mercredi 14 mars 2018

323. Jolanta Pekacz 4 : Eléments biographiques sur Nicolas Chopin

Quelques informations sur un article de Jolanta Pekacz consacré à Chopin

Classement : biographies ; Nicolas Chopin



Table des Matières : vue d’ensemble
Première partie :Aperçus historiques (Pologne et relations franco-polonaises)
Deuxième partie :Frédéric Chopin, questions biographiques
Troisième partie :La nationalité de Frédéric Chopin, notamment :
Le statut de Frédéric Chopin quant à la nationalité
Le statut de Nicolas Chopin quant à la nationalité

Index des personnes citées dans le blog

*Jolanta Pekacz, « The Nation’s Property : Chopin’s Biography as a Cultural Discourse », dans Jolanta Pekacs (editeur), Musical Biography Towards New Paradigms, Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing, 2006, pages 43-68

Ceci est la suite des pages
*Jolanta Pekacz biographe de Chopin (2006), dans laquelle je présente l’auteur et cet article et
*Jolanta Pekacz 2 : problèmes généraux de la biographie, dans laquelle je présente sa conception de la biographie
*Jolanta Pekacz 3 : Eléments biographiques sur Chopin, dans laquelle j’étudie quelques passages de son article.
Je reproduis ci-dessous quelques passages consacrés aux relations de Nicolas  Chopin avec la Pologne.

Le but de l’article de Jolanta Pekacz est de faire un certain nombre de mises au point sur les relations entre Chopin, la France et la Pologne. Quoique d’origine polonaise, elle critique le point de vue des biographes polonais du XIX° qui cherchaient à faire de Chopin exclusivement un représentant de l’« esprit national polonais », de l’« âme polonaise », minimisant par divers procédés l’importance de son expérience de l’exil en France.
Après avoir évoqué la biographie de Frédéric (voir page Eléments biographiques sur Chopin), elle aborde celle de Nicolas, s’efforçant de « déconstruire » des lieux communs biographiques.

En gras : formules les plus intéressantes.
Page 48
« Chopin’s biographers typically emphasize an allegedly rapid and thorough Polonization of his father Nicholas, who was French and came to Poland at the age of seventeen, while at the same time they do not admit any possibility that Fryderyk could have experienced a similar process of acculturation when he arrived in France at the age of twenty-one(15). While for Polish authors the Polonization of foreigners arriving in Poland has been typically an unproblematically positive process, a Pole embracing a foreign culture and language could be accused or betrayal of Poland (16). And an artist who made a name for himself, whether at home or abroad, became a national and public property. Nicholas’s thorough Polonization was therefore important because it implied that he did not exert any significant French influence on his son; and even though Nicholas was a teacher of the French language, he never made Fryderyk master it (17). A possibility that Nicholas’s Polonization could have been a matter of convenience for him, not a matter of conviction and emotional identification, does not enter the discourse of Chopin’s national background.
Nicholas’s attitude to his adopted homeland has never been a subject of thorough research but the available sources suggest a more complex story than the one typically told. For example, Maurycy Karasowski writes that, before settling down in Poland for life in 1806, Nicholas attempted to leave Poland twice and return to

Page 49
France – in 1793, when he lost his tutor’s job with Mme Laczynska, and in 1794, after the collapse of the Kosciuszko Uprising – but each time a serious illness prevented him from realizing his plans. According to Karasowski and many other biographers who repeat the story, Nicholas saw it as God’s plan* and stayed in Poland (18). This decision can hardly be considered a result of an infatuation with Poland and Polish culture such as Chopin’s biographers (including Karasowski) typically attribute to Nicholas. Furthermore, the letters Nicholas wrote to Fryderyk from Warsaw to Paris at the beginning of Fryderyk’s stay in the French capital, contain unflattering comments about the Poles. As early as November 1831, for example, Nicholas warned his son against having confidence in “every newcomer” from Poland (19). In spite of having himself taken part in the Kosciuszko Uprising in Poland in 1794, later in his life old Chopin manifested a decidedly hostile attitude towards all kinds of political disturbances. “Your letter of 6 [June 1832] made me happy because I learned that you were not in danger during the riot which occurred and which was instigated by rascals,” wrote Nicholas from Warsaw after the turmoil in Paris on the occasion of the funeral of the general Lamarque at the beginning of June 1832. He continued:
“Some papers report that Poles took part and thus abused the [French] hospitality they enjoy: have they not had their fill of such nonsense? They caused enough trouble here. I am sure that the number of those participating in the turmoil was small, for who would be so mad as to share their destructive ideas? Thank God the level-headed section of the nation has triumphed, and order has been restored. (20)”
On another occasion, old Chopin expressed his concern about the “leeches” surrounding Fryderyk in Paris, meaning Poles asking him for loans (21).  »

(15) In order to remove any doubt as to the purity of Chopin’s Polishness, some biographers claimed that Chopin father’s ancestry was Polish (for example, Henryk Opienski, whose Chopin was first published in 1909, and an enlarged version in 1925). According to this version, now entirely discarded, a Polish courtier named Szop was a member of the retinue of the Polish king Stanislaw Leszczynski (1677-1766) who was also Duke of Lorraine, and came with the king to France and settled in Nancy. The possessive form of the name Szop is Szopen and it corresponds phonetically to the French sound of the name Chopin. See Nicolas Slonimsky, “Chopiniana: Some Materials for a Biography”, Musical Quarterly 34, n° 4, 1948, page 469
(16) The extent of such appropriations is illustrated by an attack that Polish writer Eliza Orzeszkowa launched in 1899 against her famous compatriot Joseph Conrad, accusing him of betraying his country for money. […]
(17) It was vital to prove Fryderyk’s Polishness because only Polish Chopin could be a legitimate heir of the Polish “national spirit”. See Dahlhaus’s discussion on the change from nationalism in music as a stylistic option available to all composers regardless of their ethnic origin prior to the nineteenth century, into nineteenth-century nationalism in music understood as a heritage of the “national spirit”. Nineteenth-Century Music, 39-40
(18) Maurice Karasowski, Frédéric Chopin, 9
(19) Lettre de Nicolas Chopin à Frédéric, 27 novembre 1831
(20) [version originale du texte]
(21) Lettre de Nicolas Chopin à Frédéric, 9 février 1835

*in 1793, when he lost his tutor’s job with Mme Laczynska : Jolanta Pekacz fait ici une erreur : Nicolas  Chopin travaille chez les Laczynski de 1795 à 1802 ; jusqu’en 1794, il a exercé plusieurs emplois, jamais de très longue durée
*According to Karasowski, Nicholas saw it as God’s plan : cet énoncé alambiqué révèle malgré tout qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une interprétation de Karasowski, mais de la transmission (par le biais d’Isabelle Chopin, « informateur » de Karasowski) d’une « anecdote » que Nicolas  Chopin a dû répéter plusieurs fois au cours de sa vie. C’est Nicolas  Chopin qui interprétait ses maladies comme des « signes du destin ». Il est clair par ailleurs qu’en 1793-1794, il n’avait que 22-23 ans. La phrase « This decision can hardly be considered a result of an infatuation with Poland and Polish culture » paraît donc hors de propos et en déclage avec celle du début, selon laquelle il s’agit de « a more complex story than the one typically told ».

De ces paragraphes il ressort :
1) que devenu vieux (old Chopin), Nicolas était devenu « réac » ;
2) que peut-être bien qu’il n’aimait la Pologne que par opportunisme, puisque
a) en 1793 et 1794, il avait voulu revenir en France ;
b) en 1831 et après, il incitait Frédéric à se méfier des tapeurs polonais réfugiés à Paris (que  de façon désobligeante, il appelait « sangsues »).
Il me semble que Jolanta Pekacz mène ici une attaque visant à discréditer à travers quelques traits supposés significatifs, plutôt qu’elle ne fait une analyse de l’ensemble de la biographie de Nicolas Chopin.

Création : 14 mars 2018
Mise à jour :
Révision :
Auteur : Jacques Richard
Blog : Sur Frédéric Chopin Questions historiques et biographiques
Page : 323. Jolanta Pekacz 4 : Eléments biographiques sur Nicolas Chopin
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