On January 20, 2022, the Configurations Littéraires research unit, and Lethica will welcome the director Régine Abadia for the projection of her documentary film La Femme sans nom, l'histoire de Jeanne et Baudelaire (2021, 54 minutes). The screening will take place in Alain Beretz amphitheater (batiment de la présidence - Nouveau Patio) from 5pm to 7pm and will be followed by a debate moderated by Ninon Chavoz.
The starting point for La Femme sans nom is Gustave Courbet's L'Atelier du peintre, a real allegory painted in 1855 and well known to visitors to the Musée d'Orsay. It is not well known, however, that the figure of Jeanne Duval, Baudelaire's muse, erased from the painting by Courbet, now reappears on the surface of the canvas like a ghost. This "repentance" of the painter is also a symbol of the erasure of Jeanne, banished from history and memory, as well as of the interest that she arouses in our contemporaries. Régine Abadia's film is carried by a voice-over addressed to Jeanne, who tries to shed light on the mysteries inherent in this little-known character: what were her origins? who was she? what was her real name? what was the nature of her relationship with Baudelaire? Seeking to give flesh to the ghost, La Femme sans nom is based on numerous quotations (from Baudelaire, of course, but also from Nadar, Théodore de Banville and the singer Emma Calvé) as well as on graphic documents and images edited with animation techniques. By placing an artistic and literary secret in the spotlight, Régine Abadia's film contributes to a mutation of sensibilities in our approach to literature: in this respect, it joins the numerous literary and graphic works which, on the occasion of Baudelaire's recent bicentenary, paid tribute to the muse even more than to the poet.