The Libertine’s Nemesis: The Prude in 'Clarissa' and the Roman libertin

Fowler, James (2011) The Libertine’s Nemesis: The Prude in 'Clarissa' and the Roman libertin. Legenda, Oxford, UK, 200 pp. ISBN 9781907625015. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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What is the role of the prude in the roman libertin? James Fowler argues that in the most famous novels of the genre (by Richardson, Crébillon fils, Laclos and Sade) the prude is not the libertine’s victim but an equal and opposite force working against him, and that ultimately she brings retribution for his social, erotic and philosophical presumption. In a word, she is his Nemesis. He is vulnerable to her power because of the ambivalence he feels towards her; she is his ideological enemy, but also his ideal object. Moreover, the libertine succumbs to an involuntary nostalgia for the values of the Seventeenth Century, which the prude continues to embody through the age of Enlightenment. In Crébillon fils and Richardson, the encounter between libertine and prude is played out as a skirmish or duel between two individuals. In Laclos and Sade, the presence of female libertines (the Marquise de Merteuil and Juliette) allows that encounter to be reenacted within a murderous triangle.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > French
Depositing User: Fiona Godfrey
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2012 13:21
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2014 10:40
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