Writing Marginality in Modern French Literature: From Loti to Genet

Synopsis

Hughes explores how cultural centers require the peripheral, the outlawed, and the deviant in order to define and bolster themselves. He analyzes the hierarchies of cultural value that inform the work of six modern French writers: the exoticist Pierre Loti; Paul Gauguin, whose Noa Noa enacts European fantasies about Polynesia; Proust, who analyzes such exemplary figures of exclusion and inclusion as the homosexual and the xenophobe; Montherlant; Camus, who pleads an alienating detachment from the cultures of both metropolitan France and Algeria; and Jean Genet.