What remains a mystery for so long is why he wants to buy the dead souls, the deceased serfs, who will retain a fictive life till the next census in the government audits. The reason for buying them is deliberately left in obscurity, because, in the mere legal fiction of their existence, they constitute the central reflexivity of the plot: There's no logic to dead souls; how, then, can one buy up dead souls? Where would you ever dig up a fool big enough to buy them? And what sort of fairy gold would he use to buy them?
And to what end, for what business, could one utilize these dead souls? All this is simply the Devil riding on a fiddle- stick, so much moonshine, stuff and nonsense, pigeon milk and horse feathers! The fraud, the pivotal situation of the plot, turns this world inside out, as do the expanding metaphors, to show the estates of the town in all their elusive, swarming concreteness. Their owners in all their individuated round- ness change before our very eyes, like the metaphors, as Chichikov makes them his fictive proposition.
Since souls have no value, each betrays the secret constellations of his psyche by his reaction to this fiction. The generous, modest, anxious Manilov, at first so shocked and deferential toward the dead that he cannot understand the request, gives them gladly, even paying for the title deeds, while the fussy widow Korobochka, with her clumsy slyness, bargains Chichikov up to fifteen roubles for the lot and tries to sell him honey, grain, and feathers into the bargain. Nozdrev, at first almost ruthlessly, insists on gam- bling for the souls, cheats at checkers, and is about to order his bullies to thrash Chichikov when a police officer arrives to arrest him for a brutality.
Where the tough, suave So- bakevitch anticipates the proposal and exacts the highest price, two and a half roubles a head, Plushkin, whom he has maligned as a miser, rubs his hands with glee at the opportunity to dump the "dead weight" from his tax rolls. They are individuated as well, later, in their reactions to the police inspector's investigation of Chichikov's activities; Korobochka imperccptively tells all, Sobakevitch takes Machiavellian umbrage and goes on vacation, etc.
Their lists are as different as the compilers: The muzhiks belonging to Korobochka had, almost to a man, supplemental qualifi- cations and nicknames. Plushkin's memorandum was dis- tinguished by its conciseness of phrase: Sobake- vitch's list struck one by its unusual fullness and particular- ization: Knows his Work and doesn't touch spirits. Hell and damnation and the bottomless pit a wench! How did she ever get shuffled in here? That So- bakevitch is a scoundrel; even in such a thing he had to take me in! Perhaps because men are stronger and handier than women; but these are all dead!
What makes Gogol's book weirder is the playful reflexivity of his metaphors and style and the related partial reflexivity of his central situation. Gogol burned the rest of what he had finished of his novel in a fit of touchingly fanatic zeal. In a sense, though, it could go on indefinitely, the central conception could make it theoretically interminable. He buys an estate and settles for a long moment. Chichikov's plot, by the very fact of its being an endless repetition with variation, has no design; it is all process.
The lightness of the reflexivity, in its im- provisatory tone, allows Gogol to shift it at will from the dead souls' confidence tour to life on a purchased estate, then to prison where Chichikov has been sent for forging a will. History has made it conclude, if fittingly, only tenta- tively, on the prince's unfinished panegyric of Russia, ironic in Gogol's context, though not in the mouth of the prince.
A perhaps endless fictive world has been stopped in process; but its character has been generated by a reflexivity of meta- phor and plot, a world as different in its weirdness from the preternaturally cluttered one of Tristram Shandy as Gogol's use of reflexivity differed from that of the author he admired. For his chief observer, Edouard, to be writing the same novel has no relation other than a wilfully stated one to the imagina- tive center of Gide's novel.
For the rest, Les Faux Mon- nayeurs is an excellently plotted fiction which explores the psychological genesis of moral falsity in the illegitimacy of Bernard and Boris; the adulterate pregnancy of Laura; the self-destructiveness of Vincent and Lady Griffiths; the lit- erary adventurism of Olivier, Edouard, and the Comte de Passavant. The moral lives of all these people and others are acutely presented through incisive incident and portraiture, and the counterfeit money serves neatly, if somewhat fac- titiously, dramatically as a ficelle binding them together and pictorially as a metaphor for moral falseness.
But counterfeiting, literal and figurative, calls for re- flexivity in a novel only by a logical trick. Even the appear- ance of an angel at a moment of Bernard's contrition, mi- raculously achieving his conversion from the falseness of his past, seems validly expressive of the moral life of the novel, and therefore legitimately borrowed from Dostoevsky its counterpart being Ivan Karamazov's discourse with the devil. What, after the very extremism of Bernard's lying past, could the miracle of contrition conjure up in suffi- ciently strong opposition to it but an angel?
Bernard's de- cision almost demands one. Yet to have the monstrously jejune speculations of Edouard's journal follow on the hor- ror of Boris' suicide is to cap a realized fictive finality with a bungling anticlimax. Forster's critical discernment Aspects of the Novel has guided us in separating the good from the bad in Gide's novel. But his reason is the wrong one: And what results when you try to lay a paraboloid, I cannot conceive perhaps the death of the hen.
The feeling of fate Gide achieves now and then by brusque transitions to the third person of an overseeing author, lending a piquancy to the style, needs not such postiche Pirandello mechanisms. For Gide's theme was not Pirandello's infinitely self-reflect- ing mirrors, though he declared it to be that, but the analysis of a kind of moral evil. It deals with Mmc. Sophroniska's "questions de psychologic et a ce qui pent eclairer d'un jour nouveau 1'ame humaine," and not with Edouard's grandiose "lutte cntre les faits proposes par la realite et la realite ideale," or his "rivalite du monde reel et de la re- presentation que nous nous en faisons.
Gide struggled over- ambitiously to turn his sharp minor moralist's gift into the equipment of a major novelist, but it takes a Sterne or a Gogol to present a world of fiction with breadth and temper sweeping enough to include a reflexivity beyond the scope of Paludes, the acute jeu d'csprit in which Gide fictional- izes on a smaller scale the problems of the novelist. Gide, who calls Les Faux Mown ay ems his first novel, had at least the good sense to confine himself to the recit till he could take on a more ambitious, and as it turned out slightly too ambitious, form.
Yet never in his career as a writer does he stop floundering to add the impossible cubit to his stature; he goes from the calculated limitations of a journal like the Goncourts' to the magic of myth in Thesee. The last, to be sure, matches the modest success of UEcole des Femmes, Les Nourritures Terrestres, and others, and it is to Gide's credit that in the over-blown partial failure, Les Faux Monnayeurs, he can surpass his smaller works.
If Gide is imperfect, he is to the extent of his imper- fection amateur rather than professional, and there is an REFLEXIVE ATTITUDES 31 irony of history in the fact that as an editor he rejected im- pulsively, almost compulsively, on the grounds of ama- teurism, the manuscript of the most thoroughly professional novelist of his, perhaps of any, literary generation. There is a further irony that Proust could, as Gide could not, put reflexivity to consummate imaginative use.
In Proust's novel, the identity of Marcel I of the narrator converges at the end with the identity of Proust I of the author. The book is about the man who is writing the book about the man who is writing the book. For Proust, reflexivity becomes thematic first through perspective; for Sterne through narrative time; for Gogol through plot and metaphor. These uses of reflexivity, as well as the equally distinct ones of Cervantes, Fielding, and others, while they are as unique as the novels where they occur, have in common a revelation of a sense about events which is germane to fiction in general.
A make-believe sequence of happenings that ring true calls itself make- believe so as to call into play felt qualities of both appear- ance and reality. Irony in poetry, indeed, when it has people in view, just by setting up an interaction of appearance and reality, makes its characters look much like those in novels. Juvenal's unscrupulous metropolitans, Pope's narcissistic socialites, Laforgue's starry-eyed so- phistic languishers, could appear in fiction with minimum adjustment.
The forms of irony in the novel are various. One form is the irony of statement. Norris soon found them out," implies many contrasts between appearances and realities. True, the Grants "they" did have faults, but not of the sort Mrs. Norris, the most insensitive person in the novel, could appreciate. Norris considers a fault, extravagance about the table, has a relation, though unperceived by her, to the fault, the gluttony, of the Grants.
They seek affection through some other means than the sole Austenian one of enlightened altruism, as does the greedy Mrs. The ironies of Jane Austen's statement touch on contrasts between Mrs. Norris' igno- rance and her self -imputed wisdom, between Mrs. Norris and the Grants, between Mrs. Norris' initial hostility and subsequent respectfulness towards the Grants, between Dr.
Grant's incapacities as a clergyman and Edmund's later capacity when appointed to the same living. The complexities, the ironies of the statement, rival the complexities and ironies of the whole novel. A second form, dramatic irony, exhibits contrasts be- tween a real state of affairs and the knowledge of some character who cannot see beyond appearances. Norris is ignorant of reality throughout Mansfield Park, and her ignorance ironically both characterizes her and furthers the plot by incapacitating her; she has not the discernment to be as meddlesome as she would like though enough to check Fanny at many points.
Both Fanny and Edmund are ignorant of the real state of their hearts till the end of the novel, and this ignorance is a dramatic irony, a con- trast between what is thought real and what is actually true. The irony, perpetuated throughout the drama of the plot, reveals the delicacy and the crucial importance of the knowledge they share, and its identity with their love for each other.
Also in Sense and Sensibility , Pride and Preju- dice, Emma, and Persuasion, the protagonist's crucial ig- norance about the real nature of others, and preeminently of the suitor, is pivotal to the plot's contrivance of appear- ances. A third kind of irony, distinguishable from both irony of statement and dramatic irony, is what we may call irony of event.
At the beginning of La Chartreuse de Parme the political prisoners from an infamous prison are released to join a procession celebrating Marengo: The irony is one of con- trast between two events designated in the plot, here be- tween the past condemnation and present praise of the prisoners by the citizens of Milan; an irony of event with overtones of worldly wisdom, and of otherworldly wisdom in the hidden parallel to the Crucifixion and the Resur- rection, a parallel the clerical subject and title of the novel invite us to draw as only one term of its irony, however.
The irony of this event generates another irony of event: This ironic contrast, in turn, through its surprise and rapidity suggests what in fact will happen, that the caprice of fortune will cause still another ironic reversal. Stendhal's narrative is a vast tissue of such interrelated ironies of event. Always irony contrasts appearance with reality: Jane Austen's novels posit a central irony between social status, a kind of appearance, and love, a kind of reality, between egoism and altruism. Each of her plots reconciles the contrast, and it gets into her diction as an interplay between terms of precision and terms of what we shall call "resonance.
Thus, one's in- dependence is purchased; one is rendered happy or unhappy; one is on terms, friendly or unfriendly, with others. Elliot has "nothing to gam by being on terms with Sir Walter," but Lady Russell is convinced that he hopes "to gain Anne" even though Anne cannot "know herself to be so highly rated"'' We are asked to "take all the charms and perfections of Edward's wife upon credit" and "to judge of the general credit due"" Captain Wentworth thought that he had earned "every blessing.
Yet for her perceptive heroines, an estate of some substance is only the substratum on which inclination is built. I Icr villains are, like Frank Willoughby, Lucy Stcele, and Mary Crawford, those who are exclusively interested in the fortunes to be had througli courtship, or in egoistical physical pleasure, like Mr. Collins and Maria Bertram. In her more charitable characters perception rises from a ten- sion between acknowledging the reality of money and dis- covering the reality of love.
Elinor in Sense and Sensibility equals or exceeds her sister Marianne in sensibility, as well as in sense, though she has the sense not to be so impulsive and vocal about it; her sensibility is the greater for her sense, not the less. Money without love is hard, insensitive, while love without money is not sensible. In Jane Austen's diction, consequently, we find, not only terms for sense, the "metaphors of the counting house," but also terms for sensibility.
Often these terms of resonance describe praise- worthy mental attitudes, like "sensibility" itself, a term of praise when counterbalanced by "sense. The italics are Schorer's. Anne was tenderness itself, and she had the full worth of it in Captain Wentworth's affection.
His profession was all that could ever make her friends wish that tenderness less; the dread of a future war all that could dim her sunshine. She gloried in being a sailor's wife, but she must pay the tax of quick alarm for belonging to that profession which is, if possible, more distinguished in its domestic virtues than in its national importance. Here, to be sure, we have "worth," and "pay the tax. Not only in this passage but throughout Jane Austen's novels, these terms of resonance, or of illumination, coun- terbalance the "metaphors of the counting house" to ex- press in the style the tensions which allow the novels to present their meaning of sociable loving-kindness.
Precision is ironic with reference to illumination: The ironic contrast in Jane Austen's diction provides a set of verbal coordinates to locate the characters, who, in their multifari- ous ways, reveal their moral life by their expressed attitudes and actions toward the contrasted ideas. While precision of intellect demands awareness of the group of ideas centered in money and self-interest property, social class, self-pro- tection from denigrators or seducers , the illumination of the heart can only be satisfied by the group of ideas cen- tered around love and altruism mutual inclination, filial piety, thoughtfulness.
Each group of terms has its appearance and its reality. Devaluation may re- sult if girls reveal too openly the hard reality of their necessity, physical and economic, to marry. Doubtless girls are impressionable, but if they give their feelings away like Marianne Dashwood they lay themselves open to abandon- ment, besides failing to recognize the reality of deep love through the decorous appearance of a Colonel Brandon or a Mr. These errors of love, however, are ad- justable in the society; Jane Austen's novels center on their adjustment in the process of courtship.
Errors on the side of money, too great a hardheaded respect for its appear- ance, are less likely to be adjusted because they betray an egoism which in the course of a plot's events grows into the monstrous coldness of a Mrs. Norris or a Mrs. Likewise sexual egoism will erupt and betray itself in a Mr.
Elton, a Frank Willoughby. The potential sensitivity of the latter, like Henry Craw- ford's, can be deliberately sacrificed by egoism; only in the deed of altruism does balance become refined. And no virtue can exist without love. The candidness of a Mary Crawford, engagingly frank to the modern reader who like a Marianne Dashwood romantically takes frankness at its face value, conceals an egoism not only far colder, but less perceptive, than Fanny Price's true humility.
A Darcy, meeting the test of an Elizabeth, thereby refines both him- self and her; Mary Crawford chills herself through refus- ing the kindness of Edmund in opposing his commitment to orders the profession of Jane Austen's own family. Each of the serious novels ends with such a reconciliation crowned by the wedding it sought. What makes the reconciliation difficult and keeps the contrast strong is the imperfection of characters toward at least one of the terms.
Not only the Misses Bertram, but nearly all, lack "the less common acquirements of self- knowledge, generosity, and humility. Jane Austen makes her plot evolve, usually, by hav- ing a social event take place, with nearly everyone present. Out of the lightness of appearance is evolved an urgency of reality. The newness of each event brings to the surface the most sensitive and most pressing feelings, Emma's toward Jane Fairfax, say, or Mr. Elton's to Emma; then everyone reacts to what has newly happened, or is strategi- cally ignorant, or keeps prudent silence, about it.
As the people become intricated the sensed time slows down as in real life. The plot, as a mirror of the socializing process, reveals Emma changing at the same time as, and through, her perceptions of Mr. Often an innate disposi- tion, Sir Thomas's slowness of mind, Mr.
Woodhouse's irritable hypochondria, acts as a further check to keep the plot from evolving as quickly as it might if the earnest- ness of the young were allowed free rein. Besides the light irony of her terms and her tone, Jane Austen keeps a fine dramatic irony going through her story, an irony that gains tension by defining a character's partial ignorances and imprudent aspirations. This it does by re- ferring them back through all the other characters. In most novels the characters do not interrelate dynamically: From her very first discussion with Mr. Knightley, interpreting the circumstances of Miss Taylor's marriage in the presence of her father, Emma reaches unawares through her friend to the decorous silent love of Mr.
And all the others are gradually re- vealed through a like multiple relation. Because Miss Taylor has become Mrs. Weston, this new state of affairs causes Emma to befriend Harriet, causing Mr. Knightley to take new bearings on her, to advise her against matchmaking, to keep silent while she lets the Mr. Elton she had planned for Harriet propose to her. Each point affects and changes, sequentially and ironically, all the dynamically changing relationships. Emma hurts Harriet, which hurts Mr. Martin, which silences Knightley, which betrays Mr.
Elton into in- nocent imprudence, which gives an opening to the thought of Frank Churchill. Knightley, after everyone has taken everyone's measure using everyone else as a changing yardstick while the measure itself has been changing. Thus Jane Austen's dramatic irony crystallizes the bearing of intelligence on feeling, of sense on sensibility, of money on love.
So prismatically does she do this, with each character a facet of the growing crystal, that the reality of the feelings evolves, and is revealed, through the slow process of appearances. One moves finely from mo- ment to moment not through dramatic structures, which more crudely handled dramatic ironies would produce, but in a free and fluid gradual disposition of interactions.
The controlling dramatic irony seems improvised only because it manages a lightness of hold on the rein in so masterfully fictional a way. The appearances and realities of people and events are many-dimensional. In their freedom an individual can change, but the freedom of his love has a context of social status: He merges up toward the numen to borrow Blackmur's terms , moral illumination, in the sociable loving-kindness of Edmund and Fanny, of Anne and Captain Wentworth, or down toward the moha, the horrible social degradation of Mrs.
Norris, of Maria Ber- tram. The structure of Jane Austen's irony is as simple as her plots are restricted. Yet her observations are so search- ing, the relations of her people so powerfully evolved, that on her "two inches of ivory," as she called her writing, Jane Austen has created a series of similar worlds in which the appearances of surface and the reality of depth are one, as are justice and mercy, prudence and passion, irony and honesty.
In these worlds, as in the landscape of the country where she so tellingly, so unostentatiously places her char- acters, gentleness refines intensity, intensity fortifies gentle- ness. Irony defines in Jane Austen, refines in Stendhal. Jane Austen's ironies of statement reinforce her central dramatic irony to define what the successful need to reconcile.
Once achieved, reconciliation holds: Elizabeth Darcy MODES OF IRONY 47 describing or chiding the unenlightened with mild ironies of statement; for themselves there will be no further dra- matic irony; once refined through the acts the irony has allowed them to define in process, they are defined, they step out of irony into the light of sociable loving-kindness. Irony in Stendhal not only defines but continually refines. He who does not submit to the refining process, or does not perceive the necessity of submission, is lost, wit- tingly or unwittingly excluded from "the happy few.
But what, consist- ently, can Stendhal's ironies of event generate but further ironies of event? When the scales fall through the maturing process, the irony is all the stronger. Irony is just getting under way for Lucien Leuwen in his first days at Nancy: Notre heros fut oblige de repondre. Pendant qu'il est engage dans la maussade besogne de rendre poliment dedain pour dedain au capitaine Henriet, nous demandons la per- mission de suivre un instant le lieutenant general comte N.
Au motnent ou sa voiture passait sur le pont-levis de Nancy, chef-lieu de cette division, sept coups de canon an- noncerent au public ce grand 6venement. Ces coups de canon remonterent dans les cieux Tame de Lucien. Our hero was obliged to answer. While he is engaged in the gloomy task of politely giving back snub for snub to Captain Henriet, we request leave to follow for a minute Lt. At the moment his carriage was passing over the draw- bridge to Nancy, capital of the district, seven guns pro- claimed this great event to the public.
These guns elevated Lucien's soul to the skies. The "maussade besogne de rendrc polimcnt dedain pour dedain" is a necessary task in the exacting comedy of Stendhalian life. Dedain mocks a previous dedain into irony, and both together are a cold ironic appearance, hence maussade, in contrast to the frankness and reality of a con- stantly implied sensitive love.
While maussade, it is none- theless, ironically, a besogne, an obligation to be slighted at peril. Lucien attains maturity by recognizing and meeting such obligations.
The otiose commas in such passages as "charge, cette annce, de rinspection," serve to underline the irony by suggesting contrast with further events: Ideal conduct will be a complete, Stendhalian irony, continuing under all circumstances. Lucien is only a novice, or the cannon shots, announcing a "grand evcnemcnt" only to the naive, would not have raised his soul to the skies.
Life is a series of such ironic lessons to Stendhal, a sort of Salzburg salt mine. When Lucien is bored enough by Nancy, his sensitivity will need something, the love of Madame de Chasteller; but he will not recognize this till he has advanced a little in the school of irony. The salt mine, Nancy, is necessary as a bitter en- viron to the love, as Stendhal's marginal notes on the manu- script show. It is in the salt mine that love will crystallize on the branches of the spirit, though the crystals are still necessarily salt crystals and the love partakes of the same MODES OF IRONY 49 ironic insights, become a source of delight through mastery, as in the art of Stendhal which portrays them.
If events succeed one another thus ironically, if a Mosca or a M. Leu wen feel ironic in cavalierly calling events into being, there is an infinity of contrast among events, as between the appearance of the conventions through which they operate and the reality of their exist- ence as facts. Perhaps Stendhal meant this when he spoke of "rcalite voilee et devoilee par les faits.
There is so much make-believe in life's ironic events that life exists beyond belief. Stendhal, the "incredule" as Alain calls him, is at one and the same time, and ironically, credulous of the meaning that flashes beautifully through the meaningless ironies of life. Belief and disbelief become one. Does Stendhal, for example, believe, or disbelieve, in fate, in astrology? This comes just as the stage has been set and the action can really get under way. The quotation has an added importance as the only epigraph in this novel; its relation to artifice is suggested by the use to which epigraphs are put in the earlier Le Rouge et le Noir, where almost always they are oblique, ironic expressions of Stendhal's theory of fiction: Alors que Vesper vient embrunir nos yeux, Tout epris d'avenir, je contemple les cieux, En qui Dieu nous ecrit, par notes non obscures, Les sorts et les destins de toutes creatures, Car lui, du fond des cieux regardant un humain, 8 1 owe this citation to a series of lectures by Maurice Merleau- Ponty.
Le marquis professait une haine vigoureuse pour les lumieres. When Vesper comes embrowning our eyes, all captivated by the future, I contemplate the skies, in which God writes for us, in characters that are not obscure, the lots and des- tinies of all creatures. For he, looking at a man from the depth of the skies, shows him the way sometimes, moved by pity; by the stars of the sky, which are his letters, he fore- tells things to us, good ones and the opposite. But men, laden with clay and with sins, scorn such writing and do not read it. The marquis professed a vigorous hatred for enlighten- ment.
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There is, in the first place, a reflexivity in Ronsard's poem: The reflexivity allows Ronsard to inject with the irony of wit the nostalgia of the twilight he is describing, very much as Stendhal, here quoting Ronsard, refines love by the irony of events. Love is the more nostalgic for irony in Stendhal, as nostalgia is the more regretful for wit in Ronsard.
The poem is an artifice, as opposed to the reality of the prose narrative which follows, all the more artificial because the Ronsard quotation has the most oblique connection to the statement immediately following. The Marquis del Dongo "professait" professed: But there is the further irony that Stendhal seems to be quoting the statement only to dismiss it. Surely Stendhal identifies himself partly with "les hommcs, charges de terre et de trepas," who "mepriscnt tel ecrit et ne le lisent pas.
In one sense the Abbe Blanes is a dotard, but how is one to account for the fact that with his astrology he actually does predict the truth, not some inconsequential truth, but our whole plot, first Fabrice's adventures at Wa- terloo, next his imprisonment in the Chateau de Grianta? Where does Stendhal stand toward Fabrice here? S'il ne faut pas croire a Pastrologie, reprit-il en cher- chant a s'ctourdir; si cette science est, comme les trois quarts des sciences non mathematiques, une reunion de nigauds enthousiastes et d'hypocrites adroits et payes par qui ils servent, d'ou vicnt que je pense si souvent et avec emotion a cette circonstance fatale?
Jadis je suis sorti de la prison de B. II etait trop jeune encore; dans ses moments de loisir, son ame s'occupait avec ravissement a gouter les sensations produites par des circonstances ro- manesques que son imagination etait tou jours prete a lui fournir. II etait bien loin d'employer son temps a regarder avec patience les particularites reelles des choses pour ensuite deviner leurs causes. Le reel lui semblait encore plat et fan- geux; je conois qu'on n'aime pas a le regarder, mais alors il ne faut pas en raisonner. II ne faut pas surtout faire des objections avec les di verses pieces de son ignorance.
Once I did get out of the prison of B, He was still too young; in his leisure moments his spirit revelled in the sensations produced by romantic circumstances such as his imagination was always ready to furnish him. He was far indeed from using his time to examine patiently the real de- tails of things in order to divine their causes.
The real still seemed to him flat and muddy; I conceive that it was no pleasure to examine it, but then one ought not to reason about it. This is the way that Fabrice, without lacking intelli- gence, could not come to see that his half-belief in predic- tions was a religion for him.
And he would have felt an invincible repugnance for a being who denied predictions, above all if he used irony. Stendhal seems to be mocking Fabrice's belief in astrology, much as he seems to mock Ronsard's: Yet, again, Stendhal is not actually dismissing the astro- logical ideas his artifice makes him seem to. Not much later the Abbe Blanes really predicts everything, and he goes on to warn Fabrice against just the dark deed which is to ma- terialize as the murder of Giletri.
Stendhal neither believes nor disbelieves in fate; nor are his ironies a simple suspension of belief. They are an irresolvable complication of appearance and reality, "rcalite voilee et devoilee par les faits. That this has, literally, infinite extension, as a series of self-reflecting mirrors, this diagram will help make clear.
Each bracket stands for an irony: Stendhal's quotation from Ronsard provides us explicitly with what all Stendhal's ironies of event imply, an infinite artifice and appearance of irony behind the reality of love. This "infinite" irony of Stendhal reveals, in the events he narrates, a kind of contingency absolute enough to ex- press itself without the reflexivity of a Sterne.
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The incongruities of life are basic to it, and Stendhal's sophisticate refines himself by recognizing them not by rising above an occasionally ridiculous role but by glorying in the ridiculousness. What is odder, or more sensitive, than the terms on which Gina becomes Mosca's mistress? Prison makes Fabrice fall in love with Clelia Conti, insecurity traps Julien into desperate affection for a woman he has approached out of emulation for Napoleon.
The ridicule incident to his falling off a horse before her window is the branch, itself incongruously noth- ing, on which crystallizes Lucien's grand passion for Madame de Chasteller. Gide Journal des Faux Monnay eurs has noticed even in Stendhal's style the contingent discontinuity of events "chez Stendhal, jamais une phrase n'appellc la suivante, ni ne nait de la precedente. Chacune se tient perpendiculaire- ment au fait ou a 1'idee. A very situation, one Balzac would define as a maze of congruities, is delightfully incon- gruous: Octave, a millionaire poly technique alumnus, in despair at impotence, runs off to Turkish Greece to com- mit suicide.
The contingent ironies of event, for the very close-knit multiplicity of their causes, need not have been at all as they were. In De r Amour Stendhal cites the case of a girl who mistakenly identifies a young man seen in church with an Edouard who was her distant relative. Through the mis- take she falls into amour-passion with the stranger. When the real Edouard arrives she is so far gone that it would have given her lifelong unhappincss to marry him. Had Fabrice not hap- pened to be mistaken itself ironically prophetical, in an almost Freudian sense for Fabio Conti, so that his carriage was stopped along with Clelia's, had he not been imprisoned later in the infamous prison her father supervised so that he could watch her feed her birds daily, the great passion of his life would have been devoted to someone else, perhaps to his aunt; he might never have taken his later vow of silence.
Touch Stendhal's web of causality at any point, and one traces a bewilderingly complex tissue of threads, all related as ironies of event one to another. Why was Fabrice imprisoned in the first place? The murder of a transient plebeian, however, would not have been enough to imprison him without the animosity of a prince who hated him be- cause of the liberal sincerity which showed through his fledgling Machiavellianism as it did not through the more experienced Mosca's.
The prince hates Mosca, too, be- cause he feels inferior to him, jealous of Mosca's, and of Fabrice's, attraction for his aunt Gina. Each of these threads leads us as well into a maze of ironies, all composed of alertly observed traits of real life, love, politics, and court intrigue. But why did Fabrice kill Giletti in the first place? Be- cause Giletti, ironically hurrying out of Parma to get Mari- etta away from Fabrice, saw him with a musket in the mid- dle of the road and imagined Fabrice pursuing him; Fabrice was, ironically, only chasing a lark he had shot down.
Why was he shooting larks? For diversion from supervising arche- ological excavations. He was doing this, in turn, a little because during his three years studying theology at Naples he had developed an interest in archeology, but mostly to prove, in a professedly Machiavellian way, his gratitude to Mosca for getting him a bishopric; they were Mosca's excavations, and he was making sure the workers, ironically, did not abscond with the finds.
Ironically, in professing Machiavellian gratitude, Fabrice is exhibiting the deeper Machiavellianism of concealing his real purpose, which is to alleviate Mosca's jealousy. At the beginning of the scene, Mosca has come in abruptly and found Fabrice kissing his aunt. Fabrice has the further purpose of separating himself from Gina's importunacy. If he is putting her off why did he kiss her in the first place? Because, ironically, having just come from seesawing ironically between a visit to the archbishop and a visit to Marietta, he felt cold toward her; sensing his cold- ness, attracted to it as proof of his maturity, she threw her- self into his arms; too inexperienced to reject her without offending her, he took pity on her, and his pity combined with his desire to counteract his coldness made him kiss her.
The multiple sequences of ironies of event we have begun to trace out there are many more subtleties in- volved cover only a few pages of the narrative. The novel generates contingencies throughout in a fine precision and on a vast scale Balzac appreciated and formulated when he called La Chartreuse de Panne a fifty by thirty canvas au- thentic in every detail. Toward this thousandfold sequence of ironic events, Stendhal himself is ironic, with all the flash of a mirror con- ducted along a highway.
And he falsi- fies the very conditions of its composition when he says ironically that La Chartreuse was written in a thousand leagues from Paris actually in the heart of Paris during The charterhouse of the title, too, appears only on the last page of the novel.
A disillusioned, refined Fabricc retires into a vow of silence after the death of Clelia, both for penance and, with ambiguous irony, to be alone with her memory. The oddness of this silence must be supposed from the title as qualifying the whole novel; the novel is about what obsesses Fabrice in his charterhouse, what one could read as an ironic love in his silent eyes, a knowledge all the more profound for being silent. The silence of the charterhouse invades the book, as R. Adams points out; 4 all the most important causes are unexpressed, or malentendus: Fabrice's parentage, never once more than ironically hinted at by Stendhal; his igno- rance that the decorated, wounded general who steals his horse at Waterloo is his real father; the darkness at the end in which he conducts his relations with Clelia; the duchess' feeling for him; Mosca's jealousy, Mosca's un- derlying liberalism which is never once explicitly men- tioned, Mosca's poisoning of the prince all only insinuated silently by Stendhal in the odd ironies of his narrative.
In the oddness of his irony Stendhal was able to invest with reality the trivial conventions of the picaresque novel; the footloose character moves in a freedom not completely arbitrary, as in Smollett whose only fictional achievement is detached characterization and occasional portrayal of places ; each event is linked with the past it rises surpris- ingly out of by all the causality of the plot.
The plot's ironies of event are further reflected in the oddly gerryman- dered states of Italy and Austrian territory, the spatial as- pect of the clashing jealousies through which Fabrice must move. What he felt lacking was not detail, in spite of what he says, but a meaningful way of showing the hidden reality in appearances, of ver- balizing the knowledge that his fiftieth birthday made him realize was aching for expression.
He was to find this, as he had previously in Le Rouge et le Noir and Ar? Adams, "Art as Insurrection: Turning on a mere branch are the crystals of love, "mobiles et eblouissants. Fabrice's father had been the more powerfully in love with the Marchesa del Dongo because he has just completed the hard march over the Alps. The patristic text was given Fabrice by Clclia's clerical uncle. It is one of our central, and oddest, ironies, that he is in orders out of political necessity, perhaps partly out of Mosca's jealousy. Mosca, in urging political necessity, gets Fabrice, he thinks, out of Gina's way by garbing him in the cloth.
The violet stockings of Fabrice's office, oddly incon- gruous in a lover, are a further limit he should not be making love at all out of which the love rises deepened. Sublimating his passion for a married Clelia makes him the homiletic rage of Parma; she comes to hear him speak and leaves smitten enough to break religious law twice in adultery with a priest , as well as her own vow to the Madonna not to see him, a further irony which shrouds their lovemaking in an intensifying darkness. Religion is an ironic device in his novels, not something true or false in itself. So that, like Proust, Joyce, James, and others who use religion for fictive ends, inside his works he is neutral toward it.
If God is truth, the closer one is to truth the closer one would be to God. However cynically they exploit these appear- ances, there is all the difference in the world between a Mosca and a Rassi in their Machiavellianism. Rassi could never understand, let alone experience, Mosca's love for Gina; Rassi exults in ruthlessness for its own sake, while Mosca acquiesces to it sensitively as a faute de mleux. The unenlightened, sensing what they have missed, hate none worse than the enlightened. However infinite the sensitivity of a Mosca, a Fabrice, a Julien, an Abbesse de Castro, the very essence of its love's condition places it in a situation not only ironically finite but exacting.
Fabrice's courtship takes place amid and rises out of death sentence, poisoning, slaughter. The po- litical reality of this situation is so thoroughgoingly grim that Stendhal alone matches Dostoevsky in the ability to visualize its bottomless horror. On the level of authority, even the petty authority of Parma, politics embraces with- out blinking the coldest duplicities of intrigue and menda- cious manipulation. On the level of force, even a Mosca will kill wholesale when necessary, as well as poison the prince.
And the young prince, late a shy harmless amateur mineralogist, quickly assumes the hardness of his office in bargaining the life of Fabrice for the temporary usufruct of Gina's body.
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No matter that sometimes pusillanimous fear can inspire cruelties; these are no less harsh for arising perilously irreligious Stendhal may have been in his real life, still his intellectual life, the attempt to get at social truth through created fictions, is religiously as well as literarily praiseworthy.
Further, as he says near the end of the final chapter, "Fabrice etait trop amoureux et trop croyant pour avoir recours au suicide; il esperait retrouver Clelia dans un meillcur monde, mais il avait trop d'esprit pour ne pas sentir qu'il avait beaucoup a reparer.
With an ironic acuteness nearly incredible in one who had not witnessed Belsen or read Kogon, Stendhal analyzes the effect of this cruelty on the minds of the prisoners: Deux ou trois de ces malheureux firent des sonnets en 1'honneur de Fabio Conti. Two or three of these wretches composed sonnets in honor of Fabio Conti.
Oh, the effect of misfortune on these men! And for those who wilfully malign the depths of a degradation heart-rending to the point of exclamation marks for Stendhal, he wishes, "Que celui qui les blame soit conduit par sa destinee a passer un an dans un cachot haut de trois pieds, avec huit onces de pain par jour et jeunant les vendrcdis! For Stendhal, in the phrase of Harry Levin, "the pistol shot is in the score. No politics, no love. In politics there is the further irony that those who are sen- sitive enough to be adepts either have no heart for the cage, like Mosca, M.
Leuwen, even Erneste-Ranuce IV, or are acting out of dedication to some romantic ideal, like Julien Sorel, who believes himself not consolidating a worldly posi- tion but aping Napoleon. The adept, then, seeks consolation from a blackness and pure appearance in politics which others either coldly and horribly stomach without flinch- ing or blindly ignore; thereby he is thrown by his sensi- tivity into the reality of love with a woman who, by a corresponding disillusionment, is likewise seeking consola- tion.
Madame de Renal is turning to Julien from a brutally imperceptivc, coldly canny husband; Mathilde de la Mole takes him up from boredom with the mechanically adroit associates of her own class. A romantic idea makes a climber of Julien; a romantic ideal makes Mathilde leap the barriers of class; the child she becomes pregnant with is none the less real, the head she clutches in the ironically grotesque final scene none the less gory for her insane identification of it with a scarcely known ancestor.
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While Julien's ideal motivates in him an engaging finesse that has carried him from the semi- nary to the confidential service of the Marquis de la Mole, its otherworldliness, and its very frankness two sides to the same idealism brings him up abruptly against the hard realities of caste. His love for Mathilde has been artificial compared with what he feels for Madame de Renal. It is, ironically, his return to the truth of his own feelings that causes his death. In this novel, even more in La Chartreuse de Par? The oddness of Stendhal's pyrotechnic ironies, coupling the most far-reaching truths of public life with the deepest pri- vate feelings, sets up the sharpest distinction between ap- pearances and realities, at the same time leaving infinitely unresolvable the necessity of appearance to reality.
Pre- cisely where he is most splendidly clear Stendhal is most inscrutable, or, as Valery puts it, speaking of Stendhal's method of writing. En litterature le vrai riest pas concevable. Nous savons bien qu'on ne se devoile quc pour quelque cffet. Stendhal himself knew this in some way, or how could he have spoken of "realite voilee et devoilee par les faits"?
There is a reality, as well as an artificiality, in Sten- dhal's infinite irony, so much so that, as Valery concludes the essay I have been quoting, "On n'en finirait plus avec Stendhal. Je ne vois pas de plus grande louange. Another approach is a more direct frontal attack on reality itself. The distinction between fiction and history, confused in early works like Dekker's The Wonderfull Yeare and Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year, is exploited by Balzac and Dos Passos to relate the appearance of quasi-historical facts with the myth-like reality of a series of romance plots.
Dos Passos' success is qualified by his pastiche style and also by too explicit an illustrative purpose; he tends merely to document how money debases people in a capitalist society. The very mag- nificence of Balzac's success, however, has kept his rhetori- cal substructure unexamined; critics admire either the con- creteness of his exhibited reality or the grandeur of his vision without perceiving the fructifying interdependence of the two. Tous ses personnages sont doues de 1'ardeur vitale dont il etait anime lui-meme. Toutes ses fictions sont aussi profondement colorees que les reves.
It has always seemed to me that his chief merit was that of being a visionary. All his characters are gifted with the vital ardor by which he was himself animated. All his fictions are as deeply colored as dreams. All the actors in his Comedy are more violent in life, more active and resourceful in struggle, more patient in misfortune, more gluttonous of enjoyment, more angelic of devotion, than the comedy of the real world shows us. The last statement is curious. What does Baudelaire mean by "la comedie du vrai mondc"? Is fiction, Balzac's or anybody's, not a representation of the "vrai monde"?
In what way, more than any other literary artifice, does Balzac's imaginary world exaggerate the real world it en- visions? Baudelaire specifies, "Bref, chacun chez Balzac, meme les portieres, a du genie. Baudelaire here approaches a confusion of Balzac's life with the fiction it created, a confusion Balzac himself sometimes shared and which he parallels in his fruitful fu- sion of history with fiction.
I do not intend to carp at Baudelaire's signal insight. He made these remarks as a digression in an essay on Theophile Gautier and was not, perhaps, much concerned with how the documentation and the myths in Balzac arrive at a fictive unity. Yet it is surely a problem central to understanding Balzac. Why do myths require the mode of facts? Why does Lear-Goriot need all the furniture of the Restauration and a legion of bits of lives whose own grand passion is played out in a related elsewhere? Balzac does think in terms of money. Money in Balzac is real enough to put one off from hu- man love, even from power.
Nucingen's German accent, both the disguise and the underlying stark reality of power, also plates with impotence all his statements, as in the "Pape Satan, Pape Satan, aleppe" of Dante's Plutus. Zephi- rine in Beatrix hampers her power because she will not relinquish the necessary louis to have the cataracts removed from her blind eyes. White was retained as the chief clerk of the office by Walker's successor, William A. White was affiliated with the Secretary of State's office for seven years.
He continued to fulfill that position until March 8, , when he was appointed to serve as the private secretary to West Virginia Governor William A. As a representative of Governor MacCorkle, White traveled across the state to high-profile events, such as the June strikes at the Crozier Works on Elkhorn Creek in McDowell County, to urge calm and to provide the governor with situational awareness on the strike. White performed as Governor MacCorkle's private secretary for four years until the end of his administration's term in During the West Virginia general elections of and , White was recognized for his leadership efforts in support of the campaigns of Democratic candidates.
Law career While he was employed at the West Virginia State Capitol, White began studying jurisprudence with legal coursebooks. He undertook his study of jurisprudence in the law firm of Chilton, MacCorkle and Chilton in Charleston. White was admitted to the bar in and afterward established a law practice in Charleston. White's practice began arguing cases in county, state, and federal level courts within West Virginia. Military career In , White volunteered his service in the West Virginia National Guard, where he entered service with the rank of Private.
White and his regiment were dispatched to the scenes of several strikes throughout West Virginia, where he performed as "a special representative" of the governor. Spanish—American War At the onset of the Spanish—American War and shortly after his admission to the bar in , White again volunteered for service with the West Virginia National Guard and served throughout the duration of the war. After a year of serving with his regiment in the war, White received an honorable discharge and vacated the West Virginia National Guard following ten years of service in the guard as a military officer.
According to Governor Atkinson in his Bench and Bar of West Virginia , White "served faithfully and efficiently until the close of the war". White had previously attempted to enter the service of the United States Army through its various training schools to serve in World War I, but he had been rebuffed each time due to his advanced age of White continued to carry out his duties in London until June when his base section there was closed and he was transferred to the United States military's general headquarters in France.
While serving in that position in Koblenz, White was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in April He returned to the United States in June and soon thereafter resumed his law practice in Charleston. White also concurrently fulfilled a four-year term from to as a member of the Charleston Board of Affairs during the period in which Charleston was organized under a commission form of government.
While serving on the Board of Affairs, he frequently performed duties as the city's mayor pro tempore. Around , White became a member of the West Virginia Board of Control and was serving as the board's treasurer by White later served as the board's president for two years. In , Governor Homer A.
She had been a member of the faculty at Marshall College in Huntington since In his later years, White and his wife resided in St.
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Petersburg, Florida during the winter season. White died of heart failure on June 2, at 1 p. The medical certification of White's death stated the cause of his heart failure was due to age and overexertion. White's funeral was held in Charleston, and he was interred in the White family burial plot at Indian Mound Cemetery in Romney.