Philology, pedagogy, and psychology

2022 Issue №3

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The novel by Marivaux “Marianna’s Life” within the context of French epistolary prose of the XVIII century



The article aims to clarify the genre and narratological features of the most famous novel by J.-P. Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux Marianna’s Life. This work is usually mentioned as a sample of the epistolary prose of Enlightenment. However, the poetics of this literary work which sometimes is called the Second Pamela does not match the poetic manners of Richardson who is considered to have been the creator of the epistolary novel. Richardson influenced the development of European as well as French novel greatly. The comparative analysis allows us to establish the difference between the narratives of English and French writers. While the English writer uses the technique called «writing to the moment», describing the emotional feelings as a climax, Marivaux using the interference of both memoir and epistolary types of letters, created the feeling of ambiguity of the protagonist story (the aged woman speaks about her youth). The time distance makes it possible for Marivaux to become ironic to his own feelings and this results in the effect of “double register”. Thus, Marivaux’s novel becomes an innovative experimental text, a model of rocaille narrative.