Paper - Marie Corelli - The Soul of Lilith

of 13

Please download to get full document.

View again

All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
13 pages
0 downs
Mary Mc Kay, better known under her pen name Marie Corelli, was one of the most renown novel writers of late-nineteenth and early twentieth century Great-Britain. Some of her novels sold at more than a hundred thousand each and were, in her time,
  Marie Kawthar DaoudaMaster 2 – LLCE AnglaisSéminaire « Poésie et Poétique »Semestre  – Dé!em"re 2#$ Mar% M! Ka%& "etter 'nown under her (en name )Marie Corelli*& was one o+ the mostrenown no,el writers o+ late-nineteenth and earl% twentieth !entur% .reat-/ritain0 Some o+ her +i!tions were sold at more than a hundred thousand ea!h and were& in her time& more (o(ular thanArthur Conan Do%le1s or ud%ard Ki(ling1s  0 James Agate wrote that she combined “theimagination of a Poe with the style of an Ouida and the mentality of a nursemaid 2 ”. This attack definitely strikes home. Corelli's eccentric ways – she would navigate the Thames on a gondola -were part of a very accurate and elaborated marketing strategy. From her pen name, through whichshe claimed being a descendant of Archangelo Corelli and displayed a fake French Catholic lineage,to her pictures that were chosen in order to make her look thinner and younger, her persona as awriter was, in itself, a work of art. Moreover, through constant allusions to Shakespeare, Goethe ormore contemporary artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti or Algernon Swinburne, she managed tocreate a crowd-pleasing fictional universe where every reader could find echoes of his own tastes.Corelli was most renowned +or the wa% she intertwined esoteri! !on!e(ts with so!ial satire0 3houghthe (resent state o+ resear!h ma'es it di++i!ult to de+ine (re!isel% what Corelli read or heard o+ .erman idealism& gnosis or neo(latonism& she e4(li!itl% mentions theoso(h% in se,eral o+ her no,els& where she summons !on!e(ts "orrowed +rom Christian s!ien!e& s(iritualism or neo(latonism0 The Soul of Lilith  was (u"lished in 56 and is t%(i!all% re(resentati,e o+ Corelli1se4(eriments on what was %et to "e !alled s!ien!e-+i!tion0 3his three-,olume no,el "egins with a note stating that the e,ents related are true& and thatthe narrati,e should rather "e read as a re(ort on an e4(eriment than as a wor' o+ +i!tion7 3he +ollowing stor% does not assume to "e what is generall% understood "% a 8no,el08 9t is sim(l%the a!!ount o+ a strange and daring e4(eriment on!e a!tuall% attem(ted& and is o++ered to those whoare interested in the unseen 8(ossi"ilities8 o+ the :erea+ter& merel% +or what it is&;a single e(isode inthe li+e o+ a man who ,oluntaril% sa!ri+i!ed his whole worldl% !areer in a su(reme e++ort to (ro,e thea((arentl% <n(ro,a"le = 0 3his warning onl% em(hasi>es the tension& sustained all through the narrati,e& "etween realism and+an!%0 3he (lot is !entered on three !hara!ters& El-?mi @aranos – the man mentioned in the  n Corelli1s selling +igures& see Billiam Stuart S!ott&1s  Marie Corelli, The Story of a Friendship & London&:ut!hinson& 6& (0 2== and Annette 0 ederi!o&  Idol of Suburbia, Marie Corelli and Late-Victorian LiteraryCulture & <ni,ersit% Press o+ irginia& Charlotes,ille-London& 2###& (0 $-F0 2 Billiam Stuart S!ott&  Marie Corelli, The story of a friendship, London  ,  :ut!hinson& 6& (0 2$=0 = The Soul of Lilith & London& /entle% G Sons& 5620   warning& an eastern magneti>er who inherited the esoteri! 'nowledge o+ the an!ient Chaledans& his%oung "rother éra>& whom El-?mi turned into a (oet "% using his magneti! in+luen!e& and aslee(ing maiden named Lilith& 'e(t in a se!ret room o+ their house in London0 El-?mi +ound Lilithd%ing in the desert ten %ears earlier0 At the ,er% moment when she was a"out to (ass awa%& heh%(noti>ed her and inHe!ted in her ,eins a m%sterious +luid !harged with astral energ%0 3hrough thismeans& he 'e(t her "od% ali,e& though aslee(& while he 'e(t using his h%(noti! (ower o,er her s(iritin order to ma'e her e4(lore the whole uni,erse in sear!h o+ .od and o+ :ell I 0 :is "rother1s in+luen!e 'ee(s éra> awa% +rom the world and ma'es him thri,e on dreamsthat +requentl% lead him to a remote hea,enl% (lanet0 3he da% he is summoned "% Lilith1s ,oi!e inthe room she is 'e(t& he is re,olted "% his "rother1s use o+ her as a means +or his e4(eriments& andEl-?mi +or!es him to +orget the ,er% name o+ Lilith0 As the narrati,e goes on& El-?mi1s !hara!ter e,ol,es& and his +austian quest +or 'nowledge is graduall% re(la!ed "% an intense desire +or Lilith0At the ,er% moment when& lo!'ed u( in Lilith1s room& he is !ontem(lating the e,entualit% o+ wa'ingher +rom her h%(noti! slee( to "e her lo,er& éra> utters the name o+ Lilith& thus unlo!'ing hismemor% o+ her& then he is !arried "% e!hoes o+ ossetti1s (oetr% into a state o+ m%sti!al re,eriewhere he sees a !rowd mar!hing towards the (la!e where Lilith1s soul& +reed +rom El-?mi1sin+luen!e& is a"out to !ross the s'% towards hea,en0 9t had +lashed a!ross his mind li'e a "eam o+ light or a hea,en-sent signal&;he was at wor'& writingat his (oem& when some sudden ine4(li!a"le instin!t had (rom(ted him to li+t his e%es and murmur de,outl% ;8.od de+end LilithJ8 LilithJ;how so+t the sound o+ itJ;how in+initel% "ewit!hingJ A+ter ha,ing lost it +or so long& it had !ome "a!' to him in a moment;how or wh%& he !ould not imagine0 :e !ould onl% a!!ount+or it in one wa%;namel%& that El-?mi1s will-+or!es were so !on!entrated on some (arti!ularl% a"sor"ingo"He!t that his dail% in+luen!e on his "rother1s %oung li+e was there"% materiall% lessened0 And éra> was "%no means sorr% that this should "e so08Bh% should it matter that 9 remem"er her name8 he mused;89 shall ne,er s(ea' o+ her;+or 9 ha,e sworn9 will not0 /ut 9 !an thin' o+ her to m% heart1s !ontent&;the "eauti+ul LilithJ83hen he +ell to !onsidering the old legend o+ that Lilith who it is said was Adam1s +irst wi+e&;and hesmiled as he thought what a name o+ e,il omen it was to the ews& who had !harms and talismans wherewithto e4or!ise the su((osed e,il in+luen!e !onne!ted with it&;while to him& éra>& it was a name sweeter thanhone%-sweet singing0 3hen there !ame to his mind stra% snat!hes o+ (oes%&;deli!ate rh%mes +rom the ri!hand ,aried stores o+ one o+ his +a,ourite (oets Dante .a"riel ossetti&;rh%mes that sounded in his ears Hustnow li'e the stro(hes o+ a si"%lline !hant or s(ell7; 89t was Lilith the wi+e o+ Adam7Sing Eden /owerJN Oot a dro( o+ her "lood was human&/ut she was made li'e a so+t sweet woman088And that is surel% trueJ8 said éra> to himsel+& a little startled&;8or;i+ she is dead& as El-?mi asserts&and her seeming li+e is "ut the result o+ his art& then indeed in the !ase o+ this Lilith 1not a dro( o+ her "lood ishuman018And the (oem ran on in his mind;  I 3he theme o+ mesmerism in articulo mortis is !learl% "orrowed +rom Edgar Allan Poe0 Lilith1s awa'ening s!enerewrites )3he a!ts un the !ase o+ Mister aldemar* 5IN and her soul tra,eling is quite a'in to what is des!ri"edin )Mesmeri! e,elation* 5IIN0 n Edgar Allan Poe and mesmerism& see Sidne% E0 Lind& )Poe and Mesmerism*&PMLA& ol0 $2& nI& 2Q6IF& (0 #FF-#6I0 2  8Lilith stood on the s'irts o+ EdenAlas& the hourJNShe was the +irst that then!e was dri,en7Bith her was hell& and with E,e was hea,en088Oa%& 9 should trans(ose that&8;murmured the %oung man drowsil%& staring out on the moonlit street;89should sa% 1Bith E,e was hell& and with Lilith hea,en01 :ow strange it is 9 should ne,er ha,e thought o+ this (oem "e+oreJ;and 9 ha,e o+ten turned o,er the (ages o+ ossetti1s "oo'&;sin!e;sin!e 9 saw herR;9 mustha,e a!tuall% seen the name o+ Lilith (rinted there& and %et it ne,er suggested itsel+ to me as "eing +amiliar or o++ering an% sort o+ !lue08:e sighed (er(le4edl%&;the heliotro(e odours +loated around him& and the gleam o+ the lam( in theroom seemed to (ale in the wide s(lendour o+ the moon-ra%s (ouring through the window&;and still thedeli!ate s(rite o+ Poes% !ontinued to remind him o+ +amiliar lines and ,erses he lo,ed& though all the whilehe thought o+ Lilith& and 'e(t on wondering ,aguel% and ,ainl% what would "e& what !ould "e& the end o+ his "rother1s e4(eriment whate,er that was& +or he& éra>& did not 'nowN on the lo,el%& a((arentl% li,ing girlwho %et was dead0 9t was ,er% strange;and surel%& it was also ,er% terri"leJ83he da% is dar' and the night3o him that would sear!h their heartR Oo li(s o+ !loud that will (art& Oor morning song in the light7nl%& ga>ing alone3o him wild shadows are shown&Dee( under dee( un'nownAnd height a"o,e un'nown height0Still we sa% as we go&; 1Strange to thin' "% the wa%&Bhate,er there is to 'now&3hat shall we 'now one da%0183his (assage o+ rh%me sang itsel+ out with a monotonous musi!al gentleness in his "rain&;he !losed his e%esrest+ull%&;and then;l%ing "a!' thus in his !hair "% the o(en window& with the moonlight !asting a widehalo round him and gi,ing a (ale s(iritual "eaut% to his deli!ate !lassi! +eatures&;he (assed awa% out o+ his "od%& as he would ha,e said& and was no more on earthR or rather as we should sa%& he +ell aslee( anddreamed0 And the 8dream8 or the 8e4(erien!e8 was thisR; :e +ound himsel+ wal'ing leisurel% u(on the slo(es o+ a maHesti! mountain& whi!h seemed not somu!h mountain as garden& +or all the winding (aths leading to its summit were +ringed with +lowers0 :eheard the sil,er% (lashing o+ "roo's and +ountains& and the rustling o+ thi!'l%-+oliaged trees&;he 'new the (la!e well& and reali>ed that he was in his 8star8 again&;the m%sti! S(here he !alled his 8home08 /ut he wase,identl% an e4ile or an alien in it&;he had grown to reali>e this +a!t and was sorr% it should "e so& %et hissorrow was mingled with ho(e& +or he +elt it would not alwa%s "e so0 :e wandered along aimlessl% andalone& +ull o+ a !uriousl% ,ague ha((iness and regret& and as he wal'ed he was (assed "% !rowds o+ "eauti+ul%ouths and maidens& who were all (ressing +orward eagerl% as to some high +esti,al or great assem"l%0 3he%sang "lithe songs&;the% s!attered +lowers&;the% tal'ed with ea!h other in ha((%-toned ,oi!es&;and hestood aside ga>ing at them wist+ull% while the% went on reHoi!ing08 land where li+e ne,er grows old and where lo,e is eternalJ8 he mused;8Bh% am 9 e4iled +rom th% glor%Bh% ha,e 9 lost th% Ho%8:e sighedR;he longed to 'now what had "rought together so "right a multitude o+ these lo,el% and Ho%ous "eings&;his own 8dear (eo(le8 as he +elt the% wereR and %et;%et he hesitated to as' one o+ them theleast question& +eeling himsel+ unworth%0 At last he saw a girl a((roa!hing&;she was singing to hersel+ andt%ing +lowers in a garland as she !ame&;her loose gold hair streamed "ehind her& e,er% glistening tressseeming to +lash light as she mo,ed0 As she drew near him she glan!ed at him 'indl% and (aused as thoughwaiting to "e addressed&;seeing this& he mustered u( his !ourage and s(o'e08Bhither are %ou all going8 he as'ed& with a sad gentleness;89 ma% not +ollow %ou& 9 'now&;"ut will %outell me wh%& in this 'ingdom o+ Ho%& so mu!h +resh Ho% seems added8She (ointed u(wards& and as his e%es o"e%ed her gesture& he saw in the o(al-!oloured s'% that "ent a"o,ethem& a da>>ling "la>e o+ gold and !rimson glor% towards the south0 =  8An Angel (assesJ8 she re(lied;8/elow that line o+ light the Earth swings round in its little or"it& and +romthe Earth She !omesJ Be go to wat!h her +light hea,enward& and win the "enedi!tion that her (assing (resen!e gi,es0 or loo' %ouJ;all that s(lendour in the s'% is not light& "ut wingsJ8  As it is +requentl% the !ase in Corelli1s no,els& this e4tra!t wea,es the narrati,e with (oeti!quotations and "i"li!al re+eren!es0 Bhat !ould "e the (ur(ose and e++i!ien!% o+ this shi+ting o+ realist no,el writing towards a s%m"olist re(resentation o+ inner s!eneries 9+ Corelli (ushes the no,el to the !on+ines o+ (oetr%& her use o+ (rera(haelite !odes !an "oth "e read as a +ruit+ul use o+ !learl% identi+ia"le topoï,  through whi!h the no,el writer (resents a stud%o+ (oeti! ins(iration0 I – Poetry and the borders of the narrativeMaking the “Unprovable” acceptable 3he +irst requirement in Corelli1s distortion o+ realist no,el writing is to ma'e the irrationalseem (lausi"le0 éra> is made ,isi"le to the reader& )at wor'* then )l%ing "a!' in his !hair* in a+amiliar surrounding enhan!ed with the aestheti! des!ri(tion o+ )the heliotro(e odours +loatingTaround him*0 /% delineating her !hara!ter1s +an!%& Corelli eradi!ates the dou"t "etween illusion andrealit% whi!h is at the !ore o+ the +antasti! no,el0 3he atmos(here de(i!ted is the o((osite o+ agloom% Unheimlich  surrounding& and though Corelli mentions )the wide s(lendour o+ the moonra%s (ouring through the window*& nothing eerie inter+eres with this soothing +amiliarit%& that thereader would !on+ront with the oddit% o+ Lilith1s room where El-?mi is underta'ing hise4(eriment0 3his soothing atmos(here ma'es the ine4(li!a"le elements a"out to o!!ur seem& i+ not (lausi"le& %et harmless0 3he sudden surging o+ Lilith1s name is (resented as a m%ster%& )how or wh%&he !ould not imagine*& %et& the reader is soon (ro,ided with the 'ind o+ (seudo-s!ienti+i!ale4(lanations Corelli +requentl% addresses 7 ):e !ould onl% a!!ount +or it in one wa%* introdu!es a!lue rel%ing on El-?mi1s mesmeri! in+luen!e – whi!h !an hardl% "e ta'en as a granted e,iden!e o+ rationalit%& and the logi!al o(erators& )namel%*& )there"%*& ma'e the narrator1s ,oi!e heard as itgi,es a reason to the une4(e!ted remem"ran!e o+ Lilith1s name and aims to sustain the reader1ssus(ension o+ dis"elie+0 3his ,oi!e o(erates as a medium ma'ing éra>1s inner s(ee!h and +eelings (er!e(ti"le to thereader& es(e!iall% as it em(hasi>es the sensorial e++e!ts o+ (oetr% on the %oung man0 ossetti1s linessounding )in his ears Hust now* ma'e the reader (arta'e in éra>1s inner (er!e(tion o+ )Eden/ower  $ * and in,ite to share his o(enness to (oetr%1s e++i!ien!%0 3his e4tra!t oughts to "e read as asu(er(osition o+ ,oi!es0 éra>1s s(ee!h leads the reader towards +an!% while the narrator 'ee(s there,erie intelligi"le through e4(ressions su!h as )as he would ha,e said* (ara(hrasing )(assed awa%  Marie Corelli& The Soul of Lilith & London& /entle% G Sons& 562& (0 $#-$$0 $ )Eden /ower*& in The Collected or!s of "ante #abriel $ossetti & Ellis and El,e%& London& 6#& ,ol0 & (0 =#50 I  out o+ his "od%*& whi!h is made e,en more o",ious and more (rosai! "% )as we should sa%& he +ellaslee( and dreamed*0 3his dida!ti!al dimension inside (o(ular no,el writing !an "e (er!ei,edthrough Corelli1s !are +or summari>ing the "i"li!al h%(ote4t o+ her no,el "% mentioning thesu(erstitions asso!iated with Lilith0 Corelli1s e++orts to ma'e the une4(laina"le (lausi"le and toremain +aith+ul to what has "een settled as a (a!t with the reader in the +oreword1s captatiobene%olentiae  are sustained through details as slight as the "ra!'ets around )dream*& )e4(erien!e*&)star*& )home* and )dear (eo(le*0 3he "ra!'ets delineate words o+ whi!h meaning is slightl%altered and widened to +it the uns(ea'a"le ongoing e4(erien!e& and a((eals to the reader1s o(en-mindedness towards the tres(assing o+ semanti! de+initions0 3he "ra!'ets a!tuall% isolate éra>& as a (oet a"le to use words in an altered meaning& +rom a )we* whi!h in!ludes the narrator and thereader0 3his "alan!e "etween +an!% and realit%& or rather this slight im"alan!e towards realismwithin +an!% and esoteri! allusions& is a 'e%stone to Corelli1s (o(ular no,els1 e++i!ien!%0 Enshrined poems Strange as éra>1s re,erie ma% seem& the reader is in,ited within it through (oetr%1s gatewa%03he !reation o+ a m%sterious and %et re!ogni>a"le uni,erse were the un'nown is "alan!ed with+amiliarit% also relies on quotations0 Corelli e4(li!itl% e,o'es ossetti and quotes the +irst stan>as o+ two o+ his (oems& )Eden /ower* and )3he Cloud Con+ines F *0 3he "atheti! introdu!tion )the ri!hand ,aried stores o+ one o+ his éra>1sT +a,ourite (oets* and the use o+ )(oes%* rather than )(oetr%*dis(la%s Corelli1s slight tenden!% to a++e!tation as well as her !onstant stri,e to lin'ing her no,elswith a more elitist !ultural +ield& and !an seem quite a hea,% introdu!tion to the (oem0 Corelli1s narrati,e ,oi!e o",iousl% delineates )Eden /ower* and introdu!es the reader intoéra>1s +eelings and +an!ies0 3he su"He!t o+ the lost Eden garden is (ro"a"l% one o+ the oldest topoï  &and Corelli& through quoting ossetti& also inherits a (alim(sest o+ Milton and the /i"le0 )Eden/ower*1s stru!ture and theme& whi!h sha(e Lilith1s su(ernatural "eaut% into +eminine rh%mes& issummoned as an authorit% whi!h legitimates Corelli1s own Lilith as an em"odiment o+ +eminine (ower0 ather than eroding the limits "etween the (oems and the narrati,e& Corelli !hoses tohighlight the lines quoted as an enshrined (oeti! o"He!t0 3he word )stro(hes* stresses the te!hni!alas(e!t o+ (oetr% writing& as does the re(etition o+ )rh%mes that*& %et the ana(hori! e++e!t o+ thisre(etition !ou(led with the meta(hor )+rom the ri!h and ,aried stores* ma'es the des!ri(tion o+ ossetti1s lines (oeti! in itsel+0 3he enshrined stan>as +rom )Eden /ower* stand as an authorit%assessing the themati! as(e!t o+ the no,el as well as a legitimation +or the l%ri!al tone within theno,el0 3he unit% o+ the no,el is in!reased "% the quotation& whi!h is +oreshadowed in the e(igra(h F )3he Cloud Con+ines* in The Collected or!s of "ante #abriel $ossetti & Ellis and El,e%& London& 6#& ,ol0 & (0 =F0 
Related Search
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks