En poursuivant votre navigation sur ce site, vous acceptez l'utilisation de cookies. Ces derniers assurent le bon fonctionnement de nos services. En savoir plus.

jeudi, 29 novembre 2007

La vie entre guillemets

Une fois n'est pas coutume, je vais copier-coller ci-après la totalité du texte étudié ce matin en séminaire de sémiotique (master 1). Il s'agit d'un extrait des (très savoureuses) Prose Fancies de l'injustement sous-estimé et méconnu Richard Le Gallienne (texte publié en 1894). Quel entremêlement délicieux de satire, de parodie, d'auto-ironie, de réflexions l'air de rien sur le phénomène désormais (et depuis quelques lustres) baptisé intertextualité... ("Nous ne faisons que nous entregloser", écrivait Montaigne.)

Du point de vue de la stricte sémiotique, les sujets de réflexion ne manquaient pas : la métaphorisation du signe de ponctuation, notamment, nous a occupés quelque temps... Il faut vraiment que je pousse ma fréquentation de l'oeuvre de Richard Le Gallienne, dont un étudiant (lecteur de ce carnétoile, d'ailleurs) m'a demandé s'il avait des origines françaises. Sans rien en savoir, je n'ai pu que formuler l'hypothèse d'origines huguenotes et d'un exil à l'époque bénie des guerres de religion. This, however, remains a wild guess.

Je m'aperçois aussi qu'il n'a pas du tout été question de l'allusion, dans le second paragraphe, au conte fantastique dans lequel l'ombre prétend être la "substance". Il s'agit, à mon avis, d'une référence au Peter Schlemihl de Chamisso, une pierre encore dans le jardin des Romantiques.


Dans la mesure où il ne reste que trois séances, je pense que nous n'aurons pas le temps de traiter du magnifique sonnet de Gerard Manley Hopkins, God's Grandeur, ce que je déplore. [ Redécouvrant, ces temps-ci, la poésie de Jean Sénac, je suis resté admiratif, lundi dernier, du 14ème sonnet des Leçons d'Edgard ; or, il s'agit d'un ensemble de 25 poèmes d'un niveau plutôt inégal. ]

Mais voici l'extrait promis des Prose Fancies :





As I waited for an omnibus at the corner of Fleet Street the other day, I was the spectator of a curious occurrence. Suddenly there was a scuffle hard by me, and, turning round, I saw a powerful gentlemanly man wrestling with two others in livery, who were evidently intent on arresting him.

These men, I at once perceived, belonged to the detective force of the Incorporated Society of Authors, and were engaged in the capture of a notorious plagiarist. I knew the prisoner well. He had, in fact, pillaged from my own writings; but I was none the less sorry for his plight, to which, I would assure the reader, I was no party. Yet he was, I admit, an egregiously bad case, and my pity is doubtless misplaced sentiment. Like many another, he had begun his career as a quotation and ended as a plagiarism, daring even, in one instance, to imitate that shadow in the fairy-tale which rose up on a sudden one day and declared himself to be the substance and the substance his shadow. Indeed, he had so far succeeded as to make many people question whether or not he was the original and the other man the plagiarism. However, there was no longer to be any doubt of it, for his captors had him fast this time; and, presently, we saw him taken off in a hansom, well secured between strong inverted commas.

This curious circumstance set me reflecting, and, as we trundled along towards Charing Cross, my mind gave birth to sundry sententious reflections.

After all, I thought, that unlucky plagiarist is no worse than most of us: for is it not true that few of us live as conscientiously as we should within our inverted commas? We are far more inclined to live in that author, not ourselves, who makes for originality. It is, of course, difficult, even with the best intentions, to make proper acknowledgment of all our "authorities" - to attach, so to say, the true 'del. et sculp.' to all our little bits of art. There is so much in our lives that we honestly don't know how we came by.

As I reflected in this wise, I was drawn to notice my companions in the omnibus, and lo! there was not an original person amongst us. Yet I looked in vain to see if they wore their inverted commas. Not one of them, believe me, had had the honesty to bring them. Each looked at me unblushingly, as though he were really original, and not a cheap German print of originals I had seen in books and pictures since I could read. I really think that they must have been unaware of their imposture. They could hardly have pretended so successfully.

There was the young dandy just let loose from his band-box, wearing exactly the same face, the same smile, the same neck-tie, holding his stick in exactly the same fashion, talking exactly the same words, with precisely the same accent, as his neighbour, another dandy, and as all the other dandies between the Bank and Hyde Park Corner. Yet he seemed persuaded of his own originality. He evidently felt that there was something individual about him, and apparently relied with confidence on his friend not addressing a third dandy by mistake for him. I hope he had his name safe in his hat.

Looking at these three examples of Nature's love of repeating herself, I said to myself: Somewhere in heaven stands a great stencil, and at each sweep of the cosmic brush a million dandies are born, each one alike as a box of collars. Indeed, I felt that this stencil process had been employed in the manufacture of every single person in that omnibus: two middle-aged matrons, each of whom seemed to think that having given birth to six children was an indisputable claim to originality; two elderly business men to correspond; a young miss carrying music and wearing eye-glasses; and a clergyman discussing stocks with one of the business men; I alone in my corner being, of course, the one occupant for whom Nature had been at the expense of casting a special mould, and at the extravagance of breaking it.

15:55 Publié dans WAW | Lien permanent | Commentaires (1)


pourquoi personne ne commente les billets qui traitent des cours ????
eh bien moi j'ai lu le texte et j'ai bien aimé et je me suis même lancé le défi d'essayer de le traduire (et je vais le faire vraiment)
il n'est peut être pas de mon ancien niveau de deug et demi mais je vais tout de même tenter

Écrit par : aurélie b | dimanche, 02 décembre 2007

Les commentaires sont fermés.