Themes, Forms and Metamorphoses- Essays in Honour of David Gascoigne
Edited By Lorna Milne and Mary Orr
Alan Morris - The Mémoires of Doctor Lamballe and Mister Swing Troubadour: Echoes of Vidocq and Robert Louis Stevenson in Patrick Modiano’s La Ronde de nuit -123
Alan Morris The Mémoires of Doctor Lamballe and Mister Swing Troubadour: Echoes of Vidocq and Robert Louis Stevenson in Patrick Modiano’s La Ronde de nuit 1 When Patrick Modiano published his debut novel, La Place de l’Étoile, in 1968,2 one of the many things that contributed to the impact he made was the sheer number of allusions, references and quotations contained in the work. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the success of its predecessor, the follow-up text, La Ronde de nuit,3 can be seen to continue in much the same vein. From the very title of the book onwards, the cultural clins d’œil quickly accumulate, and the harder the reader concentrates on the narrative itself, the more the extent of the intertextual borrowing becomes clear. André Billy, Albert Camus, Rembrandt van Rijn, Sacha Stavisky, Paul Verlaine – these are just some of the various and varied sources who have already been identified. Numerous others have yet to be revealed, such as Emmanuel Berl, whose insistence, in his review of La Place de l’Étoile,4 that ‘beaucoup de fées se sont penchées sur le berceau de P. Modiano’ has been self-mockingly remodelled to give: ‘Toutes les fées se sont penchées sur mon berceau. Elles avaient bu sans doute’ (RN 74). Recognizing this 1 I gratefully record my indebtedness to the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, whose award of a generous research grant allowed this article to come to fruition. 2 Patrick...
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