- 2,99 €
Gaid Girard, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: une ecriture fantastique. Paris: Honore Champion, 2005. 459 pages. EUR 75.00 (hardback). This archaeology of Sheridan Le Fanu's shorter fiction mobilizes close textual reading to establish its argument. Our reading experience is characterized by bursts of engagement with particular texts which increase in intensity as we go on. Although the author describes her search for Le Fanu's aesthetic as a guided stroll ('une deambulation attentive', p.25),--and, indeed, thankfully, displays the flaneur's free attention to details that do not fit with pre-established schemes--the eye is always, as she says, on the 'ecriture' of the book's subtitle, the writing itself, and Le Fanu's self-consciousness as a writer is placed in the forefront of this account from the outset. A strong awareness of the European folktale tradition makes for fresh and interesting orientations within the oeuvre itself--for example, the mutual dreams of the sisters Una and Alice in 'Ultor de Lacey' are compared (p.95) with the use of this Irish folktale motif in 'Carmilla' and there are cross-references to be picked up elsewhere, for example, to the way Rachel and Dorcas mirror each other in The Wyvern Mystery and the relation between Carmilla and Mademoiselle de Barras in 'The Evil Guest' is also mentioned in passing. These are fruitful connections for any reader of Le Fanu, including the beginner, and on this level the book constantly rewards.