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Paul Pelckmans

Du Vicaire Savoyard à l’Abbé de la Tour. A propos d’Honorine d’Userche


The four novellas in the collection of the Abbé de la Tour offer, according to Charrière herself, some personal variation on themes inspired by Rousseau. In this respect, Honorine d’Userche develops some of the considerations of his “Vicaire savoyard”. Charrière’s indebtedness to this passage of Emile often goes unrecorded because she focuses on those aspects usually disregarded by modern readers. Honorine d’Userche, indeed, is not about a Rousseauist kind of faith grounded in the emotions. But this novella by Charrière is, like Rousseau’s Vicaire, concerned with the decline of religious feelings as well as it reproduces his interrogations about the necessity of a compromise between a spontaneous or sentimental form of faith and more orthodox beliefs.

SvD, December 2012

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