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Title: Cyrano de Bergerac : battling with narrative burlesque
Author: Turner, Sophie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 9285
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis considers the burlesque literary forms in the work of the seventeenth-century writer, Cyrano de Bergerac. It challenges current scholarship by looking beyond libertinism to consider the importance of Cyrano's comic writing practices. While it does not deny the philosophical and scientific focus of Cyrano's oeuvre, it suggests that the burlesque is a defining characteristic. By taking into account the literary context in which Cyrano was writing – notably the querelle des Lettres and the rise of the histoire comique – as well as looking at other comic writers that could have influenced Cyrano, and through close textual readings, this thesis reveals that burlesque forms are often used in excess in Cyrano's work – forms compete against forms – producing destructive effects; burlesque forms can, in effect, be self-defeating. This project then asks whether it is possible to consider Cyrano a comic writer at all. It does demonstrate, however, that, in ridiculing everyone and everything, Cyrano too makes a mockery of the very idea of a dissimulative text. In questioning the literary gesture that Cyrano makes through his battling burlesque forms, this thesis suggests that libertinism can appear to be one of many playful masks the author assumes in his work. Is Cyrano a burlesque libertine? If so, this thesis raises the wider question of whether there are other imposters within the ranks.
Supervisor: Viala, Alain Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Economic and Social History ; Early Modern Britain and Europe ; Intellectual History ; Languages (Medieval and Modern) and non-English literature ; Literatures of Romance languages ; French ; libertinage ; libertine ; burlesque ; histoire comique ; novel ; seventeenth-century ; French literature ; querelle des lettres ; roman