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An English cover-up: masks, murders, and English cruelty in Goncourt, Lorrain, and Schwob

Scott, Hannah

Authors

Hannah Scott hannah.scott@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

Fin-de-siècle writers from diverse disciplines were drawn to the seductive potential of masks and disguise; mask-wearing characters of indefinite identity, indeterminate gender, and insecure psychology proliferate in their texts. However, when characters are designated as English in such stories, they are also, and with remarkable frequency, associated with cruelty or murder: the mask-wielding murderers of Marcel Schwob’s ‘MM. Burke et Hare, Assassins’ carry out their crimes in Britain upon British victims; Edmond de Goncourt weaves his theatrical narrative around the mask-like demeanour of Lord Annandale in La Faustin; and Jean Lorrain’s malicious Lord Ethal exacerbates the Duc de Fréneuse’s perverse obsessions with masks in Monsieur de Phocas. This article explores this unexpected correlation, and examines the ways that English masks are used as narrative devices – at once to mould and play with national distinctions, and to reflect upon the psychological state of the French subject.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Dix-Neuf
Electronic ISSN 1478-7318
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 3
APA6 Citation Scott, H. (in press). An English cover-up: masks, murders, and English cruelty in Goncourt, Lorrain, and Schwob. Dix-Neuf, 21(3), doi:10.1080/14787318.2017.1386886
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/14787318.2017.1386886
Keywords English, masks, cruelty, murder, Marcel Schwob, Edmond de Goncourt, Jean Lorrain, Les Vies imaginaires, La Faustin, Monsieur de Phocas
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14787318.2017.1386886
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Dix-Neuf on 15.12.2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline....0/14787318.2017.1386886

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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