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Title: Biografia (e storia) antica in feuilleton. Memoires d'Horace di Alexandre Dumas
Authors: Fucecchi, Marco
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Marco Fucecchi, “Biografia (e storia) antica in feuilleton. Memoires d'Horace di Alexandre Dumas”, in: CentoPagine, III (2009), pp. 66-77
Edited as a roman-feuilleton in 1860, Mémoires d’Horace has been collected as a volume
for the first time in 2006 by Claude Aziza. It is the last member of a series consisting of novels,
essays and theatrical pieces, which Alexandre Dumas devoted to the ancient Roman history. This
time, however, the great ‘vulgarisateur’, as the French author often named himself, significantly
chooses the genre of the so-called ‘fictional autobiography’. By assuming the authoritative mask of
the famous Augustan poet, who is given the role of an internal protagonist-narrator, Dumas
manages to enrich his picture of Roman civil wars, and the final fight for power leading to
Augustus’s victory, with stimulating thoughts about relevant issues (literature and its social
function, the author’s relationship with the public of readers, the political establishment etc.) as well
as with the tender evocation of private memories (the beloved figure of his father, in particular).
The synthesis of history and biography results from the confluence of precedent novels by Dumas
himself (e.g. César, another feuilleton of the series Les grands Hommes en robe de chambre,
published on 1855 in Le Mousquetaire) with modern recollections of Horace’s life, e.g. that of
Charles-Athanase (Baron) de Walckenaer (firstly edited in 1840), whose monumental erudite bulk
seems to be literally animated by the brilliant and colourful style of the great storyteller Alexandre
Type: Article
ISSN: 19740395
Appears in Collections:CentoPagine 2009

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