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On the Possibility and Plurality of Worlds: from The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to Le Crime étrange de Mr Hyde

Abstract : When an academic and Stevenson specialist writes a first novel meant as a rewriting of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, he tries to justify, with a hindsight, how he came to bridge the gap between his research and his post-modern Victorian recreation. Eco’s concept of “possible” or “impossible” worlds taken from The Limits of Interpretation may come in handy here: a close study of Stevenson’s tale in terms of geometrical perspective and treatment of colours brings out the impossible lines of this fake detective story, as well as the contrast between a “noir” mood and a proto-expressionistic palette. Such aesthetic models as German expressionism, both filmic and pictorial, but also Klee, Bacon or Kubrick constitute as many references and material for building up a new narrative world. If the railway metaphor of switching used by Eco in Lector in fabula is relevant in order to connect one narrative world to another one (eg. Stevenson to Doyle), that of stitching is apt to describe the patching up of fragments of sundry quotations and allusions, a “lining” (Gracq) ready to emerge from, or weave itself back into the text depending on the “intertextual competence” (Kristeva) of the reader.
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https://hal-univ-paris3.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03328753
Contributeur : Emeline Juillard <>
Soumis le : lundi 30 août 2021 - 12:20:18
Dernière modification le : mardi 31 août 2021 - 03:22:54

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Jean-Pierre Naugrette. On the Possibility and Plurality of Worlds: from The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to Le Crime étrange de Mr Hyde. Sillages Critiques, Presses de l'Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 2004, pp.23-44. ⟨10.4000/sillagescritiques.1427⟩. ⟨hal-03328753⟩

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