Le problem des aristoacraties dans l'oeuvres en prose d'Alfred de Vigny
Chomel, Luisetta Enrica
Master of Arts
Vigny’s works in prose although little known present a remarkable interest for a deeper appreciation of Vigny as a poet and as a thinker. Cinq-Mars, Stello, Servitude et Grandeur Militaires and Daphne, were written between 1825 and 1836, years which seem related to a period of crisis during which Vigny tried to define his ideas and to adopt a way of life coherent with his beliefs. Analyzing these four books we have tried to reconstitute the facts which caused this crisis, and to establish their spiritual and practical consequences. In this light each book assumes the value of a confession and behind the plot of the novel, Vigny's personal experiences emerge. The origin of Vigny's spiritual unrest can be traced in the conflict between his aspirations toward an aristocratic ideal and the materialistic, bourgeois world that surrounded him. Typical drama of the Romantic generation, but lived by Vigny with a particular depth and sincerity. Painfully aware of the opposition between his personal tendencies and the necessities imposed by the new historical reality, Vigny, anxious to play an active part in the social life of his time, tried to conciliate these contrasting factors. These efforts ended in a failure, but through the spiritual evolution brought by his deceptions Vigny reached new certitudes. Sacrificing illusions and ambitions, he reaffirmed his faith in personal dignity and responsibility toward society, and in the supremacy of spiritual values. Far from being all negative Vigny's inquiry developed a positive character of moral progression and spiritual elevation. From Cinq-Mars to Daphne, while recognizing the failure of the forms of aristocracy that nourished the dreams of his youth, he developed a higher conception of its role. By renouncing the application of his aristocratic principles to contemporary society Vigny conceived a form of aristocracy of the spirit which, free from historical contingencies, was projected into the future -- idealistic solution of the problem of the relations existing between the artist and the public which partially explains Vigny's practical attitude toward his time and the philosophical position that his poetry underlines.