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Dante im ‚Francion‘

Die parodistische Rezeption der ‚Commedia‘ in Charles Sorels ‚Histoire Comique de Francion‘

Christoph Söding

Pages 419 - 438

The present article deals with Charles Sorel’s ‚Histoire comique de Francion‘ offering two new approaches to understanding the novel’s enigmatic dream account: Firstly, by recognising Dante’s ‚Commedia‘ as an important reference text, and secondly by introducing parody as a category that explains the intertextual relation between the two texts. Building on existing research that examined the different literary traditions, such as the picaresque novel or the fabliau, as well as influential authors such as Cervantes and Boccaccio, the present article argues that the ‚Commedia‘, which is a rather untypical reference text in 17th century France, plays a crucial role for understanding the Francion. The decisive category in this context is parody. While parody joins other types of comical elements such as character comedy, farcical scenes, or comedy of errors, it also serves – following an idea developed by Agamben – as a category in the realm of the serious. As paraontology, parody expresses the impossibility of language to find meaning outside of itself. In this light, Francion’s puzzling dream becomes understandable as an expression of the division between language and world.


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