Events Calendar
Mar 1
18:00 - 19:00
POSTPONED: Centre for Modern European Literature Postgraduate Seminar
Centre for Modern European Literature Postgraduate Seminar
Clemence Ardin, Axel Batt

Please note this event has been postponed due to the weather conditions. We will confirm the new date shortly.

Clémence Ardin (University of Kent), ' "[…] the sons of God saw the daughters of men were beautiful": Fallen Angels and Women in William Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Enoch and Alfred de Vigny's Eloa ou la soeur des anges'

Abstract: In biblical myths, women are often associated with seduction, and therefore, evil. They can be seductresses or seducted, and, at first glance, always have a lesser part compared to men. However, when one observes thoroughly the myths in which they are involved, it appears that they actually are central figures, although often negative ones. The myth of the fallen angel, retelling the origin of evil through figures such as Satan or the Watchers, is not always involving clearly women. However, Romantic authors such as William Blake in his illustrations of the Book of Enoch (c.1824), and Alfred de Vigny in "Eloa ou la soeur des anges" (1824), have decided to include women in their visions of the myth. Indeed, Blake places women at the centre of the Watchers' narrative and Vigny introduces, in his poem, the first female angel of literature. This paper aims to demonstrate that through their representations of women, Blake and Vigny try to convey their considerations on God. According to the two poets, God is not a benevolent and merciful father figure, but rather an indifferent tyrant.

Axel Batt (Lille 3/University of Kent), 'Redefining the Genre of the Novel in Early Twentieth-Century French Literature: Alain Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes'Abstract: When Alain-Fournier publishes his only book in 1913, the novel faces a generic crisis that scholar Michel Raimond describes as "un affaissement de la capacité d'invention" (a decrease of the capacity to invent). Naturalism, which had been given prominence during the 19th century, comes to a dead end as naturalists themselves denounce the excess of the movement and its tendency to be too scientific. In response to that crisis, French men of letters decide to found La Nouvelle Revue Française, a literary magazine which aims at redefining the genre of the novel. It is in this review that the first chapter of Le Grand Meaulnes is published, and as such illustrates the new, and sometimes contradictory, définitions of the "Romanesque" proposed by the NRF. My contention is that, in the midst of the literary crisis, this novel serves as a fictional space where the writer finally manages to rethink the genre by conflating opposite forces: the legacy of Zola's realism and naturalism with a renewed interest for the fictional and unlikely qualities of events; and Thibaudet's definition of the novel made of love stories with Jacques Rivière's definition of the novel made of adventures.


Seminar Room 3,
Cornwallis North West,
University of Kent,
United Kingdom


Open to all,

Contact: Clemence Ardin


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Last Updated: 10/01/2012