Between Seduction and Anxiety. Faces of Femininity in Le voyage d’Urien Cover Image

Între seducţie şi anxietate. Chipuri ale feminităţii în Le Voyage D’Urien
Between Seduction and Anxiety. Faces of Femininity in Le voyage d’Urien

Author(s): Mihai Serban
Subject(s): Applied Linguistics
Published by: EDITURA ASE
Keywords: pseudo travel journa; pseudo Mallarmé poetics; threatening femininity; irony; ambiguity;

Summary/Abstract: Le voyage d’Urien, which appeared in 1893, chronologically the third text published by André Gide (after Les Cahiers d' André Walter and Le Traité de Narcisse), is simultaneously a pseudo-travel journal and a pseudo-adherence to Mallarmé poetics. The text is apparently an exploration of the aquatic environment, but its in-built allegory is nevertheless transparent. Each aquatic environment discovered in all three stages of the voyage of the Orion – the Pathetic Ocean, the Sargasso Sea and Journey to the Glacial Sea – metonymically evokes a certain female typology: the clear water that makes one eager to swim, although it is full of dangerous creatures lurking beneath the surface, both appealing and dangerous like the sirens and the amazons that inhabit it; murky marshes, warm but repellent, like a feminine carnal presence, but much too submissive; frozen water, pure and unfriendly like a cold, unreachable angelic creature, and artificial at the same time. The whole process of Gide’s self-discovery exists in nuce in this ambiguous and ironic book, in which the inhibition brought about by femininity, the result of an unhealthy Puritan education, is dissimulated with the help of cynicism and adolescent joviality.

  • Issue Year: 18/2018
  • Issue No: 35
  • Page Range: 12-25
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Romanian