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Title: Stendhal's parallel lives : dupes, fripons and great souls, 1829-42
Author: Manzini, Jens Francesco Quirino
ISNI:       0000 0000 4057 6988
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1999
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Stendhal divides humanity into the two categories of dupes and fripons. The introduction to the thesis shows how Stendhal's heroes and heroines attempt to transcend these two categories, modelling themselves on great souls (exemplars), most notably the heroes and heroines of the French Republic (Danton, Mme Roland) and Empire (Napoleon). The former exemplify a sublime form of duperie, the latter a sublime form of friponnerie. Stendhal relates these two categories of exemplars to their respective counterparts or pairs drawn from Plutarch's Parallel Lives, most notably Brutus (a sublime dupe) and Caesar (a sublime fripon). The introduction begins to explore these parallels by tracing Stendhal's attitudes to Plutarch prior to 1829. The first part of the thesis examines Stendhal's non-fiction of 1829-42, beginning with his evocations of Ancient Rome in the Promenades dans Rome and of specific Plutarchian exemplars in the Souvenirs d'egotisme (Epaminondas), Vie de Henry Brulard (Brutus) and Memoires sur Napoleon (Caesar). The first part concludes with an analysis of Plutarchian themes in Stendhal's translations (Vittoria Accoramhoni, Les Cenci, La Duchesse de Palliano) and travel-writings in contemporary France (Memoires d'un touriste. Voyage en France, Voyage dans le Midi de la France). The second part deals with Stendhal's fiction of the period, tracing his exploration of the related oppositions between Brutus and Caesar, duperie and friponnerie, generosity and ambition, the sublime and the vile. In the process, the thesis brings out the parallels Stendhal establishes between his fictional heroes and heroines as well as between these heroes and heroines and their exemplars, whether drawn directly from Plutarch or from more recent history (the Middle Ages, Italian sixteenth century, French Republic and Empire). I conclude by arguing that Stendhal's writings of the period constitute a modern Parallel Lives, part (auto-)biographical, part fictional.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Heroes; Heroines; Stendhal