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The Echo of Solitude in the Romantic Representations of the Sea: Multivalence of a Motif in Romance Literatures

Hassouna, Djehane Abdel Hay (2006) The Echo of Solitude in the Romantic Representations of the Sea: Multivalence of a Motif in Romance Literatures. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Writers have relentlessly acknowledged the influence of water on their poetic vision. The Romantic "malaise" found its solace in the proximity of a body of water. Offering the same ambiguity as the human character, the influence of the sea can be both beneficial and detrimental. My dissertation discusses the multivalence of a Romantic Sea in French, Italian and Spanish Literatures. Through a thematic as well as a comparative approach, I study numerous transnational examples revolving around the importance of the sea in the lives of a series of protagonists. The vicinity of the sea induces either an implicit or explicit dialogue between the character and the liquid element, triggering a deeper understanding of self, and providing an alleviation of the pressures burdening the psyche of the protagonist. Since the sea can represent death as well as salvation, the first chapter describes its ambiguity in the representations of a series of writings. Holding in its depths the power of Good and Evil, the sea can either save or threaten. The second chapter indicates how the unrestrained freedom of the waves could motivate the characters to liberate themselves from the burden of social constraints while recovering their own identity. The liquid element, assuming the role of a mentor, guides the character on the path of an emotional recovery. The third chapter focuses on the reflective properties of the water, which at times leads to a symbiosis, highlighting the communion between the character and the sea. The fourth chapter shows how the sea appeases the nostalgia of exile by filling the void left by the "destierro" from one's native land, thus bridging the gap of memory. The fifth and last chapter studies the sea as an agent of transcendence, going beyond the limitations of mortality, perception, as well as cognition. The human being and the Sea have a lot in common: depth, ambiguity, and ultimately, irrationality. Just like humans, the sea represents a mysterious realm, whose incommensurable depth triggers endless suppositions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hassouna, Djehane Abdel Haydahst27@pitt.eduDAHST27
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChair Mecchia, Giuseppinamecchia@pitt.eduMECCHIA
Committee CoChairCitton,
Committee MemberSavoia, Francescasavoia@pitt.eduSAVOIA
Committee MemberMartin, Geraldgmmgmm@pitt.eduGMMGMM
Committee MemberWatts, Phillipwatts@pitt.eduWATTS
Date: 7 July 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 12 October 2005
Approval Date: 7 July 2006
Submission Date: 15 November 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > French
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Balzac; French Literature; Hugo; Italian Literature; Sea; Solitude; Spanish Literature
Other ID:, etd-11152005-103916
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:04
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:51


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