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"Le Charbon ardent" in Balzac's La Recherche de l'Absolu and "Des artistes"

"Le Charbon ardent" in Balzac's La Recherche de l'Absolu and "Des artistes" Abstract: Honoré de Balzac's manipulation of the biblical term charbon ardent in his 1830 articleentitled "Des artistes" and in his 1834 novel La Recherche de l'Absolu exposes his effortsto redefine the artist. The "live coal" marks the moment of poetic inspiration in "Desartistes" and, in La Recherche de l'Absolu , is applied to the transfer of knowledge fromone alchemist to another. The biblical image of the coal, functioning both metaphorically and literally, thus applied to the artist and to the alchemist, echoes the academicdefinition of the artist. The Dictionnaire de l'Académie française included the alchemistin its definition of the term up through the fifth edition (1798), although thisreference is effaced by the sixth edition (1835). Textual analysis of the application of thebiblical image in these two texts demonstrates how Balzac intends to redefine the artistvia the process of creation through decomposition. (RFU) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nineteenth Century French Studies University of Nebraska Press

"Le Charbon ardent" in Balzac's La Recherche de l'Absolu and "Des artistes"

Nineteenth Century French Studies , Volume 36 (2) – Apr 25, 2008

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
1536-0172
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Abstract

Abstract: Honoré de Balzac's manipulation of the biblical term charbon ardent in his 1830 articleentitled "Des artistes" and in his 1834 novel La Recherche de l'Absolu exposes his effortsto redefine the artist. The "live coal" marks the moment of poetic inspiration in "Desartistes" and, in La Recherche de l'Absolu , is applied to the transfer of knowledge fromone alchemist to another. The biblical image of the coal, functioning both metaphorically and literally, thus applied to the artist and to the alchemist, echoes the academicdefinition of the artist. The Dictionnaire de l'Académie française included the alchemistin its definition of the term up through the fifth edition (1798), although thisreference is effaced by the sixth edition (1835). Textual analysis of the application of thebiblical image in these two texts demonstrates how Balzac intends to redefine the artistvia the process of creation through decomposition. (RFU)

Journal

Nineteenth Century French StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Apr 25, 2008

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