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Collection: INTERAMER
Number: 55
Year: 1997
Author: Harry Beleván
Title: The Heirs of Ariadne


1. Maurice Blanchot quite rightly refers to this in: “The encounter with the imaginary space” (part one of The Sirens’ Song), when wondering about the “land of source and origin” to which the Sirens’ music led Ulysses. “Le livre à venir,” Col. Idées (Paris: Gallimard, 1971); especially Chapter I, parts I and II-1; Chapter II, parts VII and VIII, on literary imagination. Also: J.P. Sartre, L’imagination (Paris: Presses universitaires, 1936); L’imaginaire, (Paris: Gallimard, 1940) and Jeanne Bernis, L’imagination (Paris: P.U.F., 1969).

2. Jean Lacroix, “Le sens de la transcendance”, Le Monde (1974, 15). For the mechanisms of origin suggested, two basic works on the subject: Gabrielle Dufour- Kowalska, L’origine. L’essence de l’origine (Paris: Editions Beauchêsne,1973); and Emmanuel Levinas, Autrement qu’être ou au-delá de l’essence (Paris: Editions Nijhoff, 1973).

3. Bertrand Russell:  “On Denoting”, Logic and Knowledge (London: Allen & Unwin, 1956).  (P.F. Strawson,  “On Referring”, Essays in Conceptual Analysis (London: MacMillan, 1956).

4. Leonard Linsky, Referring (New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul Humanities Press, 1967).

5. Louis Althusser, Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists (New York: Verso, 1990).

6. Tzvetan Todorov, The Fantastic, a Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (Cleveland: The Press of Case Western Reserve, 1973).

7. (Minutes of the First International Congress of Semiotics (Milan,1974).

8. Translator’s note:  For purposes of the English edition, the author explains that descripture stands as a construed expression (a meaningful derivative accidence of the sort: innovation/invention = innovention), coined with the sole purpose of conveying the combination of the two different though simultaneous components inherent to the nature of the fantastic, in order to capture within one word—or semanteme as it is called in linguistics—, the “feeling” of the literary fantastic:  “description,” i.e., the plot (what’s the story?) of a given text and “scripting” (a verb form of the English noun “script”, a cognate of the Latin verb scribere, meaning writing), i.e., the manner (how is it written?) by which such text is transmitted.  The word descritura (an inflectional form of the traditional “mode and substance” or “text and context”, meant to counteract the evanescent ambivalence of the fantastic) has therefore been translated as “descripture.”

9. We suggest the word episteme from the Greek “gnosis” and from that etymological root of the term that conveys the notion of treatise; hence, in functional terms episteme would express the notion of initial knowledge of the fantastic, prior to its discourse.

10.  In extenso: Dan Sperber, Rethinking Symbolism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1975).  In a more explicit vein, one might cite: Gilles Deleuze, Marcel Proust et les signes (Paris: P.U.F., 1964) where the author argues the “perceptual inexistence” of Proust, who only responds to the stimuli “from the signs, from the signals.”  See also note 81.

11. Octavio Paz,  Las peras del olmo (Barcelona: Barral publishers, 1971).

12. J.B. Priestley, Literature and Western Man (New York: Harper & Row, 1960).  

13. Gaston Bachelard “attributes so much importance to cenesthesia that he makes it an essential element in the development of invention”:  Jeanne Bernis, op. cit., p. 54.

14. Louis Vax, L’art et la littérature fantastiques (Paris: P.U.F., 1970).

15. Jean Bellemin-Noël, “Notes sur le Textes de Théophile Gautier”, Littérature 8(Paris: Larousse, 1972).

16. Jean-Luc Nancy, La remarque spéculative, col. La philosophie en effet (Paris: Galilé, 1973). One could also link these linguistic concepts with the principles proposed by Freud in :  “Opposite meanings in primitive words”, Fourth Report Essais de psychanalyse appliquée, col. Idées (Paris: Gallimard, 1973). We sense that “the precipitate manner of behavior” of which S.F. speaks in reference to languages is closely linked to the textual slips inherent in the words that make up languages.  

17. M. Blanchot, cited by T. Todorov, op. cit., p. 175.

18. Friedrich Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach and the end of Classical German Philosophy, compendium of articles published in the newspaper Neue Zeit (Peking: Foreign Language Press, 1976).

19. Robert Volmat, “L’art psychopathologique. Abord Psychopathologique du fantastique,”  Bosch, Goya et le fantastique, ed. Gilberte Martin-Méry Bordeaux (1957), for an exhibit of what were called fantastic paintings, held in Bordeaux, France in 1957.

20. Marcel Brion, Bosch, Goya et le fantastique, Ed. Gilberte Martin-Méry, xxii, xxiii.

21. Michael Butor, “Le livre et ses miroirs dans l’oeuvre,” Archives des lettres modernes 135 (Paris: Minard, 1974).

22. T. Todorov, op. cit., p. 4. (We might add here that what Todorov calls “scientific method” we are suggesting be called “philosophical approach”....)

23. J.L. Borges, A. Bioy Casares and S. Ocampo, Antología de la literatura fantástica (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 1940).

24. A.M. Barrenechea, “Ensayo de una tipología de la literatura fantástica”, Revista Iberoamericana 80 (University of Pittsburgh, 1972) 391-403.

25. A.M. Barrenechea and Susana Speratti Pineiro, La literatura fantástica argentina (México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1957).

26. Georges Jacquemin, Littérature fantastique (Paris: Editions Fernand Nathan, 1974).

27. M. Vargas Llosa, García Márquez. Historia de un Deicidio (Barcelona: Barral publishers, 1971)

28. A. Carpentier, Tientos y diferencias (Montevideo: Editorial Arca, 1973).

29. Rodolfo Walsh, Antología del cuento extraño (Buenos Aires: Editorial Hachette, 1956); Emilio Carilla, El cuento fantástico (Buenos Aires: Editorial Hachette, 1968); and Nicolás Cócaro, Cuentos fantásticos argentinos (Buenos Aires: Emecé publishers, 1960).

30. L’Amérique fantastique; L’Allemagne fantastique; La France fantastique; L’Angleterre fantastique; La Russie fantastique (Verviers [Belgium]: Editions Marabout, 1973-1975).

31. Minutes (mimeograph) of the XVI Congress of the International Congress of Ibero-American Literature (Pennsylvania: University of Pittsburgh, 1973).

32. Jacques Bergier and Louis Pauwels, Le matin des magiciens Col. Folio (Paris: Gallimard, 1960).

33. J. Ignacio Ferreras, La novela de ciencia ficción (Madrid: Siglo XXI, 1972) 81.

34. T. Todorov, The fantastic: A structural approach..... (the references refer to the page numbers in the edition cited in note 6).

35. P.G. Castex, Le conte fantastique en France de Nodier à Maupassant (Paris: Editions Corti, 1951).

36. P. Penzoldt, The Supernatural in Fiction (London: Peter Nevill, 1952).

37. By “in-it-self ” we understand, in this case, a knowable essence and thus contrary to Kant’s numen, or at least not part of Kant’s phenomenon/numen dialogue. Accordingly, this “itself ” would be unrelated to Hegel’s ansich since the former has to do with an essence or origin, just as we tried to reflect with the word episteme; (See note 8). It should be recalled that even though it is basically inconsistent or unknown, the itself of Sartre (an obvious transposition of Hegel’s ansich) can “acquire” a certain presence (when it is consciousness of itself, for example) so that our term is not a liberty that we take freely or independently of its established usage.

38. H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature (New York: Dover Publications, 1973)12.  

39. Irène Bessière, Le récit fantastique,col. Thèmes et textes (Paris: Larousse, 1974).

40. Louis Vax, L’art et la littérature fantastique (Paris: P.U.F., 1970).

41. The Sopena French-Spanish Dictionary (1964) suggests as equivalents of the French adjective féerique the words “magical” and “marvelous,” neither of which is satisfactory since they both have their exact French translation—magique and mérveilleux—which Vax did not use.  The Larousse defines the word fée (fairy)—the etymological root of féerique—as a “supernatural power,” the same notion we found (“preternatural power”) in the Spanish-language dictionary for the word enchantment.  Since the word for fairy (in Spanish “hada”) cannot be made into an adjective we opt instead to translate féerique as encantamiento (enchantment) bearing in mind, too, that the author has used this adjective without suggesting any particular meaning.  One can therefore assume that Vax opts for the grammatical meaning that his language requires.  It is surprising that without any explanation, Vax subordinates one adjective—féerique (encantamiento) enchantment—to another that is synonymous—mérveilleux (maravilloso) marvelous—an idiomatic value judgment, for lack of a better expression, that he should have at least explained...  

42. Marcel Brion, Bosch, Goya ..., xvii-xxxi.

43. Marcel Schneider, Déjà la neige (Paris: Grasset, 1974).

44. H.P. Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature (New York: Dover Publications, 1973).

45. Roger Caillois, Antología del cuento fantástico (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 1967). We have also consulted the many essays and books in which Caillois’ work on the fantastic appears, in particular:  Obliques (Paris: Editions Stock, 1974) and the two earlier works in this series titled:  Approches de l’Imaginaire.  And although we recognize the erudition of this true theoretician of the uncanny and of the “natural fantastic”, as he tends to call it, we also believe that his most original work is in the field of esotericism.  

46. Jean Palou, Nouvelles Histoires étranges (Paris: Casterman, 1966); Jean Baptiste Baronian, La France fantastique (Belgium: Marabout, Verviers, 1973).

47. Jean Ray, Magazine littéraire 66 (Paris, 1972).

48. José Camón Aznar, Bosch, Goya... xxxiii-xl.

49. Armand Cuvillier, Sociología de la Cultura, 211; Manual de sociología,” Estudios humanísticos (Buenos Aires: Editorial El Ateneo, 1971).

50. Charles Lalo, quoted by A. Cuvillier, ibid.

51. Adam Schaff, El proceso ideológico (Buenos Aires: Editorial Tiempo Contemporáneo, 1971).

52. Tolkien, J.R.R., Tree and Leaf (London: Allen & Unwin, 1964) 14. (In the original Spanish version of this study, we used the Spanish fantástico where Tolkien used fantasy.  In Tolkien, as in Coleridge, one finds the ambiguous notion of imaginary fancy, which has no precise translation in Spanish, since the word fantasía would fail to capture the English meaning of the word).  

53. J.L. Borges, Cahiers de l’Herne 8 (Paris: 1966) dedicated to Henri Michaux; Borges confuses “fantasy” with “fantastic,” despite what Brion stated and what we just noted in the preceding footnote.... Obviously he intended something else.

54. M. Brion, op. cit., xviii.

55. Albert Einstein, quoted by Saint-John Perse in his acceptance speech delivered on the occasion of receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature, Sweden, 1960.

56. Juan Rulfo, Mundo Nuevo 39-40 (Paris, 1969) 44.

57. Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny,” Studies in Parapsychology (New York: MacMillan Publishers, 1963). See citations in  S.F., Essais de psychanalyse appliquée,” col. Idées (Paris, 1973)163, 164, 167, 172.

58. Bernard Merigot, “L’inquiétante étrangeté. Note sur l’unheimliche,”  Littérature 8 (Paris: Larousse, 1972)100, 101; Helène Cixous, “La fiction et ses fantômes, une lecture de l’Unheimliche de Freud,” Poétique 10 (Paris, 1972).

59. Roger Caillois, Au coeur du fantastique (Paris: Gallimard, 1965).

60. Jacques Derrida:  “La double séance,” Tel Quel 42 (Paris, 1970).

61. James Drever, Worterbuch zur Psychologie (Zurich: W.D. Frohlich, 1958).

62. J. Bellemin-Noël, op. cit.,6.

63. Lucien Goldmann, Lukacs et Heidegger (Paris: Denoël, 1973).

64. By deconstruction we mean what Irène Bessière infers by it, what Roland Barthes would call destructuration; “Destructuration du texte proustien,” Etudes proustiennes II; Cahiers Marcel Proust 7(Paris: Gallimard, 1975), which is closely related to the etymology of the term  deconstruction, used by Derrida, for example, where a sophisticated interpretational mechanism enters into play....

65. Lucien Goldmann, “Structures mentales et création culturelle,” col. 10-18 (Paris: Ch. Bourgois, 1973).

66. J. Bellemin-Noël, op.cit., 4.

67. I. Bessière, op. cit., 12 to 14.

68. T. Todorov, op. cit., 41.

69. Colloquium organized by Golberto Gadoffre, on the subject of:  “Science and Value Judgment,” at the Institut collégial européen, Loches, France, July 1974.  Participants included Balandier, Gross, Perroux, Serrès and Starobinski.

70. (See in extenso, J.P. Sartre, “La transcendance de l’ego:  Esquisse d’une déscription phénoménologique,” Recherches philosophiques VI (Paris: Hatier, 1937); and Chapter V, “Ontological proof,” part one, “Introduction to the search for being,” Being and Nothingness—L’etre et le neant (Paris: Gallimard, 1948)-where Sartre states that all consciousness is consciousness of something (p. 27) and where he proposes the ulterior development of the objective/subjective consciousness, immanent/transcendent, and of the Husserlian contradiction of noema irreal, all theses closely tied in with the epistemological analysis of the fantastic.

71. “One does not choose to write in the fantastic”:“... The genuine fantastic can neither be composed nor chosen...”:  Marcel Brion, Nouvelles littéraires 66, (Paris, 1972)31.

72. Gerard Genette, Estructuralismo y crítica literaria (Argentina: Editorial Universitaria de Córdoba, 1967)52.

73. M.F. Guyard, Littérature comparée (Paris: P.U.F., 1969)19.

74. T. Todorov, op cit., 27.

75. “These manifestations are not camouflaged by external influences of a national, cultural, social or historic nature”:  Robert Volmat, op.cit.,133.

76. Jean Starobinski, “Retour sur soi,” Trois fureurs col. Le Chemin (Paris: Gallimard, 1974).

77. Notes taken by the author in classes with Dr. Laborit, Free University of Brussels. See Henri Laborit, “Biologie et structures” col. Idées (Paris: Gallimard, 1973).

78. T. Todorov, op. cit., 7.

79. L. Linsky, op.cit., 18.

80. By way of illustration, see, for example, how children assess the world when they read fairy tales and the so-called “magical” literature, Sybill Schönfeldt,  Mutti, was soll ich lesen?  (Munich, 1971).

81. T. Todorov, op. cit., 8.

82. M. Blanchot, op. cit., 25.

83. M. Vargas Llosa, “Harry Belevan y el robo perfectom,” Escuchando tras la puerta (Barcelona: Tusquets, 1975)8.

84. T. Todorov, op. cit., 168.