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La dialectique du maître et du disciple en littérature : l'exemple du roman fin de siècle (Bourget, Barrès, Gide)

Abstract : This piece of writing questions the way a master-disciple imagination-thought out as a riposte to the decadent spirit and advocating a return to the authority of the man of letters ? holds an important place in the French novel of the years 1890-1900. It goes through this period with books such as Le Disciple by Paul Bourget, L?Ennemi des Lois by Maurice Barrès and Les Nourritures terrestres by Gide. It focuses on the functioning and the implicit of dialectics master/disciple through the manifestations, the mechanisms and the intentions that the latter conveys, both to an avowed audience (the youth) and to a more confidential readership (peer and rival novelists). It shows how the symbolic advantages drew on the representations of the master participates in a strategy that, under the guise of socialization and education, espouses a post-decadent novelist. The latter, in search of legitimacy and of a new novel writing, undertakes the master class writing exercise as the enthronement of the writer into a mentor, the raising of moral standards in the fictional work into a life lesson and the identification of the reader into a disciple, receiver and receptacle of an authorial teaching. In an operational way, this piece of writing analyses the structure of a ?novel-magister/master? that fosters a narrative and a discourse that come from a master source. What?s more, an enunciative and distributive object (here narrative, there extra narrative) sets that structure in the consonant (Bourget), satirical (Barrès) or conflicting (Gide) dividing of an educational fiction that is achieved through the two filters of a fictitious ?mise en scène? and of a pragmatical one ; however, the relationship (redundant, distanced, or paradoxical) changes from one text to another. The ?master function? ? present in the surrounding (of a text) and the narrative of the novel ? develops into the two facets of a mechanism that reflects the two modalities of an educational discursive ? the former, that results from a common but variable textual device, is a matter for the identity of three authors, close and related but belonging to different generations and having a non-simultaneous fame and whose personal expression concerning the ?master figure? remains, to a certain extent, dependent on the identity of the two others. This ?master function? thus constitutes the trajectory of a corpus that illustrates in three stages ? the catechetics novel, the parodic novel, the ?aporia? novel ? the shifting of the guarantee of the responsibility to the one of the originality within or in the margins of a ?socialization novel? given a new treatment by each writer-mentor. Specular by its split organization, mobile according to the contextual evolution end to its instigators, ?the novel-magister/master? indeed espouses and renounces the expectations, the infatuations, and the beliefs of the post-decadent period through the honest (Le Disciple), feigned (L?Ennemi des Lois) or denied (Les Nourritures terrestres) revival of a link between master and disciple used as an epitome of a relationship between the novelist and his reader. The ?master? paradigm instituted by the novel is fundamentally ambivalent merely double (it pretends to stick to the fictitious universe but it simultaneously deals with a social mimetism), it furthermore wants to be useful and moralistic (altruistic and ethical) even if it thinks itself as partisan and critical (polemic and ideological). Beyond this structural and tactical ambivalence, there is a central principle of which this paper shows that it can provide the keys to set new targets : the three forms of mastership under study Indeed have as a common point the issue of the manual, the one of its reception (implicit status of the reader/disciple). Thus, the mastership contract told in the narrative and sealed in its paratextual margins is still worth a reading pact where the good and bad master, the good and bad disciple crystallize. This fictional and pragmatic questioning of the ?mastership? writing ? anxious (Bourget), recreational (Barrès), oblique (Gide) ? is the common theme of this paper that tries to highlight a dialectics of complex and polymorphous mastery, whose intelligibility goes through the symbolic stakes assigned t o the book and its reading
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Frédéric Guidon. La dialectique du maître et du disciple en littérature : l'exemple du roman fin de siècle (Bourget, Barrès, Gide). Littératures. Université Paul Verlaine - Metz, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011METZ002L⟩. ⟨tel-01748814⟩

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