Archaos ou les mots étincelants: Langages de l'utopie dans l'oeuvre de Christiane Rochefort.
Committee ChairWittig, Monique
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis research is a comparative study of Archaos ou le Jardin étincelant, a utopia written by Christiane Rochefort in 1972, and the triptych The Garden of Delights, by Yeronimus Bosch. The arts critics do not agree on the interpretation of The Garden of Delights, but most see it as a linear story, leading to the human fall. The central panel in this interpretation is viewed as the representation of all possible carnal sins. The Garden of Delights by Bosch is reinterpreted by Rochefort as a utopian work of art instead of a step toward damnation. Bosch, who is well known for his pictorial wit, represented visual plays on words. Rochefort's plays on words and her dialogic use of language are the object of chapter two and three. Her neologisms, and particularly the invention of new names emerge as symptoms of a subversive utopia. Through a comparison of Archaos with canonized utopias (L'Abbaye de Theleme by Rabelais, Gulliver's Travels by Swift) and with new forms of utopias (Le Livre de la cité des dames by Christine de Pisan, Le Nouveau Monde amoureux, by Fourier, Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, utopias by Ursula Le Guin, Joanna Russ and Marge Piercy), I try to define what is common to the feminist utopias of the 1970's and set them aside from the canonic definition of utopia. The idea of freedom depicted by Fourier in his Harmony was precursory of the directions taken by utopia in the works of feminist writers of the 1970's. Fourier was probably the most feminist of the male utopianists. Rochefort presents us with a society where men act more like women, where they create a more anarchic world. Some critics have said that utopia was dead when in fact its interpretation was moving away from a static definition.
Degree ProgramFrench and Italian