Devi, bandit aux yeux de fille (FLAMMARION JEUN) (French Edition)

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Byron, Scott, Lewis and Maturin under-went Radcliffe's influence as, through them, as w e l l as d i r -e c t l y , so did Balzac. Not only i n physique and mood i s Vautrin's debt to the Romantic l i t e r a r y movement v i s i b l e , but also i n the various types of rebels and heroes that dom-"2. Character Types The philosophy behind t h i s new breed of v i l l a i n o u s rebel i s best expressed by the following: 11 Ces miserables brigands, l'objet du degout et de l'horreur des nations, en aeviendront les a r b i t r e s et les e"chafauds se changeront en autels.

Their mission then, i s to tear down the old, making way for a new society based on greater equality. From the mere phys-i c a l a t t r i b u t e s , l e t us turn to study the d i f f e r e n t strains of rebels who chose t h i s passive or active destruction as t h e i r mission.

The character Conrad, from The Corsair, , l i e s i n the second category and best exemplifies Byron's rebel.

Depicted as bloody i n crime and v i c e , shunned and feared, alone and mysterious, he i s an e n t i r e l y s i n i s t e r and overpowering figure. He valued the fear which he i n s p i r -ed above everything except his love for Medora, upon whose 4. Honore" de Balzac, Histoire des Treize tome x i i i , preface, pp. Conrad chooses the former i n opposition to the quiet desperation of Byron's other famous rebel, Manfred. Vautrin too, having weighed the advantages of active and passive r e v o l t , as witnessed i n Le Pere Goriot, chooses the path of anarchy, crime and v i c e.

The s o c i a l m i s f i t i s best exemplified by Karl Moor, the leader of S c h i l l e r ' s Me Rauber, ,,Moor i s a fusion of the influence of Rousseau; the idea that natural man, kind and harmless, can be changed by society into a vicious c r i m i n a l. Moor i s presented as the i d e a l youth i n search of l i b e r t y and at war with tyranny, yet imbued with the tender feelings of love and melancholy.

Never able to control the disorder of his w i l l and his actions, his e x i s t -ence i s marred by murder and i n j u s t i c e. By his defiance of God and man, he destroys the world of j u s t i c e and morality which he so much wanted to save, and for which reason he became an avenger of a l l violence and i n j u s t i c e. In compar-ison with Vautrin, Balzac barely dwells on the l a t t e r ' s o r i g i n a l..

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Moor's tender feelings of love and his harsh defiance of God, j u s t i c e and morality. Vautrin, however, i s stronger i n pur-pose than Moor and i s not beset by the same c o n f l i c t s of w i l l and action. In addition to the type of rebel who cannot content himself to l i v e conventionally i n a society which refuses to recognize h i s i n d i v i d u a l i t y , there i s the type who, instead of r i s i n g i n open revolt against society,,prefers to with-draw from i t and lead a l i f e tormented by a deep melancholy and f i l l e d with sighs of ennui.

Characters of t h i s type are the dreamers as opposed to men of action. They either commit suicide or end t h e i r days i n a t y p i c a l l y romantic, exotic country, where they f e e l akin to nature, away from the corrupting influences of c i v i l i z a t i o n. Certain-l y Vautrin exhibited s i m i l a r dreams of escape to i d e a l i s t i c plantations i n America as revealed i n Le Pere Goriot.

Much more than documents.

As w e l l as active rebels and melancholic m i s f i t s , the Romantic movement also produced epic heroes i n an epic l i t e r -ature preoccupied with the theme of revolt and of man and his destiny. Satan i s a being, proud of his r e b e l l i o n , who, even though defeated, refuses to repent.

Werblowsky sees Satan i n part: " Praz also draws a p a r a l l e l between the physical features of Milton's "Fallen Angel" and the l a t e r Romantic rebels. Satan personifies the sadness, death, d i a b o l i c a l charm and s i n i s t e r a i r of the ''sublime c r i m i n a l " who was to appear at the end of the eighteenth century. Alongside theRomantic rebel and the melancholic hero then, there existed the h e r o - v i l l a i n. He appears as the epitome of a l l that i s e v i l and i s i n s t i l l e d with an eerie, supernatural power.

The q u a l i t i e s which comprise i n part the Romantic rebel also apply to the v i l l a i n of the gothic nove1: " Satan, Vautrin and, as we s h a l l see, Melmoth and Ferragus share the v i l l a i n o u s q u a l i t i e s mentioned above.

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Although his character i s presented larger than l i f e , i t s negative side i s accentuated i n order for 6. Praz, Op. He i s a symbol of moral r e b e l l i o n i n an orthodox society, The character of the h e r o - v i l l a i n who was to emerge, af t e r much painful t r i a l and error, i n Vautrin, was preceded, i n Balzac's own writings, by Ferragus. In , while keeping within the l i m i t s of the roman noir l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n , Bal-zac created, i n his Histoire des Treize, Ferragus.

He created a secret society of adventurers and nobles, " Like Ferragus, 8. Balzac was learning to synthesize the Romantic influence with his own c r e a t i v i t y : the l i t e r a r y precedent had been set and one t h i r d of Vautrin 1s make-up determined.

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The rest of him was to be drawn from Balzac's creative genius and the re a l world where Balzac could exercise his talents i n a bare-l y explored area: the underworld. Two contemporaries of Balzac's who could have served as models for his character are Francois Vidocq and Pierre Coignard. Both were con-victed v i l l a i n s who turned t h e i r knowledge of the criminal world to the benefit of society and rose to fame i n the police force. A comparison of l i f e patterns and physical appearances with Vautrin's w i l l show how much Balzac owed his i n s p i r a t i o n to them.

The conclusive proof that Balzac did use r e a l l i f e models i s i n a l e t t e r to Hippolyte C a s t i l l e , dated October 11, In i t , Balzac alluded to his creation of Vautrin: " Ce personnage qui repre'sente l a corruption, le bagne, le mal s o c i a l dans, toute son horreur, n'a r i e n de gigantesque. Je puis vous assurer que le module existe, q u ' i l est d'une epouvantable grandeur et q u ' i l a trouve' sa place dans le monde de notre temps. Cet homme e t a i t tout ce qu'e'tait Vautrin, moins l a passion que je l u i a i pretee.


From Francois Vidocq then, the elusive and by now legendary convict who became police commissioner and who published his Me'moires i n , Balzac borrowed the bodily t r a i t s and some occurences.. Vidocq was born at Arras i n He stole money from his father and ran away from home, hoping to go to America.

He took to the roads i n France, however, and for several years t r a v e l l e d with a circus He joined, then deserted, the French army. He was condemned by army courts for forgery and sent to Brest on an eighteen-year sentence of forced labour. Stubborn and phy s i c a l l y stron he escaped threeeor fmir times, only to be recaptured and put into irons. In , he offered his services to Baron Pasquier i n the police department. Vidocq f e l t that as he had personal knowledge of the criminal way of l i f e , he could' be invaluable i n tracking down criminals.

The proposition appealed to Pasquier who recognized genius i n Vidocq, and he agreed to the plan, on condition that Vidocq spend two years t r a i n i n g with the force to teach the jargon of the criminal world. Vidocq became chief of the 'police de l a surete'. In he helped produce his Mjmoires. A b r i e f outline of Vautrin's l i f e and criminal record follows, p a r a l l e l i n g that of Vidocq and l a t e r , Coignard.

Vautrin was born Jacques C o l l i n i n , and was brought up by his aunt, Jacqueline C o l l i n , who had him educated by the Fathers of the Oratory. After his education was completed, she put him to work i n a bank, where he was charged with a forgery committed by his f r i e n d , Franchessini. He escaped from prison while serving the five-year term and went to Paris as Vautrin.

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From , he stayed at the 'Pension Vauquer', where he was arrested by Bibi-Lupin. Sent to Rochefort, Vautrin l o s t l i t t l e time i n making h i s escape and went to Spain. In Spain, he k i l l e d the Abbe Carlos Herrera, took on his i d e n t i t y , and returned to Paris. Later, i n his role of Vautrin, he became assistant to Bibi-Lupin, and i n , he succeeded him as the head of the 'police de l a surest!

Both are men who began i n opposition to the law and worked against i t and who f i n a l l y became recon-c i l e d with the law and worked for i t , using t h e i r experiences to help law conquer the very malevolence which they once personified.

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However, though the Me'moires of Vidocq caused somewhat of a sensation i n , he was not the only con-v i c t who had become police chief. Pierre Coignard's adven-tures were quite s i m i l a r , as we s h a l l see. Coignard Coignard, born i n Toulon i n , was imprisoned for robbery and, a f t e r his escape, went to Spain where he took the name of Count Saint-Helene. After f i g h t i n g i n the Spani s h army, he joined the French army i n which he rose to Major. He was decorated with the Cross of Saint Louis and the Legion of Honour i n , and was named commander of the Paris pol-i c e.

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He was betrayed by one of his former prison mates and sent to prison i n Toulon where he died. Resemblances i n l i f e patterns are very strong between the two Frenchmen and Vautrin.

I t i s possible to recognize t h e i r common bod-i l y t r a i t s that incorporate and develop some of the prom-inent features of Vautrin's l i t e r a r y predecessors. Le'on Gozlan described Vidocq as he appeared i n as: " Gozlan continued his description by drawing attention to Vidocq's massive chest and his hand- f e l i n e , yet authori-t a t i v e , preventing Gozlan from getting a f u l l view of his face.

He seemed to express an a i r of power and a strong w i l l i n his whole being. The most s t r i k i n g feature of Vautrin are his eyes. He gave a fe e l i n g of resolution and imparted an unesy sensation i n a glance that seemed to,penetrate the inner being of whom-soever he beheld. He was not to be crossed, no matter how pleasant or f r i e n d l y he appeared to be.

He made i t his business to know the a f f a i r s of everyone around him, although no one knew anything about his personal l i f e.