Rome en apparence, France en vérité. Une étude du sonnet 86 des Regrets

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Unlike Les Antiquités, Les Regrets does not praise the foreignness and exoticism of Italy. The poet no longer finds music in the ancient poetic fatherland; instead, all that he can read from the bodies of the Roman court is the structured rules of a code. A language of hypocrisy reigns, a language of spun lies and feigned sincerity. This is not the Italian of Ariosto’s poems, which Du Bellay so admired; this is the Italian of papal plots and the dramatic arrival of theatre in social living. Unlike the courtesans, whose subjectivity, lies and ambiguity go hand in hand with the way they conceal their speech, Du Bellay believes that authentic, frank discourse can only be what it is if it presents itself as it is, unaltered. For him, this means that it is only truly possible to write “frankly” in France, and so the moral of his journey is that he will return from it. But though he is laden with poverty, disease and debt, the poet’s return to France also signifies an ethical conversion: whereas Rome is a façade, France is the truth. For Du Bellay, forgetting his Latin and finding the right words is worth nothing but a regret.
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)7-22
Volumevol. 12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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