Pour une esthetique du texte illustre, 1866--1928

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

David R. Ellison - Committee Chair


The dissertation analyzes illustrated texts from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century including works by Victor Hugo, Stephane Mallarme Guillaume Apollinaire and Andre Breton. The first chapter argues that the unpublished illustrated manuscript of Hugo's Les Travailleurs de la mer (1866) laid the esthetic foundation for the livre d'artiste. Chapter 2 on Mallarme‚ and Edouard Manets L'Apres-midi d'un Faune (1876) re-examines Mallarme's presumed opposition to illustration and demonstrates that visual arts constitute in fact the indispensable mediation between poetry and music, thereby granting the reader a more active role than that inscribed into Mallarmean poetics. Chapter 3 on L'Enchanteur pourrissant (1909) by Apollinaire and Andre Derain analyzes the gendered dynamics of Apollinaire's poetics only to expose the processes of displacement performed on the illustrated page of the book, according to the gendered identities assumed by the reader. The final chapter on Breton's Nadja (1928) argues that photography does not radically change the narrative space but rather exacerbates the authoritative tension between text and image that had been established in Hugo's Les Travailleurs de la mer. These studies disrupt textual meaning through reception-based analyses, calling into question canonical interpretations.


Literature, Romance; Art History

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