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Cross-Cultural Encounters between the Mediterranean and the English-Speaking Worlds


Edited By Christine Reynier

The Mediterranean world has long had strong cultural links to Great Britain as well as to the United States. Through the analysis of artistic objects and critical writings that crystallise this encounter, the essays in this volume demonstrate the variety and complexity of the connections between two geographical zones and two or more cultures.
Mediterranean cultures are shown to haunt American and British culture and artistic productions. The relation between British and American literature and art on the one hand, and Mediterranean arts on the other goes beyond the mere inscription of British and American culture in a Mediterranean tradition. British and American culture and art come out as unearthing a wide variety of Mediterranean artistic forms, renewing and transforming them.
This collection shows how lively the encounter between the Mediterranean and the English-Speaking worlds still is. It highlights how much English as well as American culture and art owe today to the Mediterranean ones; how, mainly in the fields of literature and art, the two civilisations have never discontinued the dialogue they adumbrated centuries ago.


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FABIENNE COUÉCOU - Ford Madox Ford’s England and the English:The Language of the Troubadours or Englishness Revisited - 67


FABIENNE COUÉCOU Ford Madox Ford’s England and the English: The Language of the Troubadours or Englishness Revisited According to his biographers Ford could have been a painter or a musi- cian but he also felt a compulsion for writing from an early age. The Soul of London was written in 1904. Judging from the Author’s Advertise- ments, The Heart of the Country was completed in April 1906 while The Spirit of the People must have been completed in August 1907, before the trilogy was edited in New York under the title: England & the Eng- lish: An Interpretation. Critics certainly failed to consider the interac- tions of the three books. The essentials of this trilogical piece of work were held to be in The Soul of London, a book that emphasised the mod- ern aspects of London poetically enough. My main purpose when studying the trilogy has been to find the con- necting link for the three books: the word ‘passion’, suggestive of both human suffering and pleasure, runs through the volumes and seems to provide this link. After outlining the reader’s difficulties inherent in the structure and contents of the book, I propose to centre on the second mean- ing of the word passion and to analyse how the notion of pleasure22 stems from the Mediterranean at large, and more specifically from the art of the Troubadours, rooted in Provence. Then we will move on to Ford’s ‘Triple- Entendre’, a new dynamics of creation borrowed from the Troubadours’ technique,...

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