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«Bachelors, Bastards, and Nomadic Masculinity: Illegitimacy in Guy de Maupassant and André Gide by Robert M. Fagley B.A., Slippery Rock University, ...»

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Bachelors, Bastards, and Nomadic Masculinity:

Illegitimacy in Guy de Maupassant and André Gide

by

Robert M. Fagley

B.A., Slippery Rock University, 2000

M.A., University of Pittsburgh, 2002

Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of

Arts and Sciences in partial fulfillment

of the requirements for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy

University of Pittsburgh

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

College of Arts and Sciences This dissertation was presented by Robert M. Fagley It was defended on May 13, 2009 It was defended on and approved by Dr. Todd Reeser, Associate Professor, French and Italian Dr. Lina Insana, Assistant Professor, French and Italian Dr. Scott Kiesling, Associate Professor, Linguistics Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Giuseppina Mecchia, Associate Professor, French and Italian ii Copyright © by Robert M. Fagley iii

Bachelors, Bastards, and Nomadic Masculinity:

Illegitimacy in Guy de Maupassant and André Gide Robert M. Fagley, PhD University of Pittsburgh, 2009 This dissertation is a thematic exploration of bachelor figures and male bastards in literary works by Guy de Maupassant and André Gide. The coupling of Maupassant and Gide is appropriate for such an analysis, not only because of their mutual treatment of illegitimacy, but also because each writer represents a chronologically identifiable literary movement, Realism and Modernism, and each writes during contiguous moments of socio-legal changes particularly related to divorce law and women’s rights, which consequently have great influence on the legal destiny of illegitimate or “natural” children. Napoleon’s Civil Code of 1804 provides the legal (patriarchal) framework for the period of this study of illegitimacy, from about 1870 to 1925.

The Civil Code saw numerous changes during this period. The Naquet Law of 1884, which reestablished limited legal divorce, represents the central socio-legal event of the turn of the century in matters of legitimacy, whereas the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the First World War furnish chronological bookends for this dissertation. Besides through history, law, and sociology, this dissertation treats illegitimacy through the lens of various branches of gender theory, particularly the study of masculinities and a handful of other important critical theories, most importantly those of Michel Foucault, Eve Sedgwick and of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.

–  –  –

Maupassant and Gide, but this study considers the theme of illegitimacy as extended beyond simple questions of legitimate versus illegitimate children. The male bastard is only one of the “counterfeit” characters examined in these authors’ fictional texts. This dissertation is divided into three parts which consider specific thematic elements of their “bastard narratives.” Part One frames the representation in fiction of bachelor figures and how they contribute to or the roles they play in instances of illegitimacy. Part Two springs from and develops the metaphor of the “counterfeit coin,” whether represented by a bastard son, an affected schoolboy, a false priest, or a pretentious littérateur. Part Three explains the concept of “nomadic masculine” practices; such practices include nomadic styles of masculinity development as well as the bastard’s nomadism.

–  –  –

PREFACE……………………………………………………………………………………IX 1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 MAUPASSANT AND GIDE: UNLIKELY BED-FELLOWS………………6 1.2 THEMES IN THEORY……………………………………………………...10 1.3 THREE THEMATIC VIEWS OF ILLEGITIMACY………………………17

2.0 PART I: BACHELORS, BASTARDS AND SEDUCTION………………………..29 2.1 MAUPASSANT AND GIDE: ETERNAL BACHELORS………………….32 2.2 RURAL SEDUCTION AND "L'ENFANT NATUREL"……………………36

–  –  –

2.2.2 Madness, the Moon, and Animality…………………………………...46 2.2.3 Male Dominance through Seduction and Capitalism………………...50 2.2.4 What Sort of Illegitimacy is This?

2.2.5 Two Forms of Patriarchal Privilege…………………………………..58

–  –  –

HONOR: TRIANGULATING ILLEGITIMACY………………………………63 2.3.1 Maupassant’s “Un fils”: the Wild Oats Defense……………………...71 2.4 THE GIDEAN BACHELOR: PEDERASTIC PEDAGOGUE…………….82 2.4.1 The Uncle and the Aristocrat, or “deux vieilles tantes”?

–  –  –

2.4.3 Édouard and the Decrystallization of Love………………………….100 2.4.4 The (Bastard) Bachelor and Knight Errant…………………………103

3.0 PART II - COUNTERFEIT AUTHOR(ITY): AUTHENTICITY AND THE PASSING OF FALSE COINS IN GIDE AND MAUPASSANT………………………….111

–  –  –

INFLUENCES AND INTERPRETATIONS………………………………………….114 3.1.1 Some Coiner with His Tools: Legitimacy versus Authenticity……. 119 3.1.2 In Debt and Impure: Debased Metals and Bodies…………………..126 3.1.3 Lafcadio: No Credit but to Himself…………………………………..136 3.1.4 The “Demon” as Modernist Subject…………………………………146 3.1.5 The Clothes That Make the Man…………………………………….150 3.1.6 Protos and the Counterfeit Priest…………………………………….159





3.2 MAUPASSANT'S BASTARDS: AUTHENTICITY AS SEXUALITY….167 3.2.1 Monstrous Maternity: Forging Freaks………………………………171 3.2.2 Infanticide: Illegitimacy and the Fear of Social Ridicule…………...173 3.2.3 A Bastard’s Legacy……………………………………………………185 3.2.4 Pierre the Sacrificial Son……………………………………………...189

4.0 PART III: BASTARD FREEDOM: BETWEEN NOMADISM AND ANOMIE…205

4.1 BASTARD NOMADISM……………………………………………………..207

4.2 THE BASTARD AS MURDERER………………………………………….209 4.2.1 Death of the Feminine, Regaining of the Logos……………………...212 4.2.2 Identity as Murder…………………………………………………….214

–  –  –

4.2.4 The Sins of the Father…………………………………………………223

4.3 NOMADISM AND MASCULINITY: WANDERING BASTARDS……..234 4.3.1 Bernard Profitendieu: Prodigal Bastard?

4.3.2 Bastard Exile…………………………………………………………..239 4.3.3 The Prototypical Bastard Nomad…………………………………….243 4.3.4 Modernist Individualism and the Apolitical Bastard……………….246 4.3.5 Moderate Masculine Nomadism……………………………………...251

5.0 CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………..260 BIBLIOGRAPHY……………………………………………………………………………263

–  –  –

I would like to thank all of my friends and family for their support during the writing of this dissertation and all the years leading up to its completion. I also extend my gratitude to the Department of French and Italian at the University of Pittsburgh, and everyone, past and present, who belongs to it for their years of support and the opportunity to write this dissertation. It was an honor to spend an important part of my life among such wonderful people and great scholars.

Firstly, I thank the members of my dissertation committee: Dr. Giuseppina Mecchia, Dr.

Todd Reeser, Dr. Lina Insana, and Dr. Scott Kiesling. Dr. Mecchia, my dissertation director and counselor, deserves special thanks for all of the time, work and advice that she gave to facilitate my research and make me a better scholar. Dr. Reeser remains a strong theoretical influence on my work, and I am grateful to have been able to work with him. Many thanks also go to Dr. Phil Watts and Dr. Daniel Russell for their help in the early conceptualization of this project, and for teaching great classes. The infinite patience and help of Monika Losagio and Amy Nichols were absolutely critical to my completion of the program, and they both deserve heartfelt recognition for putting up with me and being there when I needed them, which was often. Finally, I thank my parents and dedicate this dissertation to my mother, the most authentic person I know.

–  –  –

“L’enfant naturel a en général les mêmes droits et les mêmes devoirs que l’enfant légitime dans ses rapports avec ses pères et mères… Il entre dans la famille de son auteur.” (Code civil, 1972, loi de 3 janvier) When the law of January 3, 1972 was passed in France, it assured the legal equality of legitimate and illegitimate children alike. This law expresses the juridical end of illegitimacy as a basis for the long-standing privation of inheritance, financial support, and basic needs, suffered by illegitimate children in France. Of present importance is the law’s reference to a child’s “author” (auteur). While the illegitimate child’s rights and duties are explained to be equal to that of a legitimate child, specifically in relation to both that child’s male and female relatives (“ses pères et ses mères”), the “family” to which the child belongs is specifically that of the child’s auteur, the father. With this consideration of the family as specifically that of the father, the importance of a person’s biological sexual identification remains capital for their role within the traditional family, even while the law provides for equality between legitimate and illegitimate children of unspecified gender. Because of the inherent patriarchal nature of the law’s language, one may consider the privileging of the father-son relation in family law and custom as one that began with Roman law, and continues even today thanks to the law presently discussed 1.

Yvonne Knibiehler’s Les pères aussi ont une histoire (Mesnil-sur-l’Estrée, France : Éditions Hachette, 1987) provides pertinent descriptions of the origins and evolution of modern French fatherhood, beginning with ancient Roman paternity, and specifically how this was the basis for French concepts of the ideal family structure.

The appellation “bastard,” despite its generally negative connotation throughout French history in reference to bastard blood and impure lineage, is used throughout this dissertation in reference to children born of unwed parents. Another important term used in French for illegitimate children is enfant naturel; this expression, which has less of a negative connotation, is often found in both literary and legal texts, whereas “bâtard,” when referring to a child, is less commonly found in legal discourse. The various “bastard” characters to be discussed in the following chapters are all male; there are a few reasons for this choice. Firstly, the system of male-centered primogeniture prevalent throughout French history inherently values male children over females, thereby making the question of illegitimacy of more consequence for male bastards than for female bastards. This is not to say that illegitimate daughters did not have their share of problems due to their legal familial status; in the nineteenth century, for example, an illegitimate daughter was much less likely to have a proper dowry (generally provided by the father) than a legitimate daughter. Many of the material disadvantages of being an illegitimate child were suffered equally by male and female bastards, particularly the disadvantages related to being raised in poverty by a single mother. But because even legitimate French daughters lacked many of the legal rights also denied to bastard sons, illegitimacy quite simply represented a greater drawback for sons than for daughters.

Secondly, the study of bastardy, with specific attention paid to the illegitimate son, allows me to analyze different ideals of masculinity associated with legitimate sons of different classes, as well as how those ideals are often viewed in literature as unrealized and “bastardized” in the illegitimate son. While there is undoubtedly work to be done in the study of illegitimacy as it pertains to female bastards, I choose to incorporate, not only gender-based methodologies used for feminist criticism, but also critical work specific to the study of masculinity. “Men’s studies,” or more accurately here, the study of masculinities, presently encompasses a wide number of critical methodologies used in anthropology, sociology, criminology, and literary criticism, to name only some of the most prevalent fields for such study. This dissertation is meant to be, in its own way, a contribution to this branch of gender studies.

Questions of il/legitimacy in France during the period from about 1870-1914 are uniquely important in social debate for a handful of reasons, stemming mostly from social, economic and historical events such as industrialization, and the Franco-Prussian War (1870), and from the socio-legal transformations caused by improved women’s rights and the legalization of divorce (1884). According to Annelise Maugue, it is also during this period that masculinity in France finds itself “in crisis.” 2 Part of this perceived crisis is the social evolution that accompanied industrialization in Western Europe; the employment of women in industry and the increasingly migratory nature of labor together contribute to a devaluation of traditional family structures for the interest of production. This economic current is directly opposed, however, by national social pressure following the Franco-Prussian War to procreate within marriage in order to repopulate the decimated nation following 1870. Because bio-politics is so essential to understanding the spirit of this time period, both bachelors and bastards, in their exclusion from the structure of the legitimate family, are of prime interest and provide important insights into the fragility of such supposed legitimate institutions.



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