Marisa Verna deposited Des tableaux, des diables et des mythes. Petite digression sur la « métropole de l’univers » on MLA Commons 3 months, 2 weeks ago
This article focuses on a vast category of texts, the so-called “Tableaux de Paris”, or “Paris-Guides”, which contributed in a relevant way to the creation and the vulgarization of the Myth of Paris all along the Nineteenth Century. The relation of these publications with the “high” literature is sometimes ambiguous: several great authors participated to the epic endeavor of displaying Paris’s inhabitants (as Hugo, Balzac, Nerval did), others used this very display to denounce the inanity of the myth itself. In effect, Paris appears in these texts as a “common place”, both in the sense of a geographical and social space, and in the sense of a stereotype, a linguistic and cultural cliché. The dynamics between Paris as a space (a space that is common, inasmuch it can be shared) and Paris as a stereotype (a common knowledge) is our main focus, as we are convinced that in this relation many of the most important literary features of the Nineteenth Century’s French Literature are to be understood.