Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: L'injure au dix-septième siècle (Madame Palatine, Antoine Furetière, Evariste Gherardi)
Authors: Beytelmann, Sarah
Advisors: Schröder, Volker
Contributors: French and Italian Department
Keywords: Badinage
Subjects: Modern language
French literature
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation examines the cultural connotations, semantics, and rhetorical and stylistic use of insults in three different literary contexts. The first chapter focuses on the correspondence of Elisabeth-Charlotte von der Pfalz, Louis XIV’s sister-in-law. She began writing in 1672, date of her arrival in France from her native Heidelberg, and continued until her death in 1722. The second chapter focuses on the lexicographic treatment of insults in Antoine Furetière’s Dictionnaire universel, posthumously edited by Pierre Bayle and published in Rotterdam. It centers on the rhetorical use of insults in the context of the quarrel that opposed Furetière to the members of the Académie Française following the publication, in 1684, of Furetière’s Essai d’un dictionnaire universel, and his exclusion from the circle of the “Immortals,” to which he had been elected in 1662. The third chapter sheds light on the use of insults in the French repertoire of the Comédie-Italienne, published by the last Harlequin of the troupe, Evariste Gherardi, in his edition of the Théâtre italien. Published in six volumes between 1694 and 1700, Le Théâtre italien is a collection of the French plays performed at the Hôtel de Bourgogne from 1682 until the troupe’s exile, which followed the king’s order of their eviction from the kingdom in 1697. In the context in which each of these authors wrote, insults were arguably a deviant form of language, culturally associated with the subversive cultural movement of libertinage and the historical episode of the Frondes. These abuses were condemned, in all three cases, by the king, the critics, and the censors. My dissertation seeks to nuance the construction of these authors’ speech as politically, religiously, or culturally transgressive in their resort to insults. I argue that obscenities and insults displayed a sense of playfulness, belonging to a culture of sociability in which hostility was to be repressed or sublimated in language. Finally, I contextualize the use of written insults as part of scriptural projects in which the authors in question sought to assert their mastery of discourse and to restore their image after they had been excluded, censored, or marginalized publicly.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: fr
Appears in Collections:French and Italian

Files in This Item:
This content is embargoed until 2020-12-13. For more information contact the Mudd Manuscript Library.

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.