composed of dreams, fairy tale elements and mythical fragments. It is argued that the interplay of convergent methods of analysis reveals the narrative coherence of this piece of American folklore. The study is made with reference to all the elements of the complete text. A special emphasis is given to a strictly Freudian interpretation without consideration of biography. The story appears to be a dream of death and old age and the phallic mother disguised as fairy tale and myth. This core interpretation is linked with structural approaches reflected in the work of Bruno Bettelheim as student of fairy tales, and the Russian formalist Vladimir Propp and his disciple Alan Dundes, the specialist of North American Indian folklore.
    • Le bras du cannibale : aspects de la régression primitiviste dans Moby Dick - Michel Granger p. 15 pages accès libre avec résumé en anglais
      This paper is part of a larger study devoted to Melville's apparent, interest in primitivism which can be read in Typee, Omoo and Moby Dick. Here, I have focused on some of the elements -which contribute to the intensity and originality of Melville's masterpiece and left out what concerns the conventional ideal of the Noble Savage. A close reading of the text shows that the exotic setting serves mostly as a covering which tends to distract the reader's attention from the phantasmal dimension of the book : the veiled but obsessive presence of cannibalism, the irrational fear of devouring jaws, which pervades the narrator's discourse. This cannibalism is analyzed not for its own sake, but because the regression it implies gives a clue to Ishmael's attraction to the sea and to Queequeg, and it helps account for the oppressive and disquieting coloring of the end of the story.
  • III - The Poet

  • IV - Prospects

    • Zona Gale, transcendantaliste de Main Street - Maurice Couturier p. 10 pages accès libre avec résumé en anglais
      Zona Gale was not only a militant in many « causes célèbres » at the beginning of the century ; she was also a modern transcendentalist. She believed in the existence of a fourth dimension, in its accessibility through the voice of conscience. But, partly as a result of her dissappointment with militancy, she gradually abandoned the idea of a spontaneous communication between individuals, and insisted, rather, on expression. She came to believe that expression through art allowed the artist to appropriate a share of the Divine. This brand of transcendentalism, which came to her from Swedenborg through her own father, was strongly influenced by Ouspensky ; it was strongly marked, also, by her passionate and schizoid nature.
    • Whitman, Williams, Ginsberg : histoire d'une filiation - Jacqueline Saunier-Ollier p. 16 pages accès libre avec résumé en anglais
      The kinship between Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams and Allen Ginsberg has often been mentioned. But the complex relationship between these three great poets has never been fully analyzed. This essay does not claim to be an exhaustive study of what could fill up the pages of a book. It is only an attempt to disentangle the complicated net of ties that bind the three men. Williams discovered his true self through Leaves of Grass, but he soon began battling against it in his lifelong search for an orderly poetic form. Although Whitman's influence on him was continuous it was only at the end of his life that he surrendered fully to his Whitmanesque bent. This was made possible through the mediation of an « angelheaded hipster » from Paterson, whom the doctor-poet had himself introduced to Leaves of Grass and who, in return, unknowingly helped his mentor achieve his own liberation and showed himself, Allen Ginsberg, to be the true son of Whitman.