Фетиш, или Традиция метаморфоз в рокайльном романе
This is a study of the fiction writing of French Rococo-era novelist Crébillon-fils within the wider context of 18th-century French Rococo prose, which was distinguished for a close attention to the objective world, expressed in both the detailed description of objects and in the choice of an object (fetish) as narrator. Picturesque descriptions of secluded mansions full of luxurious furniture are explicitly associated with gallant aesthetics and libertinage. These descriptions of residences intended for amatory seclusion are essential to reveal the affectation of the temptation rhetoric which, an anachronism even then, is required to enhance the aristocratic status of the participants in the erotic communication that unleashes the situation where the gallant ‘takes advantage’ of his lady’s weakness. The monologue of the animated object, Rococo fiction’s narrator of choice, bears witness to changes in the poetics of the adventure story, expressed in a departure from the strategies of the picaresque novel and the well-defined first person of the picaro. Rococo fiction drifts towards panopticism as it endeavours to overcome the limitations of the individual view and opts for a greater scale and universality of description in which the observer is invisible to the observed.