(Dis)simulation and tromperie in the works of Francois de Rosset.
AuthorKnutson, Milton Bush.
Committee ChairLeibacher, Lise
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation examines the dynamics of deceit, (dis)simulation and dualism in Francois de Rosset's poetry and prose. Both portraying and enacting simulacra, Rosset's texts and paratexts reveal a complex skein of intertextuality and allusion while embodying a critique of semiotic systems, particularly of language itself. His works manifest an obsession with the duality hegemony/marginality, while simultaneously exhibiting a yearning for an impossible unity and an attraction for figures of power. As the baroque yields to the preclassical during Rosset's lifetime (1570-1619), he conforms to Malherbian poetic principles, simulating the new esthetic by rewriting selections from his 1604 XII Beautez ... for publication in his 1618 Delices ..., a poetry anthology illustrating a politics of inclusion/exclusion. The Histoires tragiques exemplify the diabolical in action. As the epistemological shift that Foucault describes takes place, Rosset's works reflect tensions between a near-medieval world-view and an emergent but sporadic rationalism. Numerous intertextual modes create ambiguity, causing strain between elements of popular and high culture, and involving the simulation of an aristocratic narrative persona. Tromperie and transgression become a way of life and death, revealing an interplay of unstable and/or doubtful identities. Rosset's Counter-Reformational discourse dramatizes both crime and punishment. The criminal's execution effects sublimation of rampant violence, enacting a (Girardian) reconciliatory catharsis. While the Histoires tragiques stress the transgressive through sex and gore, the 1617 Histoires des amants volages present a homogeneous vision of courtly life in which inconstancy and duality become more cerebral. The ensuing critique of amorous language extends to all language, which, through iterability or miscuing, inevitably provokes tromperie. The linguistic performative lies dissimulated beneath the story line, often intervening to effect a peripeteia. Simulation here involves acting out conformity to social and linguistic codes, while dissimulation facilitates a private agenda at odds with appearances. Bridging the Renaissance and the seventeenth century, Rosset's works show a preoccupation with the arbitrariness and ambivalence of the sign, thus prefiguring the post-modern questioning of codes.
Degree ProgramFrench and Italian