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Aristocratic Alienation and Byronic Rebellion in Stendhal’s Armance, Le Rose et le vert, and Mina de Vanghel

Authors
  • Rosa, George M.1
  • 1 Lafayette College, Easton, PA, USA , Easton (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neophilologus
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
Volume
103
Issue
2
Pages
189–197
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11061-018-09593-3
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

In this article, I examine some intertwined themes that link Stendhal’s first novel, Armance (1827), to two of his subsequent works of fiction: the incomplete novel Le Rose et le vert, written in 1837, and its precursor, a fragmentary novelette entitled Mina de Vanghel, written in 1829–30. The article demonstrates that the heroes of Armance and Le Rose et le vert—Vicomte Octave de Malivert and Duc Léon de Montenotte, respectively—resemble one another in numerous ways, most notably in their aversion for and Byronic rebellion against the aristocratic elite to which they belong. The article further demonstrates that Lord Byron’s notorious failure in marriage and his consequent reputation in the beau monde for monstrousness are evoked indirectly in Armance and directly in Le Rose et le vert to help explain the fears of and failures in marriage of the heroes of the two novels. My analysis of Octave’s and Léon’s social predicament as alienated aristocrats, of their rebellion against their own class, of their antipathy to high society’s marriage market, of their troubled relations with the women they love, and of the dreams of derogation and escape that they share with those women reveals their deep kinship not only with one another and with Lord Byron (or, rather, with Lord Byron as Stendhal whimsically perceived him), but also with the male and female protagonists of Mina de Vanghel.

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