Beatrix Pernelle


Agrégée d’anglais,Beatrix LEGERSTEE –PERNELLE est Maître de Conférences à l’ Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis ; elle a soutenu sa thèse de Doctorat Nouveau Régime en Décembre 1993 sur La Représentation dans Moby-Dick , sous la direction de Maurice COUTURIER. Sa recherche se concentre sur la littérature du XIXème siècle américain et elle a publié plusieurs articles sur les auteurs majeurs de cette période.Elle fait actuellement partie du CRHI (EA 2443), et a récemment contribué à traduire en français un recueil de textes fondamentaux de philosophie anglo-saxonne contemporaine.

Articles de l'auteur


Cycnos | Volume 25 n° Spécial - 2006

La Fiction et les Doubles dans Moby-Dick

La question du Double constitue incontestablement un aspect essentiel du texte de Melville. C’est tout d’abord un principe majeur de représentation à l’œuvre dans Moby-Dick, où diverses formes liées à la réduplication gouvernent à la fois relations entre les personnages et structure du texte. Mais l’étude du Double débouche ensuite sur une question d’ordre plus métaphysique : se fondant sur les analyses formulées par Clément Rosset dans Le Réel et son Double, cette étude aborde ainsi le délicat problème de l’ (impossible) duplication du réel . The topic of duplicates and duplication definitely constitutes a main issue in Melville’s text. They are above all a major means of representation in Moby-Dick, a novel in which several forms of reduplication control the interactions among the characters and the general economy of the book. But studying the issue of duplication leads us to broach a much more metaphysical notion : starting from the analyses exposed by Clément Rosset in Le Réel et son Double, this article tackles the difficult problem of the (impossible) duplication of the Real.

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Cycnos | Volume 17 n°2

Avant-propos

“Puisqu’il paraît en plein mois de décembre, cent cinquante ans après la publication de Moby-Dick, ce numéro de Cycnos consacré à Herman Melville pourrait lui aussi proposer au lecteur mélancolique dont l’âme est trop pleine de la bruine et du vent d’un novembre glacial une certaine sorte de périple. Mais qu’on se rassure, les horizons abordés ici se limitent — si l’on peut s’exprimer ainsi — aux textes de l’auteur. Point d’étendues marines donc, non plus que de prairie, mais la notion d’espace constitue bien un axe de réflexion commun aux neuf articles de ce recueil. Cet espace mythique, cher à la tradition littéraire ...”

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La représentation dans Moby-Dick : la lettre et la fin de l’origine

The notion of representation is unquestionably a major aspect of Moby-Dick. Of course this issue is related to the many pictures present in the text, but this question also involves a study of the letter as a main structure in Melville’s novel, an aspect of the book which he article will develop. Following Derrida’s theory about “différance”, the letter in Moby-Dick points to a place in the text which has to remain forever empty since the writing of the fiction constantly defers its outset. Therefore the text itself can only occur afterwards, and is always preceded by a meaning already constructed in and by the logos. This very notion seems to be equated with the White Whale in the book but it can only be a living object, by definition impossible to catch The traditional conception of meaning and representation must then be reconsidered in a universe devoid of any transcendental center of significance and where the concept of truth is also challenged.

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Cycnos | Volume 28 n° Spécial

« En-dehors de la communication de la sentence » : le silence du refus de Billy Budd

On hearing the capital punishment decreed by the drum-head court, Billy Budd responds with an inexplicable passivity and a strategy of silence. More than just a lack of commitment, the remarkable silence and resignation of the young sailor appear as Billy Budd’s preferred form of refusal. Far from expressing the character’s suicidal impulse, this paradoxical attitude reflects Melville’s interest in Schopenhauer, and his thorough reading of the World as Will and Representation. This influence is reflected particularly in the novella’s 26th chapter, where the explicit mention of “euthanasia” is to be taken in its philosophical significance of “negation of the will to live”. With this form of “passive refusal”, a sort of physical and bodily denial, Billy Budd first expresses a rejection of the absurdity of the world; visible to all, his hanging is tantamount to a suspension of the will, recalling the self-denial attitude typical of asceticism. This silence, which might look like self-sacrifice, is primarily a refusal to speak, at least to use a certain kind of speech. By refusing to defend himself, Billy Budd replies by self-denial when faced with a “sentence” whose scope goes beyond the words that compose it: “beyond the communication of the sentence, what took place at this interview was never known”. For the essential lies well beyond the level of surface meaning: essentially, it is something else, an “elsewhere”, an Other. In Melville’s text, the irreducible figure of the “outside” that Levinas calls a “face” appears under the features of Claggart, the master at arms. When the extreme distance, the irreducible other occurs, he then becomes an “outside” or an “other”, a threatening face, with whom no relationship can be established. “Beyond the communication of the sentence points to the “beyond” or “outside” that the Handsome Sailors’s strange aphasia reveals, as well as an irresistible attraction he feels toward the void, now so close but still inaccessible. “Beyond”,” outside”: eventually the sentence communicates nothing, Billy hardly says anything, and stutters before sinking into silence and denial, thus refusing to speak a certain type of speech.

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