(3/9/01 11:08:49 am)
|Caroline de la Motte Fouque|
It has been a while since I've written - this semester is no less hectic than the last. In the sourse of my research, I stumbled across Freidrich de la Motte Fouque's _Undine_, which I was rather thrilled with, both because it's a lovely story, and because I'm a huge fan of A.S, Byatt's _Possession_. Fouque had a daughter, Caroline, and the parallels between these two authors and Byatt's fictional Christabel la Motte and her _Melusine_ seem pretty clear. However, it is all but impossible to find any material on Caroline de la Motte Fouque that is not *in German* which is kind of a barrier for me, as I have yet to begin studying the language!(hopefully, this summer).
Would anyone have any suggestions on bibliographic sources, internet or otherwise?
(3/11/01 8:11:48 am)
|Re: Caroline de la Motte Fouque|
Helen, I'd love to know more about this. Can you please post any info. you uncover? I know de la Motte Fouque only by the enormous impact of his story Undine on Victorian mythic arts. I didn't know he had a daughter....
(3/11/01 7:02:53 pm)
... but apparently, such was the case. She seems to be pretty much
a forgotten character. I found out that she existed by doing a general
search under "Fouque" on Amazon - imagine my surprise
when the results included "Wilde, Jean T.: The Romantic Realist:
Caroline de la Motte Fouque" in an auction. I'm eagerly awaiting
the arrival of the book (and will be more than happy to discuss
it once it arrives). In the meantime, I've managed to find a website
devoted to the work of father and daughter alike at www.motte-fouque.com/fouqges1.htm
However, it is *in German*, which leaves me very frustrated, as I can only understand one (fascinating) word in every three. I wish more luck to those fluent in the language.
But, even with this small amount of information, it does cast an interesting light upon _Possession_. I'm fairly certain that Byatt did not intend her Isidore and Cristabel LaMotte to be direct translations of Freidrich and Caroline de la Motte Fouque, uprooted and reset one hundred years later and some miles away from their actual lives. For one thing, there is a brief mention of Fouque's _Undine_ in _Possession_, so _Melusine_ is not a thinly disguised retelling of it, but clearly a part of the discrete Victorian fairy-tale movement that had been influenced by German Romanticism and folklore. But ... in light of _Possession_'s themes of repetion and pattern (literary and otherwise), and depending upon how close the resemblance between the fictitious and the factual might be ... the implications could be fascinating. I'm already planning a paper on it ... hope that her biography bears out my theories, once it arrives. I'll cut myself off before I have a chance to rant.
P.S. - If any other Byatt fans have any ideas .. I'd love to discuss them, not just as they relate to this topic, but in general. I *love* her work.