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Full-Text Articles in Modern Languages

Pompée's Absence In Corneille's 'La Mort De Pompée', Nina Ekstein Feb 2016

Pompée's Absence In Corneille's 'La Mort De Pompée', Nina Ekstein

Nina C Ekstein

Corneille's La Mort de Pompée (1643) occupies a curious position in the playwright's oeuvre, coming as it does immediately after the tetralogy. Faced with the never-ending artistic challenge of what to do next, what features to keep from earlier works, how to innovate and thereby captivate his audience, how to outdo his latest success, Corneille made some daring choices in this play. Indeed, this play is commonly viewed as a significant point in Corneille's oeuvre, one at which the playwright moves off in a radically new direction. It is my contention that the basic choice to keep ...


The Functions Of The Récit In L'Ecole Des Femmes, Nina Ekstein Feb 2016

The Functions Of The Récit In L'Ecole Des Femmes, Nina Ekstein

Nina C Ekstein

Since L'Ecole des femmes was first performed in 1662, much mention has been made of the numerous récits in the play. In La Critique de l'Ecole des femmes, Lysidas criticizes the play because "dans cette comédie-ci, il ne se passe point d'actions, et tout consiste en des récits que vient faire Agnès ou Horace.'' Indeed, the entire love intrigue takes place offstage and is reported in the form of récits. Far from being tiresome recitals, these narratives are integrated into the structure of the play on numerous levels.


The Portrait On Stage In Molière's Theater, Nina Ekstein Feb 2016

The Portrait On Stage In Molière's Theater, Nina Ekstein

Nina C Ekstein

Literary portraits, while common in a wide variety of genres, are not often thought of in connection with the stage. Discussions of dramaturgy make little mention of portraits, which is perhaps not surprising when one considers that theater is the domain of action, movement, and conflict; the portrait, on the contrary, is primarily descriptive. Verbal portraiture would not seem to be terribly effective in a theatrical context: it is unlikely to advance the action of the play, nor would it lend itself readily to gesture and movement. Theater requires the physical presence of its object, portraiture depends on a certain ...


The Second Woman In The Theater Of Villedieu, Nina Ekstein Feb 2016

The Second Woman In The Theater Of Villedieu, Nina Ekstein

Nina C Ekstein

Best known for her prose fiction, Marie-Catherine Desjardins de Villedieu was also a successful playwright. Her three tragi-comedies (Manlius, Nitétis, and Le Favori), while significantly dissimilar in many respects, share an unusual feature. All three plays foreground the figure of the second woman, second because her role is clearly less central to the play's action than that of another woman character. In each case, the relationships between this second woman and the other characters of the play defy the traditional categories of the seventeenth-century stage. Furthermore, the second woman is not an object of desire. The differences between the ...


The Theatrical Lieu De Culture Within Molière’S Theater, Nina Ekstein Sep 2013

The Theatrical Lieu De Culture Within Molière’S Theater, Nina Ekstein

Nina C Ekstein

Molière’s theater is itself, by definition, a lieu de culture. The performance of one of his plays transforms the space in which it occurs into a lieu de culture by virtue of the presence of two crucial features. First, the performance belongs to a cultural domain, in this case specifically the theater. By ‘culture’ I mean simply that which is tied to the arts, letters, manners, and scholarly pursuits. Second there must be an audience present for that performance. The same basic situation obviously holds true for any playwright whose plays are performed. What makes Molière interesting is the ...


The Theatrical Lieu De Culture Within Molière’S Theater, Nina Ekstein Jan 2012

The Theatrical Lieu De Culture Within Molière’S Theater, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Molière’s theater is itself, by definition, a lieu de culture. The performance of one of his plays transforms the space in which it occurs into a lieu de culture by virtue of the presence of two crucial features. First, the performance belongs to a cultural domain, in this case specifically the theater. By ‘culture’ I mean simply that which is tied to the arts, letters, manners, and scholarly pursuits. Second there must be an audience present for that performance. The same basic situation obviously holds true for any playwright whose plays are performed. What makes Molière interesting is the ...


Over The Top: From The Tragic To The Comic In Corneille, Nina Ekstein Jan 2005

Over The Top: From The Tragic To The Comic In Corneille, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The notions of tragedy and comedy that one can intuit from the theater of Corneille are markedly different from those found in other authors of the period. This is but one aspect of a larger issue concerning Corneille's placement in the hallowed pantheon of literary history. He is one of the major canonical authors and yet he often disconcerts. He was one of the principal theorists of drama in the seventeenth century and yet he took a number of stands in direct and lonely opposition to his peers. Alain Couprie points out that Corneille "a toujours été un auteur ...


Pompée's Absence In Corneille's 'La Mort De Pompée', Nina Ekstein Jan 2003

Pompée's Absence In Corneille's 'La Mort De Pompée', Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Corneille's La Mort de Pompée (1643) occupies a curious position in the playwright's oeuvre, coming as it does immediately after the tetralogy. Faced with the never-ending artistic challenge of what to do next, what features to keep from earlier works, how to innovate and thereby captivate his audience, how to outdo his latest success, Corneille made some daring choices in this play. Indeed, this play is commonly viewed as a significant point in Corneille's oeuvre, one at which the playwright moves off in a radically new direction. It is my contention that the basic choice to keep ...


Sophonisbe's Seduction: Corneille Writing Against Mairet, Nina Ekstein Jan 2002

Sophonisbe's Seduction: Corneille Writing Against Mairet, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Rewriting the subjects of tragedies was so common throughout the seventeenth century as to be a defining characteristic of the period. While originality was the rule in comedy, in tragedy it was disdained. The arrangement of the action, the power and beauty of the language. the originality of the articulation of the more or less ancient plot: these were the badges of the tragic virtuoso. Rewriting was both a compliment to the predecessor and an act of appropriation, a theft not so much of the subject as of authority over the subject. The tragic playwright rewrote with a presumption of ...


Women And Marriage In Corneille's Theater, Nina Ekstein Jan 2002

Women And Marriage In Corneille's Theater, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Marriage is ubiquitous in Corneille's theater: there is not a single one of his plays in which marriage is not an issue, in which at least one union is not proposed. In part this state of affairs is due to the fact that the vast majority of Corneille's characters are marriageable. While marriageability is hardly unusual among the young, Corneille inevitably takes his characters at precisely the dramatic moment when the choice of life partner is to be made. For Corneille, that moment is not even limited to the young; not infrequently older characters are in need of ...


Le Change In Corneille And Racine, Nina Ekstein Jan 2001

Le Change In Corneille And Racine, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Le Change is a concept typically associated in the seventeenth century with the baroque, with the pastoral, and with comedy. In the simplest terms, a lover abandons the object of his or her affections for another. In baroque aesthetics, change is linked to the larger concepts of mobility and metamorphosis (Rousset 44). It is a common motif in the pastoral as well, both in drama and prose fiction. The classic pastoral figure of change is Hylas from Honoré d'Urfé's Astrée, who moves cavalierly from one mistress to the next. Invariably in seventeenth-century France, change is held to be ...


Staging The Tyrant On The Seventeenth-Century French Stage, Nina Ekstein Jan 1999

Staging The Tyrant On The Seventeenth-Century French Stage, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The tyrant is a frequent figure of seventeenth-century theater. While not as ubiquitous as young lovers, fathers, or kings, the tyrant is a persistent subset of this last group throughout the period. Like so many elements of seventeenth-century theater, the tyrant has it origins in antiquity, both in terms of political theory and drama. Tyrants first appeared on the stage of fifth-century Athens, and the legends and histories of the tyrants of antiquity are often repeated on the French stage of the seventeenth century, from Hérode sending Marianne to her death, to Brute assassinating César, to Néron eliminating his rival ...


Mithridate, Displacement, And The Sea, Nina Ekstein Jan 1998

Mithridate, Displacement, And The Sea, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

When Mithridate opens, the king is rumored dead in Colchide, killed by the Romans in battle. His return by sea at the end of the first act is not merely a surprise, but also a temporal, geographical, and almost metaphysical displacement. Mithridate's homecoming turns everything upside down and brings the full force of incest to the amorous rivalry between Phamace and Xipharès. Having successfully spread rumors of his own demise, Mithridate seems to return from the dead, arriving after an absence of a year, from a relatively distant land by the waters of the Pont-Euxin (the Black Sea). Life ...


Appropriation And Gender: The Case Of Catherine Bernard And Bernard De Fontenelle, Nina Ekstein Oct 1996

Appropriation And Gender: The Case Of Catherine Bernard And Bernard De Fontenelle, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

In 1757, Bernard de Bavier de Fontenelle, the well-known popularizer of scientific thinking, homme de lettres, and secretary of the Académie des Sciences, died just months shy of his hundredth birthday. In 1758, Volume 10 of Fontenelle's Oeuvres appeared, edited by Fontenelle's chosen literary executor, the abbé Trublet. Along with a number of other works, Volume 10 contains a tragedy dating from 1690 entitled Brutus. This play has had a complex and curious history. The year 1758 marks the first time that Brutus appears under Fontenelle's name, but hardly the last. In 1690, when the play was ...


The Second Woman In The Theater Of Villedieu, Nina Ekstein Apr 1996

The Second Woman In The Theater Of Villedieu, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Best known for her prose fiction, Marie-Catherine Desjardins de Villedieu was also a successful playwright. Her three tragi-comedies (Manlius, Nitétis, and Le Favori), while significantly dissimilar in many respects, share an unusual feature. All three plays foreground the figure of the second woman, second because her role is clearly less central to the play's action than that of another woman character. In each case, the relationships between this second woman and the other characters of the play defy the traditional categories of the seventeenth-century stage. Furthermore, the second woman is not an object of desire. The differences between the ...


A Woman's Tragedy: Catherine Bernard's 'Brutus', Nina Ekstein Jan 1995

A Woman's Tragedy: Catherine Bernard's 'Brutus', Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The theater has traditionally been a male domain. The ranks of authors, directors, and even actors have long been overwhelmingly dominated by men. In Western drama, no women playwrights have gained admittance to the literary canon. While never absolute, the relative exclusion of women from dramatic authorship is even greater when the type of theater in question is tragedy. Carol Gelderman asks bluntly: "Why is it that no woman has ever written a great tragedy?". A number of explanations have been put forward that suggest deep-seated links between men and tragedy: Susan Gilbert and Susan Gubar find that "the structure ...


Les Contextes Du Portrait Chez Bussy-Rabutin: Fiction Et Réalité, Nina Ekstein Jan 1995

Les Contextes Du Portrait Chez Bussy-Rabutin: Fiction Et Réalité, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

L' Histoire amoureuse des Gaules est un de ces romans curieux qui résistent aux catégories conventionnelles. Il trouve difficilement une place dans les courants narratifs du dix-septième siècle. Très court, il a délaissé les normes du roman héroïque, mais sa brièveté n'a rien de classique. L' Histoire amoureuse des Gaules est aussi éloignée que possible de la clarté et de la netteté de La Princesse de Cleèves. Quoiqu'on puisse attribuer au roman de Bussy une source d'inspiration (le Satiricon de Pétrone), on n'arrive pas à Iui trouver de parenté solide chez ses contemporains ni de suite ...


Women's Images Effaced: The Literary Portrait In Seventeenth-Century France, Nina Ekstein Mar 1992

Women's Images Effaced: The Literary Portrait In Seventeenth-Century France, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The literary portrait was extremely popular in France for a number of years during the mid-seventeenth century. With roots in salon society, the portrait became a genre in its own right during this period and was eventually incorporated in numerous other genres such as novels, memoirs, theater, and sermons. In this study, I will consider the close association between the initial vogue of portraiture and women, and examine the advantages and problems posed by the genre for women authors. I will trace the evolution of the literary portrait during the seventeenth century, in particular, the manner in which women were ...


Reference And Resemblance In The Seventeenth-Century Literary Portrait, Nina Ekstein Jan 1992

Reference And Resemblance In The Seventeenth-Century Literary Portrait, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The history of portraiture, in both literature and the graphic arts, reaches back to antiquity. This art was perhaps most highly developed in seventeenth-century France, where the form branched out in numerous directions. In the social sphere, verbal portraiture became the basis of a fashionable salon game. Diplomatic portraits were widely employed in political dealings. The popularity of painted portraits was widespread, and gave rise to such trends as the portrait-miniature and the depiction of individuals as mythological figures. In the domain of literature, the development of portrait forms was especially rich. The use of the portrait in the novel ...


The Portrait On Stage In Molière's Theater, Nina Ekstein Feb 1989

The Portrait On Stage In Molière's Theater, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Literary portraits, while common in a wide variety of genres, are not often thought of in connection with the stage. Discussions of dramaturgy make little mention of portraits, which is perhaps not surprising when one considers that theater is the domain of action, movement, and conflict; the portrait, on the contrary, is primarily descriptive. Verbal portraiture would not seem to be terribly effective in a theatrical context: it is unlikely to advance the action of the play, nor would it lend itself readily to gesture and movement. Theater requires the physical presence of its object, portraiture depends on a certain ...


Le Misanthrope And Tartuffe: Two Critiques Of Verbal Portraiture, Nina Ekstein Jan 1989

Le Misanthrope And Tartuffe: Two Critiques Of Verbal Portraiture, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Portraiture is a deeply rooted and characteristics feature of seventeenth-century France. Verbal portraits abound in the literature of the period. By the time Molière wrote Le Misanthrope and Tartuffe (1664-1669), the «gallant» portrait had already known a great vogue, first with Mlle de Scudéry's Grand Cyrus (1649-53) and Clélie (1654-61), and then in the salons of the nobility and the bourgeoisie, as reflected in the Divers Portraits (1659) and the Recueil de Portraits et Eloges (1659). Adaptations of the verbal portrait would later appear in memoirs, letters, sermons, novels, and «caractères», remaining an important force in literature to the ...


The Functions Of The Récit In L'Ecole Des Femmes, Nina Ekstein Jan 1983

The Functions Of The Récit In L'Ecole Des Femmes, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Since L'Ecole des femmes was first performed in 1662, much mention has been made of the numerous récits in the play. In La Critique de l'Ecole des femmes, Lysidas criticizes the play because "dans cette comédie-ci, il ne se passe point d'actions, et tout consiste en des récits que vient faire Agnès ou Horace.'' Indeed, the entire love intrigue takes place offstage and is reported in the form of récits. Far from being tiresome recitals, these narratives are integrated into the structure of the play on numerous levels.