Theses Doctoral

Vision, Voice and Audience in La Chartreuse de Parme

Katz, Lottie

This dissertation presents a close reading of Stendhal’s La Chartreuse de Parme, analyzing its written style, its themes, and the relationships between its numerous characters and narrative lines. Through a rigorous investigation of these factors, Stendhal’s explicit creative project emerges: the author’s desire to present himself as a storyteller in conversation with his reader.
As storyteller, Stendhal applies himself to show rather than tell. In his narrative method first person often replaces the third; the story unfolds before the reader’s eyes as it would on a stage. The clarity and sobriety of Stendhal’s language becomes a vehicle for the vivid expressivity and dynamic energy that give rise to the Chartreuse’s blatant theatrical presentation.
This analysis unfolds in five chapters and an epilogue, illuminating the foundations of Stendhal’s theatrical style.
I. Caricature: The Rogues’ Gallery: An inquiry into the passages that present Stendhal at his satiric best.
II. Sentence Structure: The stylistic characteristics that underpin theatrical presentation.
III. The Emphasis on Time: Stendhal’s manipulation of narrative time facilitates the forward movement of the action; it is theatrical in the sense that there is a continuous flow of movement.
IV. Architectural Structure: Enables the disparate components of the narrative to fit together, though there are a multitude.
V. Theatrical Prelude: The culmination of Stendhal’s tactics results in an aura of theatricality.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
French and Romance Philology
Thesis Advisors
Ladenson, Elisabeth A.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 28, 2015