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Title:Towards a poetics of desire in Maurice Sceve's "Delie"
Author(s):Frelick, Nancy Margaret
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mortimer, Armine Kotin
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Modern
Literature, Comparative
Literature, Romance
Abstract:In this dissertation I analyze Maurice Sceve's Delie using a Lacanian approach. Like the unconscious, and like Lacan's own texts, the Delie resists interpretation. Like the object of desire, meaning is elusive, interpretation is difficult. The satisfaction or fulfillment of desire--that of the Poet-Lover or of the reader--is always beyond, in some unattainable otherness.
The themes and images related to desire find their reflection in the text of the Delie. Images of rupture and fragmentation find their expression in the fabric of the text through meaningful gaps and resistances. There are several different ways of approaching the significant gaps in the text. In the first chapter, I use Lotman's structuralist model to uncover the binary oppositions that sketch out a first approximation of the Poet-Lover's world and help to define his situation. These elements also provide the first clues about the poetics of desire in the work. In the second chapter I examine the mythical images that recur in the Delie. The obsessive memory of the traumatic self-splitting moment of the "innamoramento" is evoked through a whole network of mythical images and allusions whose elements converge into a key myth of primordial rupture that helps to structure and inform the experiences of the poetic persona. In the third chapter I examine the subject and the object of desire, and the dynamics that characterize their relationship. The poetic persona proves to be a split subject. His different aspects correspond to the realms of the Imaginary on the one hand, and of the Symbolic on the other. The object of desire through which the Poet-Lover seeks integration is also multifaceted; she mirrors his desires. In the fourth chapter I examine the text as a whole. The composition of the text reflects the thematic preoccupations with rupture and fragmentation through a poetics of indeterminacy and indirection. The text is a circular, fragmentary one. The desired end is never reached. The reader, who is repeatedly confronted with the problematics of desire in the text is ultimately left to struggle with her own desire for truth and meaning.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Frelick, Nancy Margaret
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9114240
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9114240

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