I am a fourth-year PhD-student in comparative literature and I come from the ENS de Lyon. My research deals with the opposition between sensualism and spiritualism in Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), Théophile Gautier (1811-1872) and Walter Pater (1839-1894), who was elected fellow at Brasenose College in 1864. Therefore, this research stay in Oxford is particularly devoted to Walter Pater, a novelist and critic considered to be one of the founders of the English aesthetic movement. I focus particularly on the recurring opposition between “Hebraism and Hellenism”, to use the words of M. Arnold in Culture and Anarchy: Pater’s Hellenism is not only a way to promote personal “epicureanism” but it allows him to offer a political, religious, and epistemological reflection between romanticism and modernity.
Could you please tell us a bit more about your scholarship/exchange programme?
Thanks to the monthly MFO scholarship I should have initially come to Oxford in July 2020 but because of the health crisis, it was postponed to the next year. Despite all the difficulties related to the coronavirus and thanks to the great help of the MFO I could finally come!
First impressions of Oxford/the University?
Oxford and its University are very important places in themselves in my research: here took place the Oxford Movement, here lived and taught one of the authors I work on. So it’s quite moving and very stimulating to study here. After this ten-day quarantine, Oxford seems to me all the more beautiful and romantic. Despite the current conditions studying at Oxford is really a chance and I’m sure this stay will be very profitable to my research.