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La mise en œuvre des intérieurs de Balzac dans la « Grande Étude » de Théophile Gautier

Abstract : Balzac was seen by his contemporaries as a tireless traveler, capable of being anywhere and everywhere. He was seen as literally ex-centric (i.e., without a center). This explains why portraits of him published in the press during the 1830s and 1840s often associated his unconventional lifestyle with extravagant Bohemianism and thus with homelessness. Representing Balzac as an “interior designer” of his own home may therefore seem puzzling. After the writer’s death, however, at a time when the culture of “at-homeness” was flourishing during the Second Empire, some of his friends contributed to a nuancing of this picture of a rootless Balzac. In an essay published in 1858, Grande Étude, Théophile Gautier puts the emphasis on his friend’s life and on his decorative tastes at home. This article discusses Gautier’s point that Balzac—and Gautier—dramatized the interior design of the novelist’s homes in order to deceive Parisian society and to play with his own image. The paper aims to show to what extent Balzac used his work as might an interior designer, in order to shape his own image as a writer.
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Marie-Clémence Régnier. La mise en œuvre des intérieurs de Balzac dans la « Grande Étude » de Théophile Gautier. Colloque du Groupe d’Études balzaciennes et du Mobilier national : "Balzac, architecte d’intérieurs", École du Louvre; Musée Balzac, Oct 2016, Saché, France. pp. 279-296, ⟨10.3917/balz.018.0279⟩. ⟨hal-03713130⟩



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