Présence Francophone: Revue internationale de langue et de littérature


Fabienne Pasquet brings to life the tragedy experienced by Jeanne Duval in 19th century Paris. Duval is portrayed as the heir of Makandour, an initiator of the Haitian revolution, and as a seductive young woman celebrated by Baudelaire, who is painted and subsequently erased by Courbet at the poet’s request. Jeanne would then have but one desire: to recapture Baudelaire’s attention and her role of muse. As part of the games that characterized this rediscovered love, Baudelaire writes his poems on Jeanne’s skin with the help of a metallic quill and thus she unconsciously relives a forgotten past where the slave was marked by the master’s words. A semio-narrative approach, combining the theory of Freudian urges with language, will allow for textual analysis that explores the dangerous and potentially lethal void left by a past that remains forever present and also touches upon that which remains unspoken in a society pervaded by racism, where the subject and object become entangled.



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