‚Deux Acteurs pour un rôle‘
Deutsch-französischer Kulturtransfer am Beispiel von E.T.A. Hoffmann und Théophile Gautier
Pages 419 - 451
Probably because of its apparently epigonic character, Théophile Gautier’s Deux Acteurs pour un rôle has been neglected by the critics until now. This contribution attempts to give a deeper understanding of Gautier’s fantastic short story through the analysis of its intertextual references both to E.T.A. Hoffmann’s fantastic tales and to reviews of the German author in French contemporary criticism. Before giving an analysis and interpretation of Gautier’s text, the article begins with a brief historical overview of the reception of Hoffmann in France, as well as on the evolution of the French fantastic genre, also known as the conte hoffmannesque, resulting from the imitation of his literary work. This is done using the model of cultural transfer (transfert culturel ) theorized by Espagne and Werner and with a certain focus on the personal reception of Hoffmann by Gautier. Finally, the analysis of Deux Acteurs pour un rôle shows that Gautier’s tale is not simply a bad imitation of the fantastic stories of Hoffmann, but rather a parody of Hoffmann’s storytelling and an ironic reflection of the stereotyped imaginations about the sauvage d’outre-Rhin that circulated among the contemporary French critics and lectors.