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„L’éclat du héros“ – Formen auratischer Repräsentation des Helden im Frankreich des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts zwischen Bild und Text (Mme de Lafayette, Diderot)

Andreas Gelz

Pages 217 - 236

In the 17th and 18th century the term ‘éclat’ (blaze, resplendence) denominates an attribute essential to heroism, a characteristic element of the heroic act as well as a mode of appearence even of the nature of the hero itself. If in the 17th century a totalizing meaning of the word which expressed the historical and spiritual unity under the conditions of absolute power – the royal resplendence illuminating the hero – proved to be predominant, a concrete analysis of that notion in the texts of the 17th and 18th century reveals its multiple ambivalences and paradoxes and those of a certain heroic model. With reference to the example of ‘The Princess de Clèves’ by Mme de Lafayette and Diderot’s ‘Salons’ among others the following article discusses certain contradictions of the ‘heroic resplendence’ – contradictions between text and image, visibilitiy and glare, imitatio and emergence, causality and presence, norm and transgression (the blaze as scandal), heroisation and deheroisation – accompanying the process of historical transformation underlying the image of the hero from the classical period to the age of enlightenment.


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