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Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century$
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Rebecca Anne Barr, Sylvie Kleiman-Lafton, and Sophie Vasset

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526127051

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526127051.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Potbelly, paunch and innards: variations on the abdomen in Marivaux’s L’Homère travesti and Le Télémaque travesti

Potbelly, paunch and innards: variations on the abdomen in Marivaux’s L’Homère travesti and Le Télémaque travesti

Chapter:
(p.209) 10 Potbelly, paunch and innards: variations on the abdomen in Marivaux’s L’Homère travesti and Le Télémaque travesti
Source:
Bellies, bowels and entrails in the eighteenth century
Author(s):

Clémence Aznavour

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526127051.003.0011

In Marivaux’s plays and fictional memoirs, the somatic vocabulary is quite limited and mostly refers to the ‘face’, the ‘eyes’ and the ‘hands’ of the characters. The ‘belly’ is rarely mentioned, except in order to describe the gluttony of servants and peasants. ‘Paunch’, ‘potbelly’ and ‘innards’, on the other hand, punctuate two parodic works Marivaux wrote at the beginning of his career: L’Homère travesti and Le Télémaque travesti. This chapter analyses this exceptional vocabulary and highlights its link with the burlesque register, and the specific context of the Homeric Warfare in which L’Homère traveti and Le Télémaque travesti played their part. Throughout the burlesque register, Marivaux creates new epic targets and focuses on physiological disturbances in order to call into questions the heroism of antiquity and the alleged perfection of the heroic body. This register also allows him to examine the link between appetite and sexual desire: if the equivalence between food and women’s body will remain in Marivaux’s following works, the ‘belly’ will never appear again as the material location of desire.

Keywords:   Marivaux’s parodies, Homeric Warfare, burlesque , belly, appetite, heroism

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