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Et Adam devint singe : figuration de l'origine dans les caricatures de Punch au cours de la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle en Grande Bretagne

Abstract : And Adam Became an Ape : Representations of the Origin in Punch during the Second Half of the 19th Century. This article focuses on the modes of representation of the first man following the darwinian revolution as seen in a selection of caricatures taken from Punch or the London Charivari. The traditional image of Adam and Eve as transmitted through centuries of dogmatic iconography was suddenly questioned and the selection of caricatures proposed in this study put forward a scandalous proximity between the Victorians and their archaic ape-like ancestors. These drawings illustrate a social and ontological crisis which triggered the invention of a new concept completely unrelated to the scientific point of view, that of the missing link. These reveal the tension between fascination and repulsion engendered by such proximity between the original apes and contemporary human beinsg. They can be considered as social and cultural symptoms of the fin de siècle deep and haunting fears concerning women, the degeneration of the race, and they are more generally in keeping with the stigmatization of alterity which characterizes the period.
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https://hal.univ-brest.fr/hal-00749686
Contributor : Violaine Garguilo <>
Submitted on : Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 10:35:36 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 3:16:42 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-00749686, version 1

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Hélène Machinal. Et Adam devint singe : figuration de l'origine dans les caricatures de Punch au cours de la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle en Grande Bretagne. Ridiculosa, 2008, pp.297-310. ⟨hal-00749686⟩

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