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Usages du merveilleux dans le Clovis de Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin

Abstract : By studying the use of the Christian supernatural in Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin’s Clovis, and by considering its polemical context (the quarrel about the Christian supernatural, the “Querelle des Visionnaires” and the restructuring of cultural politics), this paper aims to analyse the links between, on the one hand, a radical poetics that breaks with theories of vraisemblance, and on the other, the refusal of any literary autonomy: the idea that the value and legitimacy of literature resides purely in its political utility. In Clovis, divine intervention contributes to the construction of a Christian identity for the French monarchy; an identity which is passed down through the centuries to be embodied in both Clovis and Louis XIV. The frequent use of magic, drawn from chivalric romances, counters the erudite conception of epic poetry, but also gives the text a wider appeal. Such a poetics of the supernatural, then, can be understood as a way of promoting a national literature: a literature that glorifies the nation; that claims to be useful in acting as propaganda; that gathers together a large audience to participate in the act of glorification, and by doing so, plays a role in the construction of the nation itself.
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Marine Roussillon. Usages du merveilleux dans le Clovis de Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin. Francine Wild. Épopée et mémoire nationale au XVIIe siècle, Presses Universitaires de Caen, pp.91-102, 2011, 978-2-84133-373-8. ⟨halshs-01288292⟩



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