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19th New Horizons International Film Festival - Ariel Schweitzer: Jacques Rivette – Secret Defense

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Choderlos de Laclos, ou, L'obstination (French Edition)

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Georges Poisson. Publisher: B. Grasset , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Hard to Find "synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title. Language Notes : Text: French "About this title" may belong to another edition of this title. Buy Used View Book. Customers who bought this item also bought. The passion can only strengthen the poet's mind and will, in spite of the woman's denial. Seeing as Knowing the ending : when the poet sees the divine Light for a few seconds, his words become fragmentary, so far as to dissolve.

Perfection is unspeakable, because it blinds the eyes and mind, deletes memory.


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This experience survives in feelings and in a dim trace in the poet's memory, that is used to achieve the poem. Finally, this experience of Love and Knowledge is completely 'humanistic': the poet describes it as a 'mystical ecstasy', however we mainly find references to pagan myth and divinities. Indeed, the Idol-woman also is Poetry in its greatest expression, and Pontus's work celebrates the poet's ancient sacred function of priest and seer.

The Lady or the Idea. Translation: The path of these movements of desire is directed to achieve its final veritable purpose in the divine beauty, place of perfect eternal immobility, beyond the Lady, [who is] a necessary and momentary level. Available on Perseus project website. Now in this process the whole soul throbs and palpitates, and [c] as in those who are cutting teeth there is an irritation and discomfort in the gums, when the teeth begin to grow, just so the soul suffers when the growth of the feathers begins; it is feverish and is uncomfortable and itches when they begin to grow.

Then when it gazes upon the beauty of the boy and receives the particles which flow thence to it for which reason they arecalled yearning , it is moistened and warmed, [d] ceases from its pain and is filled with joy; but when it is alone and grows dry, the mouths of the passages in which the feathers begin to grow become dry and close up, shutting in the sprouting feathers, and the sprouts within, shut in with the yearning, throb like pulsing arteries, and each sprout pricks the passage in which it is, so that the whole soul, stung in every part, rages with pain; and then again, remembering the beautiful one, it rejoices.


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So, because of these two mingled sensations, [e] it is greatly troubled by its strange condition; it is perplexed and maddened, and in its madness it cannot sleep at night or stay in any one place by day, but it is filled with longing and hastens wherever it hopes to see the beautiful one. And when it sees him and is bathed with the waters of yearning, the passages that were sealed are opened, the soul has respite from the stings and is eased of its pain, and this pleasure [a] which it enjoys is the sweetest of pleasures at the time.

Therefore the soul will not, if it can help it, be left alone by the beautiful one, but esteems him above all others […] it is ready to be a slave and to sleep wherever it is allowed, as near as possible to the beloved; for it not only reveres him who possesses beauty, [b] but finds in him the only healer of its greatest woes.

Ariel Schweitzer: Jacques Rivette – Secret Defense

For example, the sonnet I. The portrait turns into a form emanating from her, and has the same status and powers of the original. In the same way, who worships this face is always condemned to make mistakes and to live in danger, because the idol is cruel and indifferent to him; however, this pain is necessary to achieve the true love, as a way of initiation. XII The woman disdaining her lover wears an armour made of ice and despite, that painfully contrasts with burning passion of the poet. XXVI vv. The poet, turned into a cold image, can't honour his idol as he would like; that limits the process of knowledge as only mystical experience of visio, preventing the memory and the understanding because it is a too distressing event.

When he meets the idol-woman, she flusters and paralyses him, because his feelings for her are too intense. The necessity of the poetical word will also be emphasized in the second book of Erreurs II. XXXII The endless deaths of the poet his martyrdoms can absolutely not sweeten the goddess's attitude, and the poet is sure that she will pity her lover and his lost pains, when the Death the true death will have caught him. These women's cruelty is expressed by a cruel chastity, because their denial causes the poets' greatest pain. The whole sonnet is structured on the lack of word: the lines describe the need to express feelings through poetic words, to the limit of the endurable torments when the goddess' chaste image overwhelms the lover's heart.

The lines describe the graveness of the wound, and the poet's consciousness of his painful love; in the lines the poet realizes he can't say a word, 10 Les Contes amoureux par Madame Jeanne Flore, At last, the lines definitively deny the word and the life at once, because the woman's final denial means death. LXV This Sun — woman blinds the observer's eyes to prevent him from reproducing her true shape: so, the work of art is the shadow of the truth, as in Neoplatonic philosophy. If that, as a shadow, she exceeds all beauties.

However, the poet has to beg 'Enfers, en Terre et Ciel'12 to pity him, because, as Odysseus, he's in love with a Circe-woman: Au long pener de mes douloureus iours En t'adorant, Angeliquement belle, Ie vois, suivant mon erreur naturelle, Incessamment me perdre en mes discours. Veuillez donq, Dieus, vostre grace m'estendre, Et me donner quelque raison, pour prendre Contre tout Philtre amoureus, un Moly 11 He's the famous Dutch portraitist Corneille de la Haye, who was in Lyon after In the same way, the dangerous speculations are the poet's innate mistake: his soul has been poisoned for a long time, and now he can't stop it.

However, she's above all disdainful, cruel and indifferent as an Idol.

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Erreurs, book two. The Medusa — Idol always much faraway The Erreurs's second book is the most difficult part of Pontus's path of knowledge.

In spite of a much greater passion, the woman metamorphoses into a Basilisk, reducing the poet's soul and body to ashes. Now, the promise of joy is too distant, and the book starts and ends on a kind of gloomy disenchantment. Now, the poet's perspective on the sacrifice to the idol changes: she deserves worship but her lover's doubts are necessary to suffer so much. Moreover, this same cry is impossible now, because the poet has lost the power of speech. IX The woman has lost her role of Idol and gets back to her mortal nature.

Puis ajouta encore : Vieillard Titon debout : l'heure est venue. Ah, n'as tu pas assez long temps tenue, Entre tes bras jaloux ma blanche Aurore? Ah feu divin! XXVIII As a new Prometheus, the poet complains about goddess Athena's cruelty, when she prevents him from the heaven-gate because he has stolen a sunbeam to Iapetus's progeny. In this poem, the poet has obtained the keys of knowledge — maybe the same Medusa has been defeated — but he has to face a greatest ordeal.

As Pierre Brunel14 says, Medusa and Athena are a single identity after Gorgon's metamorphoses, becoming a double insurmountable obstacle against human daring. Ah incredule, ingrate, inexorable! Puis que tant est ma vie miserable, Que desespoir fait en moy son office: Quand tu m'auras souz terre fait descendre, Puisse tu faire a mon ombreuse cendre De tes regretz eternel sacrifice. The disdainful woman, as blinding Sun, turns into the ice the poet's warm desire, plunging him into desperation.

The beautiful Hyppolite, in Philippe Desportes's Amours, will be very like Pontus's woman, but Desportes won't be resentful, accepting humbly the consequences of his excessive pretension. However, the second book of Erreurs ends on a feeble hope, relying upon the Muses's inspiration and support: Mais chante moy celle essence immortelle, Qui, pour tenter du ciel nouvelle trace, Son alle empenne, et son vol renouvelle.

Erreurs, third book. The ecstasy of the Idea and the insane love18 The theme of madness, as the consequence of Medusa's gaze, describes the complete fusion between the poet, as initiate, and the Sun-woman, as Knowledge. This transformation, engendered by an excess of pain, is a frequent theme in poetry and in drama where Medusa is present, specially in the 17th century.

She's a sea creature, blonde as in the Renaissance tradition, and, like Medusa, she has the poison and the antivenin in her body , in the snakes and in the neck veins. Object de plus haulte vertu, Tome II. Voy, vil pouvoir, voy, pouvoir incertain, Ton dextre effort, ta bravade abbaissee. XXVI In a final instant of consciousness, the poet understands his hope and desires are wrong, because he destroys his body and dies to obtain a too weak power.