Emmanuelle Delanoë-Brun

Terence Davies’s House of Gothic : Edith Wharton au crible d’une esthétique expressionniste

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Abstract :
With its chiaroscuro lighting and grandiose décor, Terence Davies’s prologue to his adaptation of The House of Mirth strikes an unexpected note. Edith Wharton’s tale of hesitant ambition and stringent moral education in the Gilded Age takes on a flamboyant gothic dimension in the development of an expressionist aesthetic that infuses the whole film. Yet rather than exacerbating inner and outer tensions in the expression of an anxiety-ridden self and world, Terence Davies’s expressionist aesthetic serves a delicate strategy of touching upon the intimate fluttering of an uncertain conscience. Tracing the textual foundation to Davies’s gothic reading of the novel, this article examines how his adaptation combines a manneristic, intensely dramatic visual mode with converse intimate cinematographic approaches to the depiction of situations and character, re-defining expressionism as a mode of delicate introspection.
Keywords : realism, romance, The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton, Terence Davies, film adaptation, expressionism, grotesque and arabesque, costume drama, intimacy
Published : 2018-09-11

Citation

Emmanuelle Delanoë-Brun, « Terence Davies’s House of Gothic : Edith Wharton au crible d’une esthétique expressionniste », Cycnos, 2018-09-11. URL : http://epi-revel.univ-cotedazur.fr/publication/item/166