By Ariane Charton
'Un poète peut parler de lui, de ses amis, des vins qu’il boit, de l. a. maîtresse qu’il a ou qu’il voudrait avoir, du temps qu’il fait, des morts et des vivants, des sages et des fous : mais il ne doit pas faire de politique.'
Enfant negative du romantisme, Alfred de Musset (1810-1857) fut considéré de son vivant comme un météore qui n’avait jamais donné los angeles pleine mesure de son expertise. On ne voulait voir en lui qu’un auteur de comédies charmantes, de contes légers et de poèmes lyriques. los angeles Confession d’un enfant du siècle fut publiée dans une sorte d’indifférence : il ne chercha jamais à dissiper ces malentendus. Observateur désabusé d’une époque qui l’ennuie, il est pourtant celui qui dit le mieux le désenchantement de sa génération. Trop souvent réduit à sa réputation d’écrivain sentimental et à sa liaison avec George Sand, Musset est notre contemporain : parce qu’il position sa vie et son œuvre sous le signe de l. a. modernité et de los angeles liberté individuelle.
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Additional resources for Alfred de Musset
35 The narrator's diction seems to me to be coloured by a specifically adult consciousness, in a way which seems implicitly 'dramatic'. Although Wordsworth only ever described 'The Thorn' as belonging to this mode of presentation, many of the Lyrical Ballads resolve themselves into dramatic situations. 36 'We Are Seven', for example, which is explained in the Preface of 1 8oo as demonstrating 'the perplexity and 40 IRONY AND AUTHORITY IN ROMANTIC POETRY obscurity which in childhood attend our notions of death, or rather our utter inability to admit that notion' (Prose, I, 126), appears much more genuinely dialectical than this statement would imply, being presented in dialogue form.
Decency and Custom starving Truth; And blind Authority, beating with his Staff The Child that might have led him ... (The Prelude, Ill, 639-41) but his notion of what childhood might represent in itself was much more complicated. The child functions in this passage as a negative qualifier, something outside the adult world; but when the adult himself begins to struggle to identify his own childhood, to try to relate it causally to the person he has become, then the problems begin: ... he cannot recall past time; he cannot begin his journey afresh; he cannot untwist the links by which, in no undelightful harmony, images and sentiments are wedded in his mind.
We return out of this doubly distanced event into what promises to be the same historical time as began the poem, only to find ourselves, and the events in which we have imaginatively participated, pushed yet further apart with the information that the whole poem is a recollection of the narrator's, Matthew himself being now in the grave. This is exactly the strategy which has been described as belonging to 'The Eve of St Agnes', though here it has a different function. It is not so much the reader as the narrator who seems exposed at the end.