A Transgenerational, Cryptonymy, and Sociometeric Analysis of Marguerite de Navarre's Heptameron
AuthorBradley, Kathleen Marie
AdvisorZegura, Elizabeth Chesney
Committee ChairZegura, Elizabeth Chesney
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.
AbstractDue to her death in 1549, Marguerite de Navarre never completed her masterwork of seventy-two short stories, the Heptameron, which differs radically in style, subject matter, and approach from her earlier pious and spiritual literary output of theater and poetry. The Heptameron focuses primarily on transgressive human behaviors such as deception, seduction, rape, incest, and corruption. In her waning years after retiring from the court, Marguerite clearly used written expression to examine those unflattering traits of human character which deviated from the spiritual path she had taken and written about throughout her life; but the reasons for this abrupt shift in Marguerite's writing have long puzzled scholars, who often interpret her novellas either as negative exempla that reinforce the morality of her poetry, or as pure entertainment.Thanks to the psychoanalytical theories formulated and developed in the twentieth century by Sigmund Freud (father of psychoanalysis, 1856-1939), J.L. Moreno (creator of psychodrama and sociometry, 1892-1974), Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy (family psychologist, 1920-2007), Anne Ancelin SchÃ¼tzenberger (founder of transgenerational psychoanalysis 1919-) Nicholas Abraham (theorist of cryptonymy, 1919-1975), and Maria Torok (theorist of cryptonymy, 1925-1998) we have new tools that allow us to gain a different perspective on what may have motivated Marguerite to write the Heptameron and why recurring themes (i.e., marital infidelity, imprisonment, and clerical misdeeds) appear throughout her work. When analyzing the Heptameron in the light of these theories, it becomes clear that Marguerite focuses on unresolved family patterns transmitted from one generation to the next. These transgressive themes coincide with traumas that Marguerite herself experienced, which she reflects on, works through, and embeds within her text.Using Boccaccio's Decameron as a model, Marguerite creates intratextual storytellers who discuss, debate, and philosophize about human behaviors. Writing thus enables her to manipulate through fiction the unresolved conflicts and anxieties, both conscious and unconscious, that she was powerless to control in reality. The storytellers express and explore Marguerite's beliefs about life. By reinterpreting these frame discussions and Marguerite's transgressive subject matter in the light of the aforementioned social and psychological theories; I analyze the link between Marguerite's family heritage, her life, and her writing.