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Signs of Reading and the Subject of Love in Stendhal's De l'amour

Signs of Reading and the Subject of Love in Stendhal's De l'amour Abstract: Stendhal's De l'amour (1822) attempts to describe and classify the experience of romantic love. I show that love is a semiotic structure in De l'amour , and that the lover portrayed there becomes a reader through the process of crystallization – the motor of romantic love in Stendhal's analysis. The lover's fundamental dilemma is a negotiation of the semiosis of crystallization. The lack of stable signs of love in this semiotic system creates profound consequences for the lover, revealing the repetitive, mechanistic structure of doubt in his reading, and destabilizing the binary structures upon which he typically relies for securing the subject position. De l'amour does more than portray and analyze the lover's fundemantal dilemma: it enacts it textually, thereby transforming a discourse on love into a crystallizing reading of love. (ANH) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nineteenth Century French Studies University of Nebraska Press

Signs of Reading and the Subject of Love in Stendhal's De l'amour

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
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: Stendhal's De l'amour (1822) attempts to describe and classify the experience of romantic love. I show that love is a semiotic structure in De l'amour , and that the lover portrayed there becomes a reader through the process of crystallization – the motor of romantic love in Stendhal's analysis. The lover's fundamental dilemma is a negotiation of the semiosis of crystallization. The lack of stable signs of love in this semiotic system creates profound consequences for the lover, revealing the repetitive, mechanistic structure of doubt in his reading, and destabilizing the binary structures upon which he typically relies for securing the subject position. De l'amour does more than portray and analyze the lover's fundemantal dilemma: it enacts it textually, thereby transforming a discourse on love into a crystallizing reading of love. (ANH)

Journal

Nineteenth Century French StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Apr 25, 2008

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