Présentation

The Great Historical Figures in Art and Literature Project is inspired by the researches on perspectivism in history that have been put to the fore in the domain of “cultural memories”. The project aims at showing how great historical figures appear in literature and in various arts (sculpture, painting, music, cinema, tapestries etc.). We wish to focus on how the images associated with these figures and their prominence have varied through time and how their role in the building of a collective memory has been liable to many changes.

Dans le champ historique et politique, la figure publique a tôt fait de cristalliser les ressentiments collectifs, comme le montrent les figures de « monstres » tels que Frédégonde ou Caligula, Napoléon ou Mussolini, abordés dans différents articles de cette revue. Certaines de ces cristallisations invitent à une réflexion plus systématique. De même que le numéro 8, en 2019, s’est consacré aux « tyrans » de l’Antiquité tardive tels que la postérité les a représentés, ce numéro s’intéresse à la façon dont l’infamie, notion malléable s’il en est, se construit, s’exprime et se dessine. Faisant dialoguer histoire, histoire de l’art et littérature, et sans exclure des périodes plus anciennes, les articles portent avant tout sur la Révolution française et son héritage, un contexte où la pensée de l’infamie se lie indissolublement à des prises de position républicaines ou antirépublicaines.

In the field of history and politics, public figures readily attract and crystallise collective resentment, as demonstrated by “monsters” such as Fredegund or Caligula, Napoleon or Mussolini, which various papers have studied in previous issues. Some of these crystallisations would seem to require a more thorough investigation. Just as issue No. 8, in 2019, was devoted to the “tyrants” of late Antiquity such as posterity has represented them, this issue turns to infamy, an eminently malleable concept, and to the way it is argued, expressed and drawn. Interweaving the work of historians, art historians and specialists of literature, the papers, while delving in older periods, focus above all on the French revolution and its inheritance, a context in which the concept of infamy finds itself inescapably tied to republican or antirepublican positions.

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