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Title:Variations Sur Un Theme: Le Double Et Ses Avatars Dans Le Recit Fantastique. (French Text)
Author(s):Thevenin, Dominique Suzanne
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Jost, Francois
Department / Program:Comparative and World Literature
Discipline:Comparative and World Literature
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Comparative
Literature, Romance
Literature, American
Abstract:To study some occurrences of the double as a literary theme is the purpose of this dissertation. In order to narrow down the scope of this ambitious task, we only deal with cases where the protagonist and his double are one entity. We exclude examples introducing twins, so frequent in German literature and concentrate on cases where the personality of a character undergoes a split resulting, at the most extreme stage, in the birth of a double.
We deal with works written mostly in the nineteenth century. Romantics were very preoccupied with the idea of the alienated self, as shown in a poem by Rimbaud entitled "Je est un autre."
Maupassant is our guide: his "Horla" provides an excellent introduction into the theme. The protagonist of the tale becomes convinced of the existence of a foreign being in him. "Le Horla" is particularly interesting because the inner being remains in a stage where he never materializes. He never succeeds in escaping and existing outside.
Our following chapters discuss examples of manifest doubles. Chapter II analyzes cases illustrating the double life. Near the classical story of Dr. Jeckyll, we study Gautier's "morte amoureuse." In each of the works, the double not only exists but also enables the first self to lead a life of sins, without assuming the weight of a bad conscience. A counterpart to the double bearing full responsibility for the first self's behavior is found in examples treated in chapter III, Poe's "William Wilson" and Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. The double personifies here the voice of conscience.
In a final chapter, we deal with the female double. This aspect of the topic contributes to the originality of our dissertation for criticism has given very little attention to such cases. We venture into new grounds, providing our work with a larger scope.
Issue Date:1987
Description:203 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8803220
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1987

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