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“Le Tétraque se perdait dans un rêve”: Concordance between Flaubert’s Hérodias and Hérodiade by Milliet, Grémont and Massenet

Clair Rowden

Résumés

On a trop souvent minimisé les liens entre l’opéra Hérodiade (Millet, Grémont et Massenet, 1881) et le conte de Flaubert Hérodias (1877). Pourtant, un regard sur les deux œuvres à travers l’objectif de deux courants – le débat social et moral sur la place de la religion dans la société Républicaine, et la théologie positiviste de La Vie de Jésus d’Ernest Renan – permet une mise au point sur ces liens. Cet article démontre ainsi comment et où le livret de l’opéra reflète à la fois la prose de Flaubert et ses opinions plus larges sur la société républicaine, et les moyens musicaux déployés par Massenet pour les soutenir. L’analyse de la “danse des sept voiles” recréée à la suite de la Salomé d’Oscar Wilde (1893) par d’innombrables danseuses et musiciens, démontre qu’inévitablement, les artistes se tournèrent vers la description naturaliste de Flaubert comme source d’inspiration manquante dans la pièce symboliste de Wilde. L’opéra de Massenet est traditionnellement identifié comme sans “danse des sept voiles”. Cependant, cet article interprète l’air d’Hérode à l’acte II “Vision fugitive” comme une danse de Salomé fantasmée par un Hérode excité sexuellement, et seul. À cette fin, l’opéra de Massenet comporte une scène de danse qui dépasse le voyeurisme traditionnel de la danse de Salomé pour fournir une scène érotique, pornographique même (malgré et à cause de l’absence d’une danseuse) qui évoque plusieurs des préoccupations de la Troisième République – le fléau de l’onanisme, la stérilité, la dépopulation, la décadence – tout ceci dans une large exploration de l’opéra, et de ce qu’il révèle de la place de la religion et de la philosophie morale dans la société, ancienne et moderne.

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Texte intégral

  • 1 Much of the material presented in this first section is drawn from the second chapter of my Republi (...)
  • 2 Mallarmé died before completing this work. The only fragment to be published during his lifetime wa (...)
  • 3 Henri Regnault’s Salomé dates from 1870 and Gustave Moreau’s Salomé dansant devant Hérode, 1875; L’ (...)
  • 4 On the Lyon scandal, see Alban Ramaut, “La création d’Hérodiade à Lyon”, Jean-Christophe Branger an (...)

1In 1881, Jules Massenet became the first composer (of many) to bring the story of Salome and John the Baptist to the lyric stage with his opera Hérodiade1. To do so was a relative risk, for biblical subjects remained appropriate and acceptable in oratorio, but novel and controversial in the theatre. Regeneration of interest in this biblical tale came not only from the 1877 publication of Gustave Flaubert’s “conte” Hérodias, but also other literary sources such as Mallarmé’s Hérodiade2 or Bible retellings such as Clarisse Bader’s La Femme biblique (1866) and, as will be demonstrated, most importantly, Ernest Renan’s La Vie de Jésus. Fine art sources included Pierre Puvis de Chavannes’s La Décollation de saint Jean-Baptiste (1869) which was quickly followed by Henri Regnault’s Salomé and Gustave Moreau’s series of paintings on the legend of the death of John the Baptist3. The opera tells the story of the Tetrarch Herod Antipas and his wife Herodias, and their struggle for power and position as rulers of Galilee and Perea under the Roman domination of Caesar Tiberius. More importantly, the opera depicts the history of the first Christian martyr, John the Baptist, and Salome. However, the opera’s scenario radically changes the original bible tale, for Salomé is a dancer at the Antipas court who is unaware of her parentage, having been abandoned by her mother as a child. The portrayal of Jean is also novel, for Jean wears the mask of a seductive holy man whose feelings for Salomé, his disciple, finally triumph over his faith immediately before his decapitation. Moreover, the opera’s mapping of the story of John the Baptist and Salome directly onto that of Christ and Mary Magdelene was condemned as particularly scandalous, especially in light of Jean’s fall at the end of the opera, the opera’s premiere in Lyon in December 1885 provoking polemic and high-profile debate between clerics and lay Republicans locked in an increasingly vehement battle over the place of religion in modern society4.

  • 5 The concept of the opera’s librettists should include not only Paul Milliet and Massenet’s publishe (...)
  • 6 Damien Dauge has demonstrated how musicologists such as Gérard Condé, Jean-Michel Brèque and Jacque (...)
  • 7 Hugues Imbert affirmed that Massenet frequented Renan’s salon at the start of the 1870s. This fasci (...)

2Due to the librettists’ and composer’s reimagining of the story5, the links between the opera and Flaubert’s tale have been played down6, or even negated. However, if the link between the two sources is viewed through the wider lens of two contextual issues – social and moral debate about the place of religion in modern Republican society, and the positivist theology of Ernest Renan’s La Vie de Jésus – it comes into much clearer focus. From the sensational success of Massenet’s oratorios Marie-Magdeleine (1873) and Eve (1875), written to libretti by the prolific Louis Gallet, the name of Ernest Renan had been associated with that of Massenet in order to evoke the spirit in which his works were conceived7. In the Scriptures, Renan was interested in the biographical, and thus the psychological aspect of the main protagonists, as were Flaubert, Massenet and Gallet, but in the interests of drama and theatre. Following the première of Eve, Octave Fouque, in La Revue et Gazette musicale, explained that for the authors, the Bible was not a holy book, nor the seat of dogma, nor even the summarisation of a religion, but more a body of poetic myths equivalent to those of the Veda, the Iliad, or the Nibelung:

  • 8 Octave Fouque, “Société de l’harmonie sacrée. Eve, mystère en trois parties, poëme de M. Louis Gall (...)

Nous avons entendu traiter cette musique de matérialiste. C’est là un bien gros mot, dont la discussion nous entraînerait trop loin. M. Gallet et son fidèle Achatès sont-ils matérialistes et athées, ou simplement positivistes ? En vérité, nous ne saurions le dire au juste. Certains détails de leur nouvelle partition les rattacheraient plutôt à une doctrine panthéiste quelconque. Peut-être au fond sont-ils moins préoccupés de questions de cette sorte que du désir de trouver un art nouveau, des formules nouvelles, des expressions nouvelles du sentiment. Le côté divin et religieux de la Bible ayant été souvent mis en lumière par les maîtres anciens, ils exploitent la légende à un autre point de vue; ils en montrent le côté purement profane et accessible à tous; ils cherchent à en exprimer ce qu’elle contient de sentiments positifs et humains, pour nous servir d’une expression chère à M. Massenet lui-même, et qu’il emploie volontiers quand il cherche à déterminer le caractère de sa tentative artistique8.

3Positivist philosophy and modern comparative theology of the type practised by Ernest Renan were concerned with palpable, historical and geographical truths, with the scientific contextualisation of Christianity during the nineteenth century. For his Vie de Jésus, Ernest Renan explained his methodology as follows:

  • 9 See Ernest Renan: Histoire des origines du Christianisme, Editions Robert Laffont, Paris, 1995, p.  (...)

À la lecture des textes, j’ai pu joindre une grande source de lumières, la vue des lieux où se sont passés les événements. La mission scientifique ayant pour objet l’exploration de l’ancienne Phénicie, que j’ai dirigée en 1860 et 1861, m’amena à résider sur les frontières de la Galilée et à y voyager fréquemment. J’ai traversé dans tous les sens la province évangélique ; j’ai visité Jérusalem, Hébron et la Samarie ; presque aucune localité importante de l’histoire de Jésus ne m’a échappé. Toute cette histoire qui, à distance, semble flotter dans les nuages d’un monde sans réalité prit ainsi un corps, une solidité qui m’étonnèrent. L’accord frappant des textes et des lieux, la merveilleuse harmonie de l’idéal évangélique avec le paysage qui lui servit de cadre furent pour moi une révélation. J’eus devant les yeux un cinquième Évangile, lacéré, mais lisible encore, et désormais, à travers les récits de Matthieu et de Marc, au lieu d’un être abstrait, qu’on dirait n’avoir jamais existé, je vis une admirable figure humaine vivre, se mouvoir9.

  • 10 Letter dated 19 June 1876: “L’histoire d’Hérodias telle que je la comprends n’a aucun rapport avec (...)

4If we picture Renan thus, as a naturalist dramatist of the Gospels, it is clear that he was in a similar business to Flaubert and to Massenet and his librettists: creating a naturalist story – despite the conventions of each medium and genre in which the different artists and writers were working – of the human drama to appeal to wide audiences. Moreover, Flaubert himself distanced his “conte” from religion in a letter to Madame Roger des Genettes in June 1876, affirming his primary interest in the Antipas couple and their complex political characters10. So despite the commonly viewed distance between Flaubert’s tale and Massenet’s opera, the rest of this article will be dedicated to demonstrating precisely how and where the opera reflects both Flaubert’s prose and his wider views on Republican society.

Hérodiade

  • 11 Salomé goes on to apply the prophet’s question about the coming of the Messiah to her next meeting (...)

5In her Act I aria, Salomé, fuelled with adolescent enthusiasm, describes Jean: “Il est doux, il est bon, sa parole est sereine, [...] je souffrais, j’étais seule, et mon cœur s’est calmé en écoutant sa voix mélodieuse et tendre!11The Jean whom Salomé knows is completely drawn from the following paragraph by Flaubert:

  • 12 Gustave Flaubert, Hérodias, Trois Contes, Le Livre de Poche, Librairie générale française, Paris, 1 (...)

Mais la voix se fit douce, harmonieuse, chantante. Il annonçait un affranchissement, des splendeurs au ciel, le nouveau-né un bras dans la caverne du dragon, l’or à la place de l’argile, le désert s’épanouissant comme une rose : – « Ce qui maintenant vaut soixante kiccars ne coûtera pas une obole. Des fontaines de lait jailliront des rochers ; on s’endormira dans les pressoirs le ventre plein ! Quand viendras-tu, toi que j’espère ? D’avance, tous les peuples s’agenouillent, et ta domination sera éternelle, Fils de David ! » [...] « Il n’y a pas d’autre roi que l’Eternel ! »12

6Yet, as not only positivist theology, but also artistic and literary orientalism resituated the biblical stories firmly in a middle-Eastern setting, the eroticism of the harem and the perceived sexual freedoms of the middle East also became associated with exoticism and thus the world of both Judaic and Christian religions. As I have shown elsewhere, Massenet, through his music allied to ambiguous texts, was a master at veiling any distinction between exoticism and eroticism, between mysticism and religion, and the music used to portray Jean willfully conflates the sensual and the mystical, much to Salomé’s confusion. In their Act I duet, and in the face of Salomé’s growing amorous intent, Jean pulls her up short with the lofty and much-cited exhortation:

  • 13 In his perceptive review of the opera’s première in Brussels, Johannes Weber wrote: “cette phrase n (...)

Aime-moi donc alors, mais comme on aime en songe ! Dans la mystique ardeur où l’idéal te plonge, transfigure l’amour, qui consume tes sens !13

Not only is such a charismatic phrase a million miles away from that uttered by Flaubert’s ascetic and severely spoken Iaokanann, it also does nothing to clarify the emotions Salomé is feeling, and the musical language which underpins it adds further layers of complexity.

  • 14 Hector Berlioz, Grand Traité d’Instrumentation et d’Orchestration modernes : Nouvelle édition revue (...)

7The vocal line is interspersed (and then doubled) by a sinuous, rising chromatic melody played by the clarinet, saxophone, bassoon and horn, accompanied by a shimmering violin texture. Hector Berlioz’s highly influential instrumentation treatise, revised in 1855 to take in Adolphe Sax’s newly invented instruments, suggested that the timbre of the saxophone was useful for “cantilènes gracieuses et aux effets d’harmonie religieux et rêveurs14”. Thus this seductive vocal line is given a heady and quasi-religious orchestration, and “heavenly harps” are equally marshalled into service. As we shall see presently, the alliance of dream states with the use of the saxophone and harp comes back during Hérode’s erotic dream aria “Vision fugitive” in which many of the same musical and even literary elements reappear, to serve as an undercurrent and subtle impetus to Hérode’s desire for Salomé. It is therefore difficult here to take seriously the awkward sentiments expressed by Jean. And yet the following aria evokes many of the images contained in Flaubert’s characterisation of Iaokanann quoted above: a new beginning, a liberation of souls that soaring may be uplifted to the glories of heaven, new faith blossoming like the rose, its perfume lightly scenting that heavenly kingdom where gold will replace clay. It is, indeed, the first and last prophetic statement uttered in the opera by Jean.

  • 15 Tohoron Hollard fails to recognise the conflation of Vitellius with Pontius Pilate and thus express (...)

8In light of the opera’s conflation of Jesus and John (and Christ’s judgement by Pontius Pilate and the events of the Passion story in general), and Massenet’s and his librettists’ penchant for a Renan-influenced characterisation of biblical characters, one might have expected Jean to be used as a mouthpiece for Renan’s ideas of Jesus. However, the operatic Jean never expresses the few, simple ideas – God as a loving, forgiving father, purity of heart, human fraternity – which Renan believed to be the sum total of Christ’s teachings. Nor does Jean perceive himself as a precursor, spreading the news of a new spiritual leader whom he believes will overturn the established order; his characterisation focuses on human relationships, love, pride and – in anticlerical vein – the all-too-human failings of religious figures. Indeed, the operatic Jean acts more often as a mouthpiece for contemporary Catholicism, and the ideas he expresses publically may well have been read as politically contentious by fin-de-siècle republican audiences. In the second tableau of Act II, Jean, the Roman proconsul Vitellius and Hérode are brought into direct confrontation, each character declaring his own spiritual dogma and/or political agenda15. This masterfully, if conventionally, constructed ensemble finale addresses the ideas of secular, civic authority and human justice – as opposed to divine right – and serves to underscore the opera’s authors’ view of republicanism – as opposed to Catholic obscurantism – as the way forward for modern society.

  • 16 Andrea Musk explores the importance of the concept of the “New Rome” in her chapter “Regionalism, L (...)

9Massenet and his librettists successively introduce the different characters and social groups to the scene, attributing each its own carefully delineated musical language. Vitellius arrives proclaiming his authority by saying: “Je représente ici César et la justice”. As Ancient Rome provided an example of republican government to which Third Republic leaders aspired16, Vitellius’s role in the opera may be read as a character aligned with their ideals. However, Vitellius barely has the time to implement Caesar’s justice (complying with the Jews’ wishes regarding the Temple), when Jean and his followers, representative of the Church, make their dramatic entrance, evocative of Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Salomé enters proclaiming Jean “the prophet of the living God”, and in Act III reinforces his civic status by declaring him a higher authority than Caesar. But in Act II, as the assembly takes stock of the Passion-like spectacle, Jean himself launches an unprovoked attack on Vitellius’s authority.

  • 17 The printed staging book (Bibliothèque de l’Association de la Régie théâtrale, Bibliothèque histori (...)

10Musically, Jean’s entrance has already had this effect: Roman fanfares are interrupted and cut off by his arrival which is accompanied by rippling ‘celestial’ harps and a Hosannah sung by “angelic” voices, in fact off-stage Canaanite women. Yet Jean’s declamation “Toute justice vient du ciel ! Homme, ta puissance fragile se brise aux pieds de l’Eternel comme un vase d’argile !” goes one step further. It is a provocative stance in the face of civic Roman (republican) authority which resembles the reactionary outbursts of the Catholic Church in the face of hot anticlerical argument during the Third Republic17. While Flaubert’s political colour rarely resembled that of a radical Republican, he nevertheless expressed privately his distate of a civic society pervaded by a moral sense of divine mercy over and above human free will and a social sense of justice. During the political turmoil of the Paris Commune, Flaubert wrote to George Sand:

  • 18 Letter dated 30 April 1871. Alphonse Jacobs (ed.), Gustave Flaubert-George Sand Correspondance, Fla (...)

Je hais la Démocratie (telle du moins qu’on l’entend en France) parce qu’elle s’appuie sur « la morale de l’évangile » qui est l’immoralité même, quoi qu’on dise, c’est-à-dire l’exaltation de la Grâce au détriment de la Justice, la négation du Droit, en un mot : l’anti-sociabilité18.

  • 19 Mgr. Dupanloup, Évêque d’Orléans, Avertissement à la jeunesse et aux pères de famille sur les attaq (...)

11By society’s negation and devaluation of the human condition and justice and rights, Flaubert decreed a state of immorality unfit to serve as social model for the French people. Thus this scene in Massenet’s opera highlights the tensions of the era, as clearly articulated in 1863 (the same year as Renan’s La Vie de Jésus) by Monseigneur Dupanloup, Bishop of Orléans and influential reformer of the French Church, who decreed that reason and science were incompatible with faith and belief in the supernatural; that the fundamental truths and morality on which society was based were considered divine and absolute by the Church but seen to be created and shaped by humanity in modern philosophy19.

“Salomania” and the Dance of the Seven Veils

  • 20 Oscar Wilde, Salomé, Drame en un acte, Librairie de l’Art indépendant, Paris, 1893, p. 70.
  • 21 The premiere was given by the Théâtre de l’Œuvre, run by Aurélien Lugné-Poë who played Herod. See E (...)
  • 22 Le Pompier de Service, “La Soirée parisienne”, “Recueil factice du Théâtre de l’Œuvre”, Département (...)
  • 23 See my chapter “Whose/Who’s Salome ? Natalia Trouhanowa, A Dancing Diva”, in Rowden (ed.), Performi (...)

12Flaubert’s narrative version of Salomé’s dance is one of the first in a long chain of art works to deal with this subject which grew in popularity exponentially, both in high and more popular forms of art, until the beginning of WWI. Biblical sources from the Gospels of Saints Matthew and Mark give no detail of the dance which over the centuries has been left to the imagination of artists, writers and dancers. Although many Salome interpretations were inspired by Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, Wilde’s famously laconic stage directions – specifying simply “Salomé danse la danse des sept voiles” – meant that musicians and dancers turned to other sources for inspiration for the embodied performances of the dance20. Moreover, it seems that at the Parisian premiere of Wilde’s play on 11 February 1896 at the Comédie-Parisienne21, Lina Munte was uninspiring, dancing to what was rather ironically described as “musique au rythme curieux, à la mélodie originale, jouée par un piano faux, et une flûte qui ignorait la mesure”22. Yet following the succès de scandale of Wilde’s play, composers such as Richard Strauss, Florent Schmitt, Antoine Mariotte and Alexander Glazunov provided pages and pages of score to which dancers embodied this iconic and most performative of moments from the biblical story: Loïe Fuller, Maud Allan, Natalia Trouhanowa, Ida Rubinstein along with countless others, perfected a repertoire of movements, allied to novel stage craft, in order to (re-)create Salome’s dance, but which inevitably returned to Flaubert’s description of the dance as a naturalist source of inspiration which Wilde’s symbolist text was lacking23.

  • 24 Flaubert, Hérodias, op. cit., p. 140.
  • 25 Annegret Fauser discusses in particular “La Belle Fatma”, Tunisian dancer Rachel Bent-Eny who came (...)
  • 26 See Sylvie Giraud, “Instruments de musique” on the E-man platform, “FLIM - Flaubert et le pouvoir d (...)

13Flaubert’s description depicts three distinct phases to the dance. First, is a diaphanous entreating opening section accompanied by flute and crotales (small cymbals): “Ses bras arrondis appelaient quelqu’un, qui s’enfuyait toujours. Elle le poursuivait, plus légère qu’un papillon”24. This is followed by a soulful belly dance much familiar to the Parisian public from the 1867 Exposition Universelle onwards25, accompanied by a gingras, a large, lowpitched flute26:

  • 27 Flaubert, Hérodias, op. cit., p. 140-141.

Ses attitudes exprimaient des soupirs, et toute sa personne une telle langueur qu’on ne savait pas si elle pleurait un dieu, ou se mourait dans sa caresse. Les paupières entre-closes, elle se tordait la taille, balançait son ventre avec les ondulations de houle, faisait trembler ses deux seins27.

14The last section comprises a climactic peroration accompanied by harps and tympanums – hand-held drums used in frenzied Dionysian worship in conjunction with wind instruments to achieve ecstatic states – during which Salomé’s supple and electrifying movements become almost acrobatic. Bending from the hips to sweep her chin to the floor, Salomé then scoots across the room on only her hands, the nape of her neck and her vertebrae at right angles to one another. Her dance induces a wild state of vocalised arousal for all the male audience:

  • 28 Ibid., p. 141-142.

Puis, ce fut l’emportement de l’amour qui veut être assouvi. […] Elle se renversait de tous les côtés, […] de ses vêtements jaillissaient d’invisibles étincelles qui enflammaient les hommes. Une harpe chanta ; la multitude y répondit par des acclamations. Sans fléchir ses genoux en écartant les jambes, elle se courba si bien que son menton frôlait le plancher ; […] Elle tournait toujours ; les tympanons sonnaient à éclater, la foule hurlait. […] Elle se jeta sur les mains, les talons en l’air, parcourut ainsi l’estrade comme un grand scarabée ; et s’arrêta, brusquement. Sa nuque et ses vertèbres faisaient un angle droit. Les fourreaux de couleur qui enveloppaient ses jambes, lui passant par-dessus l’épaule, comme des arcs-en-ciel, accompagnaient sa figure, à une coudée du sol28.

  • 29 It is unclear to what music Maud Allan danced La Vision de Salomé, but it is generally believed tha (...)
  • 30 Nozière [Fernand Weil], “Le Théâtre”, Gil Blas, 9 May 1907.
  • 31 Louis Vuillemin, “Théâtre municipal de la Gaité-Lyrique. Salomé”, Comœdia, 23 April 1910.
  • 32 See, for example, Robert Brussel, “Les Théâtres”, Le Figaro, 23 April 1910.

15When Natalia Touhanova danced at the Parisian premiere of Richard Strauss’s opera Salome in May 1907, the press described her as cautiously voluptuous and languorous compared to the more lascivious and shocking performance given by Maud Allan at the Théâtre des Variétés the previous evening29. One critic was struck however by her suppleness, akin to Flaubert’s Salomé, as a kneeling Trouhanowa leant backwards, touching the nape of her neck to the ground30. Three years later, Trouhanowa returned to the opera stage to dance in Antoine Mariotte’s opera Salomé, given its first Parisian performance at the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Lyrique on 22 April 1910. This time, she seized the opportunity to heighten the sensuality of her dance, and apparently succeeded in taking erotic voyeurism (of the audience) to a similar level of Flaubert’s assembled company. Wearing as little as possible, Trouhanowa was considered opulent, lascivious and infinitely troubling31, a certain number of critics evoking or even citing Flaubert’s highly charged description in order to avoid relating their own erotic experiences32.

  • 33 Robert de Montesquiou, “La Danse de Sept Voiles”, Gil Blas, 4 September 1909, p. 1.

16In August and September of 1909, another Russian dancer, Ida Rubinstein performed in a Parisian variety spectacle dancing the Seven Veils to music by Alexander Glazunov. Robert de Montesquiou, who became a close friend of Rubinstein during this period and went repeatedly to see the show, described Rubinstein’s dance at length in the press, frequently quoting from Flaubert and evoking Flaubert’s description of the dance as its overall inspiration33. He also described in detail how Rubinstein’s whole body was wrapped in seven gauzy scarves of different colours, similar to Flaubert’s Salomé’s undergarments which fell onto her shoulders as she stood on her hands before Hérode. The second half of the Glazunov’s evocative yet rather conservative (for its time) score, no doubt inspired by Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade, comprises the expected augmentation and acceleration towards a thrilling climax.

  • 34 On Fuller, see particularly Giovanni Lista, Loïe Fuller danseuse de la Belle Époque, Hermann Danse, (...)
  • 35 See my “Loïe Fuller et Salomé : les drames mimés de Gabriel Pierné et de Florent Schmitt”, Jean-Chr (...)
  • 36 The symphonic poem was given its premiere by the Orchestre Colonne, on 8 January 1911, conducted by (...)
  • 37 See Rowden, “Whose/Who’s Salome ?”, op. cit.
  • 38 Dancers would have worn a full-body, flesh-coloured leotard, similar to those worn for the obligato (...)
  • 39 Trouhanowa referred to this and the following “dance of terror” (in which Salomé hallucinates and s (...)

17Immediately after having seen Strauss’s Salome in Paris in 1907, Florent Schmitt wrote his Tragédie de Salomé score on a libretto by Robert d’Humières for the American “serpentine” dancer Loïe Fuller. Fuller commissioned both libretto and score, and the show combined technically innovative lighting effects and Fuller’s “light dances” (in the style of her greatest triumphs)34, with mimed scenes and dance to create popular boulevard theatre35. In 1910, Schmitt’s original music, scored for 20 musicians and lasting an hour, was reworked into a symphonic poem, for full orchestra lasting less than half an hour36. In April 1912, Trouhanowa mounted a “concert de danse” in which she once again took to the stage as Salomé to Schmitt’s symphonic poem37. In Humières’ scenario, the Dance of the Seven Veils is seen only in flashes of lightning as Salome dances and an aroused Herod rips off her veils. The flash lighting creates fixed, stylised poses and gestures culminating in a momentary glimpse of a nude Salome, before an onstage John the Baptist comes out of the shadows to cover her with his cowl38. The frenzied “lightning dance”, characterised by an irregular pulse, rhythmic syncopation, polyrhythms, bitonality and percussively treated chords (all redolent of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring), corresponds to the atmosphere of the last section of Flaubert’s text but leaves behind more traditional, nineteenth-century notions of exotic seduction for an atmosphere of sexual (or what might have been termed “erotic” by contemporary commentators) violence and frenzy, passion and arousal39, which are nevertheless part and parcel of Flaubert’s narrative.

  • 40 The same theatre saw the premiere of Wilde’s play (staged by the Théâtre de l’Œuvre) just eleven mo (...)
  • 41 See Rowden, Republican Morality and Catholic Tradition, op. cit., p. 165-173.

18So, despite a wealth of twentieth-century Salome dances that responded physically and musically to Flaubert’s text, at the start of the 1880s, the Dance of the Seven Veils was not the defining feature of this biblical story, especially in the version used by Massenet for his opera where the conflation of Salomé with Mary Magdelene (and John with Jesus) was uppermost in the minds of the creators and audiences of the opera. Thus, commentators have always affirmed that the Dance of the Seven Veils is missing from Massenet’s opera, despite the presence of dancing girls on stage. It should be noted that there is no dance either in the scenario by Armand Silvestre and C. H. Meltzer for Gabriel Pierné’s “lyric pantomime” Salomé, danced by Loïe Fuller at the Comédie-Parisienne in March 189540, where the Dance of the Seven Veils is replaced by one symbolising Salomé’s internal dilemma, torn between fear, her mother’s will and – perhaps influenced by Massenet’s opera – her growing religious sentiment. Thus, in an unusual strategy for grand opera where ballet and dance divertissement was an important part of the spectacle, the iconic dance in Hérodiade is subsumed into the virtuosic, bravura aria for Hérode, “Vision fugitive”. The gaze of the court and the audience is subverted and channelled through Hérode as he imagines the dance in an onanistic dream. Only he is allowed to “see” Salomé’s dance, it is the creation of his own drugged mind and the rest of “us” must relive it through his retelling41.

“Vision fugitive”

  • 42 Flaubert, Hérodias, op. cit., p. 105.
  • 43 Ibid., p. 128-129.
  • 44 On the perceived links between social, political and sexual emancipation of women and the supposed (...)
  • 45 Notions of erotic dreams and decadence are developed much further in Massenet’s later opera Thaïs a (...)

19In Flaubert’s Hérodias, the degeneracy of the Antipas couple is implicit and can be largely attributed to Hérodias who is painted as an ambitious, emancipated woman who stifles emotions from her past42, and who is “masculinised” to the point of lesbian sexual tendencies43. In line with Third Republican anti-emancipation thought, Hérodias is a corrupt element within society, she has “neutered” herself, emasculated her husband and rendered herself sterile44. She is the reason behind Hérode’s impotence, both physical and political. Yet in the opera Hérodiade, Hérode himself becomes the focus of decadent issues, while the figure of Hérodiade is somewhat softened, becoming more traditionally feminine than Flaubert’s femme fatale. Thus the opera works through issues relating to decadence and degeneracy in relation to Hérode, particularly at the beginning of Act II when he takes a love potion to procur a hallucinatory, ecstatic dream experience which can be interpreted as erotic and masturbatory45.

  • 46 Samuel Auguste André David Tissot, L’onanisme, ou dissertation physique sur les maladies produites (...)
  • 47 Joseph Henri Réveillé-Parise, Traité d’hygiène appliqué à l’éducation de la jeunesse (1828), cited (...)
  • 48 Dr. Debourge, “De la manustupratiomanie”, Journal de médecine, de chirugie et de pharmacologie, 10, (...)
  • 49 See Thomas Laqueur, Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation, Zone Books, New York, 2003, p (...)
  • 50 Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821) quickly became a cult text.
  • 51 Bibliothèque de l’Association de la Régie théâtrale, Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris, (...)

20Following Samuel Tissot’s 1760 seminal text and the French Revolution46, a new generation of hygenists believed that individual bodily and mental health was linked to that of the social body; “auto-pollution” in particular was no longer mere auto-destruction but social spoliation47, a powerful cause of depopulation which corrupted and degraded society as a whole48. For Enlightenment moralists, masturbation was the product of an over-active imagination with no real object of desire, or, at least, only “privatized desires”49. Thus like numerous nineteenth-century artists50, Hérode, alone, consumes a hallucinatory substance in order to flee reality and to take refuge in his unconscious, which provides him with an illicit ecstatic experience that can only be interpreted as sexual. The original staging book indeed confirms that during this scene, Hérode is “under the influence of a kind of hashish which turns him into a sort of visionary, an ecstatic”, culminating in a paroxysm of ecstasy as he believes he possesses Salomé51.

21But this dream aria for an emasculated Hérode which takes place in the feminised realm of his imagination and his bed chamber, surrounded by nubile slave girls and dancers, is much more than a dream. On closer inspection, the libretto bears strict resemblance to Flaubert’s description of Salomé’s dance:

  • 52 See Lawrence Kramer, “Culture and Musical Hermeneutics: The Salome Complex”, Cambridge Opera Journa (...)

22While objectified by the patriarchal male gaze, Flaubert’s Salomé nevertheless manages to impose a sense of female authority during the dance scene by usurping control of that gaze, subjugating the eyes that subjugate her52. Thus Flaubert’s Salomé has real power and so can cut short Hérode’s erotic fantasies and craved jouissance by asking for the head of John the Baptist. In the opera, however, Salomé’s dance (i.e. the “Vision fugitive”) is created for Hérode by Hérode, and the audience participates only through his eyes: the opera’s Salomé retains dignity and victim status, since she is here only a vision, and one that can be manipulated by Hérode to achieve the desired consummation. Thus the power appropriated by Salomé via her subjugation of the male gaze in Flaubert’s tale is restored to the operatic Hérode, and Salomé’s eroticism is projected onto Hérode in a show-stopping aria. The opera’s Hérode can, therefore, achieve the climax which Flaubert’s Hérode can only desire: he cries “Puis mourir enlacés [...] Viens qu’à tes pieds je meure”, followed by the stage direction of “Il tombe accablé sur le lit”.

23While Flaubert’s Salomé exhibits herself publicly, the dance which Hérode imagines is for his eyes only. The mass voyeurism of Flaubert’s account is replaced by the more sinister and lone voyeurism of Hérode’s drugged and vivid imagination, and Salomé’s dance excites only one man instead of a room full of them. But as this is, in fact, a “vision”, does Hérode not excite himself and could the connotations of Hérode’s solitary jouissance be not more abhorrent to a society obsessed by the plague of onanism than the decadent sensual orgy of Flaubert’s text? The libretto’s identification of Hérode with this practice paints not only a condemning portrait of the Tetrarch as a social polluter but also calls into question his virility and offers a reason for his and Hérodias’s sterility. By reading Hérode as an onanist, his own corruption and social crimes appear even greater and more threatening than those of Hérodiade, and Hérode’s sexual habits are identified as a symptom of not only his personal decline, but also of the degeneration of wider society through Hérode’s willing renunciation of his virility, his health and his power to procreate.

  • 53 A sense of expectancy inherent in the dominant note and dominant harmony is exploited in relation t (...)
  • 54 Whilst Berlioz describes the middle register of the clarinet as “virginal”, Massenet allies the use (...)

24Massenet musically supports the notions of frustrated machismo and carnal fantasy contained within the libretto. He does so by introducing a repetitive melodic line that sets itself pitch limits only to vanquish those obstacles, and by the use of interrupted, unresolved and yet sometimes prolonged harmonic procedures. This vision’s imaginary and transient nature is musically translated by a general lack of grounding root position chords and an abundance of dominant bass pedals notes: this vision is acoustically expectant, elusive and only tangible in an unresolved sense53. The use of the solo saxophone adds an alluring and enticing element to Hérode’s imagined seduction. It is the saxophone that introduces the repetitive and rather introverted motive from which much of the melodic material for this scene is fashioned. After handing this motive over to strings and to the vocal line, however, the saxophone tends to stay within the texture of the orchestra, but also highlights moving inner lines on weaker beats. It is precisely in this fashion, however, that the saxophone – with what Berlioz defined as its inherent dream-like and, therefore, ecstatic qualities – in conjunction with other wind instruments and particularly the clarinet, interspersed in the vocal line, serves to add a sensual undercurrent yet subtle impetus to Hérode’s desire54.

  • 55 In her analysis of Don José’s aria “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen, Susan McClary also (...)

25The main body of the extended aria is divided into three sections which reflect the three phases of the dance described by Flaubert: A: Hérode fantasises about Salomé (bars 1-46); B: Hérode drinks the love potion offered by a Babylonian slave girl (bars 47-71); A1: Hérode possesses Salomé in his dream (bars 72-96). At the climax of the first section, the reiteration of an E natural in the vocal line establishes a brief temporary pitch ceiling which Hérode’s fully activated machismo breaks through to an F and then to an ecstatic high G flat as he willingly offers his soul in return for Salomé55. The dramatic thrust of the aria is not continuously at full tilt, however. Cadential procedures are sometimes almost masochistically prolonged, such as that at the end of the first section of the aria, before Hérode drinks the love potion, and can be read as a protraction of Hérode’s longing. Hérode’s desire to spin out his pleasure is further underlined by the dramatically tense vocal line that, whilst based on D flat, tries twice to move up to an E flat, causing disturbing yet delicious false-relation harmonic conflicts with the chromatically altered chords in the protracted harmonic procedures below.

26Once Hérode has drunk the philtre, Salomé appears before him, her appearance in his imagination supported by the melodic motif associated with Salomé the dancer in the orchestra. His vision liberates the bottled-up and caressed emotions which have threatened continually to escape the confines of the musical structures and vocal line. The latter, whilst still turning back on itself, has a much wider ambitus, yet the two-bar “vision” motive slips chromatically from G to G flat, and then to F. Hérode, in his flight, is chasing after a Salomé who is, in effect, moving away from him. The chromatically descending series of unresolved dominant seventh chords contained within this passage marks the real dramatic crisis of the aria: the dissipation of Hérode’s hopes, expectant and yet unfulfilled, “visible” and yet fleeting and intangible. The wind instruments’ interjections of the “vision” motive, now melodically independent from the vocal line, taunt Hérode and force an interruption of this downward spiral as Hérode tries to impose an animated, almost frantic, yet harmonically and melodically static, build-up, where he pleads with his image of Salomé to yield to him. His frustration is intense and for the second time in the aria, a temporary pitch ceiling of C is set up in Hérode’s vocal line. It is only with a huge surge of emotion, after his words “À tes pieds je meure”, that the melody bursts to the high F, accompanied by an unforeseen huge tutti orchestral chord, quickly followed by an abrupt second climactic ascent to the words “Ah ! Dans mon vertige, je ne veux que toi !..”, the final pronoun culminating on the high G flat, again accompanied by a fortissimo tutti chord. The vocal line’s use of pitch ceilings is thus vehicled to represent Hérode’s need to conquer and dominate not only Salomé but also his own emotions in a show of vocal bravura.

27The libretto’s idea of carnal fantasy is hence musically fulfilled by the many climactic moments in the suitably accompanied vocal line, always bigger and better (higher and louder) than those previous. The repetitiveness of these moments builds dramatic tension but the expected release is an unhappy one: as Hérode imagines himself drawing Salomé to his bed, he falls into an uneasy, drugged sleep, musically illustrated by the immediate chromatic disturbance of the final resolution. Indeed, Hérode’s expectation is a frustrated one; he dreams and imagines but is unable to materialise his goals for his gender and reason are seen to be effeminate and debilitated respectively.

  • 56 Kathleen Lubey, “Making Pornography, 1749-1968: The History of The History of the Human Heart”, ELH(...)
  • 57 Liza Z. Sigel notes that significant multi-volumed bibliographical indices of pornographic literatu (...)
  • 58 Garlick, “Masculinity, Pornography, and the History of Masturbation”, op. cit., p. 307.

28Massenet’s opera Hérodiade may not exactly comprise a Dance of the Seven Veils, yet it contains an imagined dance with a libretto based directly on Flaubert’s text, and with music far more erotic in nature than that of any other before the First World War. Hérode’s physical desire allied to this imaginative fantasy move this aria into the realm of pornography56, the serious study and state repression of which was taking place during this era57, and which in today’s culture is intrinsically linked to masturbation and the production of (a certain) masculinity58. The more his sexual fantasy becomes real (to Hérode), the greater his solitary pleasure; yet the orgasmic experience ends unsatisfactorily in an aria which explores the exotic and erotic imaginations and the very nineteenth-century notion of sexual pollution, and its links to society’s decadence and the degeneration of the nation.

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Notes

1 Much of the material presented in this first section is drawn from the second chapter of my Republican Morality and Catholic Tradition at the Opera: Massenet’s Hérodiade and Thaïs, Musik-Edition Lucie Galland, Weinsberg, 2004.

2 Mallarmé died before completing this work. The only fragment to be published during his lifetime was a dialogue scene, appearing in Le Parnasse contemporain in 1870 under the title “Fragment d’une étude scénique ancienne d’un poème d’Hérodiade”.

3 Henri Regnault’s Salomé dates from 1870 and Gustave Moreau’s Salomé dansant devant Hérode, 1875; L’Apparition, 1876; Salomé au jardin 1878.

4 On the Lyon scandal, see Alban Ramaut, “La création d’Hérodiade à Lyon”, Jean-Christophe Branger and Alban Ramaut (eds.), Opéra et religion sous la IIIe République, Publications de l’Université de Saint-Étienne, Saint-Étienne, 2006, p. 146-172.

5 The concept of the opera’s librettists should include not only Paul Milliet and Massenet’s publisher Georges Hartmann (alias Henri Grémont), but also Angelo Zanardini, originally commissioned by the Italian publisher Giulio Ricordi to create an adaptation of Flaubert’s tale for Massenet. The genesis of the Italian and French libretti remain unclear however, see Rowden, Republican Morality and Catholic Tradition, op. cit., p. 91-93.

6 Damien Dauge has demonstrated how musicologists such as Gérard Condé, Jean-Michel Brèque and Jacques Bonnaure have all emphasised the distance between Flaubert’s tale and the libretto of Hérodiade. Damien Dauge, “« Il lui semblait entendre… » Flaubert et le spectre du musical”, unpublished Doctoral thesis, Université de Rouen, 2015, p. 81. My thanks to Damien Dauge for providing me with a copy of his thesis.

7 Hugues Imbert affirmed that Massenet frequented Renan’s salon at the start of the 1870s. This fascinating detail is, unfortunately, unconfirmed. See Imbert, Profiles d’artistes contemporains, Fischbacher, Paris, 1897, 160 fn.

8 Octave Fouque, “Société de l’harmonie sacrée. Eve, mystère en trois parties, poëme de M. Louis Gallet, musique de M. J. Massenet. – Première audition, le jeudi 18 mars”, La Revue et Gazette musicale, 42, 12, 21 March 1875, p. 91-92.

9 See Ernest Renan: Histoire des origines du Christianisme, Editions Robert Laffont, Paris, 1995, p. 53.

10 Letter dated 19 June 1876: “L’histoire d’Hérodias telle que je la comprends n’a aucun rapport avec la religion. Ce qui me séduit là-dedans, c’est la mine officielle d’Hérode (qui était un vrai préfet) et la figure farouche d’Hérodiade, une sorte de Cléopâtre et de Maintenon.” Quoted by R. Dumesnil in his introduction to Trois Contes, Gustave Flaubert, Œuvres 2, Gallimard, Paris, 1952, « Bibliothèque de la Pléiade », p. 581. For further comparison between Flaubert’s Antipas couple and that of the opera, see Rowden, Republican Morality and Catholic Tradition, op. cit., p. 136-142.

11 Salomé goes on to apply the prophet’s question about the coming of the Messiah to her next meeting with Jean himself: Flaubert’s Iaokanann’s “Quand viendras-tu, toi que j’espère ?” becomes the operatic Salomé’s “Ah! quand reviendra-t-il ? Quand pourrai-je l’entendre ?”

12 Gustave Flaubert, Hérodias, Trois Contes, Le Livre de Poche, Librairie générale française, Paris, 1983, p. 123-4.

13 In his perceptive review of the opera’s première in Brussels, Johannes Weber wrote: “cette phrase n’a rien de mystique ; elle a plutôt une expression passionnée”. Johannes Weber, “Critique Musicale. Feuilleton du Temps”, Le Temps, 4 January 1882.

14 Hector Berlioz, Grand Traité d’Instrumentation et d’Orchestration modernes : Nouvelle édition revue, corrigée, augmentée de plusieurs chapitres sur les instruments récemment inventés, et suivie de l’Art du Chef d’Orchestre, Schonenberger, Paris, 1885, p. 284.

15 Tohoron Hollard fails to recognise the conflation of Vitellius with Pontius Pilate and thus expresses incomprehension of Vitellius’s statements regarding Jean. See Hollard, “Flaubert’s Hérodias and Massenet’s Hérodiade”, New Zealand Journal of French Studies, 13, 2, 1992, p. 15-31.

16 Andrea Musk explores the importance of the concept of the “New Rome” in her chapter “Regionalism, Latinité and the French Musical Tradition”, Jim Samson and Bennett Zon (eds.), Nineteenth-Century Music: Selected Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference, Ashate, Aldershot, 2002, p. 26-249.

17 The printed staging book (Bibliothèque de l’Association de la Régie théâtrale, Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris, 4-TMS-03697 (RES), p. 45) signals that Jean appears to defy Vitellius with his declaration, and that at his last repetition of this phrase, Vitellius orders his lictors to arrest Jean. In another reading of the complex allegorical interpretations possible during the Act II finale, Hérode is loosely cast as representative of Napoléon III. For more detail see my “Hérodiade: Church, State and the Feminist Movement”, Jim Samson and Bennett Zon (eds.), Nineteenth-Century Music: Selected Proceedings from the Tenth International Conference, Ashgate, London, 2002, p. 248-76.

18 Letter dated 30 April 1871. Alphonse Jacobs (ed.), Gustave Flaubert-George Sand Correspondance, Flammarion, Paris, 1981, p. 332.

19 Mgr. Dupanloup, Évêque d’Orléans, Avertissement à la jeunesse et aux pères de famille sur les attaques dirigées contre la religion par quelques écrivains de nos jours, Duniol, Paris, 1863, p. 21-40.

20 Oscar Wilde, Salomé, Drame en un acte, Librairie de l’Art indépendant, Paris, 1893, p. 70.

21 The premiere was given by the Théâtre de l’Œuvre, run by Aurélien Lugné-Poë who played Herod. See Emily Eells, “Naturalizing Oscar Wilde as an homme de lettres: The French Reception of Dorian Gray and Salomé (1895-1922)”, Stefano Evangelista (ed.), The Reception of Oscar Wilde in Europe, The Athlone Critical Traditions Series: The Reception of British and Irish Authors in Europe, Continuum, London, 2010, p. 80-94.

22 Le Pompier de Service, “La Soirée parisienne”, “Recueil factice du Théâtre de l’Œuvre”, Département des Arts du Spectacle, Bibliothèque nationale de France, RE 10889 (Microfilm 102070). The young chansonnier, René Darlay provided the music for Lina Munte’s dance. See Louis Schneider, “Salomé”, Le Théâtre, 202, May 1907, p. 3-8, p. 3. Darlay is given here, as elsewhere, as Darlé. See the introduction to Clair Rowden (ed.), Performing Salome, Revealing Stories, Ashgate, Farnham, 2013, p. 1-14.

23 See my chapter “Whose/Who’s Salome ? Natalia Trouhanowa, A Dancing Diva”, in Rowden (ed.), Performing Salome, Revealing Stories, op. cit., p. 71-97.

24 Flaubert, Hérodias, op. cit., p. 140.

25 Annegret Fauser discusses in particular “La Belle Fatma”, Tunisian dancer Rachel Bent-Eny who came to dance during the 1878 exhibition, but who remained in Paris as a café-concert performer. See Fauser, Musical Encounters at the 1889 Paris World’s Fair, University of Rochester Press, Rochester, 2005, p. 225-231.

26 See Sylvie Giraud, “Instruments de musique” on the E-man platform, “FLIM - Flaubert et le pouvoir des images” at http://eman-archives.org/FLIM/items/show/3083.

27 Flaubert, Hérodias, op. cit., p. 140-141.

28 Ibid., p. 141-142.

29 It is unclear to what music Maud Allan danced La Vision de Salomé, but it is generally believed that she danced to an arrangement of Strauss’s Dance of the Seven Veils by the Belgian musician and critic Marcel Rémy. See Rowden, “Whose/Who’s Salome ?”, op. cit., p. 75.

30 Nozière [Fernand Weil], “Le Théâtre”, Gil Blas, 9 May 1907.

31 Louis Vuillemin, “Théâtre municipal de la Gaité-Lyrique. Salomé”, Comœdia, 23 April 1910.

32 See, for example, Robert Brussel, “Les Théâtres”, Le Figaro, 23 April 1910.

33 Robert de Montesquiou, “La Danse de Sept Voiles”, Gil Blas, 4 September 1909, p. 1.

34 On Fuller, see particularly Giovanni Lista, Loïe Fuller danseuse de la Belle Époque, Hermann Danse, Paris, 2006, deuxième édition revue et augmentée; Rhonda K. Garelick, Electric Salomé: Loïe Fuller’s Performance of Modernism, Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, 2007; Richard Nelson Current and Maria Ewing Current, Loïe Fuller: Goddess of Light, Northeastern University Press, Boston, 1997; Ann Cooper Albright, Traces of Light: Absence and Presence in the Work of Loïe Fuller, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, Connecticut, 2007.

35 See my “Loïe Fuller et Salomé : les drames mimés de Gabriel Pierné et de Florent Schmitt”, Jean-Christophe Branger (éd.), Musique et chorégraphie en France de Léo Delibes à Florent Schmitt, Publications de l’Université de Saint-Étienne, Saint-Étienne, 2010, p. 215-259.

36 The symphonic poem was given its premiere by the Orchestre Colonne, on 8 January 1911, conducted by Pierné. See Yves Hucher, Florent Schmitt, Editions d’Aujourd’hui, Paris, 1983, p. 157. The score was published by Durand in 1912.

37 See Rowden, “Whose/Who’s Salome ?”, op. cit.

38 Dancers would have worn a full-body, flesh-coloured leotard, similar to those worn for the obligatory nude scene in ballets-pantomimes presented at the Folies-Bergère.

39 Trouhanowa referred to this and the following “dance of terror” (in which Salomé hallucinates and sees multiple dismembered heads of John the Baptist) as provoking an ‘hystero-epilepto-desperate fury’ in Salome. See Rowden, “Whose/Who’s Salome ?”, op. cit., p. 87.

40 The same theatre saw the premiere of Wilde’s play (staged by the Théâtre de l’Œuvre) just eleven months later. Pierné’s score Salomé was evocative and suggestive but it was hastily written, with little musical translation of gesture, or correspondence between the libretto and the score which contains very few stage directions. See my “Loïe Fuller et Salomé”, Branger (éd.), Musique et chorégraphie en France de Léo Delibes à Florent Schmitt, op. cit.

41 See Rowden, Republican Morality and Catholic Tradition, op. cit., p. 165-173.

42 Flaubert, Hérodias, op. cit., p. 105.

43 Ibid., p. 128-129.

44 On the perceived links between social, political and sexual emancipation of women and the supposed complementary effects on men at the end of the nineteenth century in France, see Edward Berenson, The Trial of Madame Caillaux, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, 1992. Flaubert points out that Hérode and Hérodias have had no children in at least twelve years together. See Flaubert, Hérodias, op. cit., p. 105.

45 Notions of erotic dreams and decadence are developed much further in Massenet’s later opera Thaïs and its press reception. See Rowden, Jules Massenet – Thaïs – Dossier de presse parisienne (1894), Musik-Edition Lucie Galland, Heilbronn, 2000.

46 Samuel Auguste André David Tissot, L’onanisme, ou dissertation physique sur les maladies produites par la masturbation, impr. A. Chapuis, Lausanne, 1760. In his monograph, Tissot legitimated the medical treatment of onanism and diagnosed its symptoms and results in individuals which included feeble growth, wasted bodies, impotence, sterility, madness and even death.

47 Joseph Henri Réveillé-Parise, Traité d’hygiène appliqué à l’éducation de la jeunesse (1828), cited in Vernon A. Rosario, L’Irrésistible ascension du pervers : entre littérature et psychiatrie, trans. Guy Le Gaufey, Epel, Paris, 2000, p. 50. Originally published as The Erotic Imagination: French Histories of Peversity, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1997. Rosario explains (p. 20) that the term “pollution”, used in Catholic theology from the Middle Ages, is defined in the Encyclopédie as the ejaculation of sperm outside procreation.

48 Dr. Debourge, “De la manustupratiomanie”, Journal de médecine, de chirugie et de pharmacologie, 10, 15, 1852, p. 314: “[La manustupration est] la cause puissante de dépopulation [… qui] tend à corrompre, à bestialiser, à dégrader et à dégénérer l’espèce.”

49 See Thomas Laqueur, Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation, Zone Books, New York, 2003, p. 210. See also Steve Garlick, “Masculinity, Pornography, and the History of Masturbation”, Sexuality & Culture, 16, 2012, p. 306-320. And yet as Robert Darnton has shown, moral philosophists, along with those who engaged in the production and publication of pornography were linked not only by governmental censorship and repression but also by a shared condemnation of corrupt elements in society, where free-thinking political ideals could overlap with free-thinking sexuality. See Robert Darnton, The Literary Underground of the Old Regime, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1982, p. 207-208. Also Lisa Z. Sigel, “Looking at sex: pornography and erotica since 1750”, in Sarah Toulalan and Kate Fisher (eds.), The Routledge History of Sex and the Body, 1500 to the Present, Routledge, London and New York, 2013, p. 223-236, at p. 227.

50 Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821) quickly became a cult text.

51 Bibliothèque de l’Association de la Régie théâtrale, Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris, 4-TMS-03697 (RES), p. 19-25.

52 See Lawrence Kramer, “Culture and Musical Hermeneutics: The Salome Complex”, Cambridge Opera Journal, 2, 3, 1990, p. 269-294, at p. 272-274.

53 A sense of expectancy inherent in the dominant note and dominant harmony is exploited in relation to Hérode’s longing as it was for Salomé’s expectancy of Jean’s arrival and Phanuel’s quest for Jean’s identity.

54 Whilst Berlioz describes the middle register of the clarinet as “virginal”, Massenet allies the use of the clarinet with that of the saxophone in his musical portrayal of Jean’s ambiguously sensual religious message at the end of Act I of Hérodiade (discussed above). Thus the perceived character of this mixture of wind colours is already tainted by the interlinked ideas of religious mysticism and ecstatic/erotic transport.

55 In her analysis of Don José’s aria “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” from Carmen, Susan McClary also refers to the technique of pitch ceilings in the vocal line and prolonged cadential procedures as indicative of protracted longing. See McClary, Georges Bizet: Carmen, Cambridge Opera Handbooks, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992, p. 97-98.

56 Kathleen Lubey, “Making Pornography, 1749-1968: The History of The History of the Human Heart”, ELH, 82, 3, 2015, p. 897-935, at p. 897. The aria may be compared also to the early twentieth-century pornographic postcards from Algeria examined in Malek Alloula’s Le harem colonial, Garance, Paris, 1981.

57 Liza Z. Sigel notes that significant multi-volumed bibliographical indices of pornographic literature were drawn up in English, German and French during the 1870s. See Sigel, “Looking at sex: pornography and erotica since 1750”, op. cit., p. 226, p. 229. See also Annie Stora-Lamarre, L’Enfer de la Troisième République : censeurs et pornographes, 1880-1914, Imago, Paris, 1990.

58 Garlick, “Masculinity, Pornography, and the History of Masturbation”, op. cit., p. 307.

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Clair Rowden, « “Le Tétraque se perdait dans un rêve”: Concordance between Flaubert’s Hérodias and Hérodiade by Milliet, Grémont and Massenet », Flaubert [En ligne], 21 | 2019, mis en ligne le 01 juin 2019, consulté le 15 novembre 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/flaubert/3568

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Clair Rowden

Cardiff University

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