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Le Printemps d'Yver, Mélusine, emblems


In the opening pages of Le Printemps d’Yver (1572), the narrator evokes Mélusine, the cursed half-snake fairy queen, as the architect of the idyllic castle that serves as the locus amoenus of the novella collection. And yet, as suddenly as she appears, Mélusine vanishes from the text with only one other explicit reference to her at the transition point between the third and fourth novellas. While literary scholars have analyzed the two explicit references to Mélusine in Le Printemps as well as Yver’s emblematic prose, none has systematically explored the possibility that her presence pervades the novella collection in ways beyond the two explicit references to her. Viewing Yver’s work through the dual lenses of Mélusine and emblems, this paper suggests that although she is largely absent from the textual surface, like the vanishing point of a painting, Mélusine’s invisible presence pervades the work.