Les Lettres du mont-Blanc sont rédigées par Rémi Mogenet, docteur en littérature à l’université de Savoie. Elles évoquent abondamment la littérature de l’ancienne Savoie. Mais elles suivent le parcours de leur auteur, intéressé en outre par les littératures francophones et régionales, le Merveilleux antique, médiéval et moderne, et la poésie contemporaine, thèmes sur lesquels il a rédigé livres, articles, préfaces et mémoires. Le Romantisme, le Classicisme, les littératures francophones et régionales ainsi que le Merveilleux à travers les âges et les lieux sont ses spécialités. Il publie également des ouvrages littéraires, poésie ou récits.
Titulaire d’une Maîtrise de Littérature comparée portant sur les relations entre la Magie et la Science chez les écrivains Gérard Klein, J. R. R. Tolkien et H. P. Lovecraft, d’un D. E. A. d’Études anglaises portant plus spécifiquement sur The Lord of the Rings de J. R. R. Tolkien, il a rédigé sa thèse sur la question de la dimension mythologique de la littérature de l’ancienne Savoie. Elle a été brillamment soutenue en décembre 2018. Elle portait en particulier sur le Romantisme, mais intégrait une réflexion sur l’esthétique de François de Sales et son influence sur la littérature postérieure.
En quête d’un emploi aux États-Unis, il perfectionne son anglais sous la direction quotidienne de sa fiancée, l’universitaire Maria Ann Noland, et souhaiterait proposer deux Upper Level Classes, correspondant à ses spécialités :
1. Myth-making in French and Francophone Romanticism
According to Karl Wilhelm Friedrich von Schlegel (1772-1829), one the main founders of Romanticism in Germany, poetry finds its secret goal in the elaboration of new myths, then organized into a mythology; and this in turn is the essence of a knowledge deeper than any reason can elaborate. Even if this idea was fruitful mostly in Germany and Great Britain, some French speaking writers also adopted it.
In France, Victor Hugo (1802-1885), Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869), Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863), and Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855) made great works of literature grounded on these principles. In Belgium, Charles De Coster (1827-1879) wrote his Ulenspiegel Legend, beautiful local epic. In Quebec, Louis-Honoré Fréchette (1839-1908) wrote his Legend of a People. In Savoie, Brittany, Franche-Comté, and Provence, local writers did the same. More recently, French-speaking writers in African countries such as Mali and Guinea published their own versions of the Epic of Soundiata, which was transmitted through the griots’ voices for centuries. Thus, Romanticism, in the sense Friedrich von Schlegel understood it, revolutionized French speaking literature, opening it to new horizons, helping it to find at last a global reach through poetry and creativity.
Dr. Rémi Mogenet, PhD, specializes to this question, defended a thesis about mythological inspiration in Savoie, and has written articles and books about mythological inspiration there and elsewhere.
2. Religious Mysticism and the Marvelous in 17th Century France
Catholic mysticism, in 17th century France, conceded an important part of its practices to the imagination of the spiritual world. Not only, in the context of the Counter-Reform (1530), its devotees needed to understand the Gospel, but they also had to vividly imagine all its parts. Moreover, the symbols, the saints in the heavens, the angels, the Christ himself, standing beyond the veil of physical world, had to be intimately represented, in order to increase devotion and wonder before the mysteries of God. But soon the meditation about symbols and miracles appeared to be beyond ordinary reason in its depth, and it was articulated with the rejection of natural reason, about the comprehension of the mysteries themselves. Awe and wonder had to be prevalent.
Women, in particular, developed this type of devotion, influenced by Francis of Sales, whom C. S. Lewis considered to be the best religious writer. The mystic Mrs. Guyon, following in Sales’ footsteps, wrote books and elaborated a way of devotion even more impregnated with awe beyond reason. Fénelon, the author of The Adventures of Telemachus, supported her and wrote tales for royal children, seeing the marvelous as potentially educational: it led souls towards hidden truths, and to God. Soon, also under the influence of the great writers of the time (Pierre Corneille, Jean Racine, Molière, and Jean de La Fontaine), a new genre – the fairy tale – came into its own, full of a child-like spirit that was not concerned with penetrating the mysteries with the brain as much as with the heart. Charles Perrault published his own in 1697, and Mrs. d’Aulnoy hers in 1698. A great literary movement was born that would last until the French Revolution, when, under the influence of Illuminism, it would retreat back into mysticism and esotericism, mostly with Jacques Cazotte and Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin.
Dr. Rémi Mogenet, PhD, offers to teach an upper level course on this movement which was concomittant to French Classicism, since he specializes in the thought and works of St. Francis of Sales and his successors, as well as the marvelous in general.