The Infernal Machine by Jean Cocteau (Book Analysis)
Crime is dealt with leniently by the State, and conditions in prison are so comfortable that they lead to uncontrollable recidivism. Upon release, Plastic goes to work at a State-run Euthanasia Centre overcrowded with people eagerly waiting in line to end their lives. The reader has to become actively involved in the act of reading to overcome the outrage he may feel when discovering the absurdities of a plot pushed to the extreme. The artistic principles and aesthetic reception defined by the author orientate the act of reading.
The novella becomes an aestheticised literary object that will be used as a backdrop for social satire.
In Love Among the Ruinshyperbole and metonymy are often used to satirise the Labour Party under Bevan and Beveridge who are caricatured by Waugh in the novella Waugh Satiric tools are implemented by Waugh to express this contrast as he uses structural motives like the circle and counterpoint, as well as characterization.
The religious or political cracks denounced by the author in the real world are mended through unifying circularity and repaired continuity but the fragile system of order thus created is permanently under threat. For example, the marmoreal beauty of Forest Lawn in The Loved One echoes the cover of Love Among the Ruins : a pictorial link is established between the novels.
Canova et E. The presence of ancient ruins seems to signal the weakening of the intellect by ephemeral pleasures. There are still rivers to drown in, trains. It is also a contrapuntal representation of London as a symbol of modern vacuity, a vampire-city that absorbs the energy of its inhabitants.
His characters circulate and evolve from one work to the other, eluding any attempt to strictly classify them.
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They have to be accepted in their diversity, metamorphosis, movement, as true embodiments of a fast changing world. In a way, he is just the right product of the age and the social milieu that created him, a warped paradisiacal prison shimmering under the white moon of a warm Tennysonian night. One day, she suddenly disappears, returning with a rubber jaw replacing the former beard that had made Plastic fall in love with her.
Distraught, he sets his prison on fire and, uncaught, he absurdly becomes a successfully rehabilitated inmate instead of being condemned.
It is replaced by an unnatural mask which is as hideous as the smirking face given to Frank Hinsley at Whispering Glades in The Loved One. The Tennysonian dream was just a broken promise, there is no chivalry in Satellite City and it only seems just right that the man it created should be the one that destroys it, burning a past that is not able to rise, Phoenix-like, from its ashes.
When outrage triggers laughing or horror or the horror of laughing at something so outrageousthe reader recovers objective judgment, freedom and independence from the hero. It proved to be his cigarette lighter, a most uncertain apparatus.
He marries the bland Miss Flower and the hymen will be literally consumed by his pyromaniac madness. Dance and art are her sole reasons for living. Not only did the operation go wrong but she also got pregnant.
Her sudden disappearance to get rid of her baby shows her refusal to be artistically, sentimentally and socially alienated.
She is a parodic Christ-like figure, a Christ deprived of his beard also an ambiguous symbol of virility for a gracious dancer. Quotes, allusions, hypotexts are products or traces of a declining culture: they commemorate it, make it survive and circulate from one book to the other.
However, these borrowings also underline the way modern barbarism steals from tradition and distorts it. The fictitious world seems to look like the real world, but time gaps underline barbarism.
The text also unchains the reader from these contexts by projecting him onto the fictional scene. Fiction cathartically frees the 2 rides closed at alton towers defence and places him in a state of aesthetic freedom and judgment Jauss These principles and aesthetic criteria stand erect against modern experiments that undermine the foundations of the English pictorial tradition.
According to Waugh the eye is the main organ that allows man to apprehend the world and judge of the aesthetic quality of a work of art. Sight is a civilised medium as opposed to hearing, a corrupted sense that can only allow us to perceive the thunderous disorder of the world. The novelist argues in favour of balanced proportions inspired from antique values.
Even in parody, measure, harmony and balance are preserved in order to renew with tradition. They appear and disappear as the pages are turned, and convey a particular cadenza to the eye movement, de-centring the message and morale of the novella.
Satire, as a way of prospection and introspection, appears in the gap between the classical feature of the illustrations and the futuristic temporality of the novella. In Love Among the Ruinsthe profusion of literary and artistic allusions as well as the abundance of historical and religious references ironically counterpoint the idea of a decadent culture and the destruction of literary tradition. One of them could have been a Pre-Raphaelite painting by Edward Burne-Jones because it bears the same title as the novella, and because Waugh was fuelled with admiration for Pre-Raphaelite works which embodied a world wiped out of Satellite City and the modern age.
In this work, the image is a source of textual creation as well as a cause of textual interruption in some kind of arrêt sur imagea frozen image which comes to life as we flip through the pages, and which creates an infinite dialogue between the picture and the word.
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Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh (Book Analysis)
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