Marc Amfreville

Université d’Orléans.
Marc Amfreville est maître de conférences à l’université d’Orléans. Il est l’auteur de plusieurs articles consacrés au dix-neuvième siècle américain (Brown, Poe, Irving, Hawthorne), et d’un ouvrage intitulé Charles Brockden Brown, la part du doute (Belin, 2000, collection “Voix américaines”). Il a également dirigé (en collaboration avec F. Charras) le n° 11 de Profils Américains (Avril 2000), consacré à ce même écrivain.

Articles de l'auteur

Cycnos | Volume 17 n°2

“The Deadly Space Between”, stratégies d’indifférenciation dans Billy Budd, Sailor de H. Melville

Springing from the puzzling nature of Melville’s last novel and the incredibly diverging critical assessments surrounding it, this article analyzes Billy Budd’s method of characterization, its way of resorting to intertextuality and its generic instability. It thus points to a general process of destabilization. After comparing the novel with earlier works by Brown and Hawthorne that similarly stage a sacrifice of the son-figure, this study, drawing from British and American literary criticism, but also from more philosophical sources (Freud, Deleuze), underlines a constant fusion of apparent oppositions. Father/son; good/evil; stammer/eloquence; masculinity/femininity are melted to the point of indistinction in the crucible of what Melville’s narrator evocatively calls: “the deadly space between,” a zone of ambiguity the reader has to cross if he/she wishes to reach real understanding.

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