Nineteenth-Century French Studies

Text in English and French - discusses literature

Articles from Vol. 33, No. 3-4, Spring-Summer

Becoming Political: Symbolist Literature and the Third Republic
Studies of the political element in Symbolist literature invariably focus on anarchism in the 1890s; however, seeing the political dimension of Symbolism as arising solely from its connection to anarchism is too limiting and historically inaccurate....
Concocting la Dame Aux Camelias: Blood, Tears, and Other Fluids
In June 1847, the 23-year old Dumas fils set out to write a novel loosely based on his brief love affair with Marie Duplessis, the most sought after courtesan of the day who had died of consumption four months earlier. Meant to garner him fame and...
From Gobseck's Chamber to Derville's Chambers: Retention in Balzac's Gobseck
A ceux qui avaient Pair degoute, il disait: "Mais c'est de l'or! C'est de l'or!"--Flaubert, Bouvard et Pecuchet The general context of this article is an interest in secret rooms and closets in Balzac's La Comedie humaine. (1) Its specific point...
Grotesque Desires in Hugo's L'Homme Qui Rit
Victor Hugo's late prose masterwork, L'Homme qui rit (1869), teems with grotesque desires. Set in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England, the novel presents a powerful, often nightmarish, vision of human yearning and corruption. The villain Barkilphedro...
Intellectualization in Merimee's "La Venus d'Ille"
It can be viewed as a feature of the fantastic as a literary genre that its texts present "intellectuals:" scientists and scholars, travelers and museum-goers, antiquarians and collectors alike are concerned with explaining the riddles posed in the...
Managing Imitation: Translation and Baudelaire's Art Criticism
One of the most frequently analyzed aspects of Charles Baudelaire's aesthetic writings is his advocation of imagination and originality as the primary creative forces in making art. In his art criticism, Baudelaire arranges imitation and imagination...
Reading and Otherness: The Interpretative Triangle in Baudelaire's Petits Poemes En Prose
In Baudelaire's prose poem "La Soupe et les nuages" the speaking subject stares out his dining room window at the clouds, seeing in God's handiwork a beauty almost equal to that of his "belle bien-aimee," the third-person beloved who inspires his reverie....
Relative Color: Baudelaire, Chevreul, and the Reconsideration of Critical Methodology
"La couleur est donc l'accord de deux tons," writes Charles Baudelaire in his Salon de 1846. (1) This insistence on color as being defined by a relationship of balance recalls a theory developed by the famous chemist Michel-Eugene Chevreul, who in...
Remembering Claude Pichois
Although, in recent years, Claude Pichois tended to speak more and more of his life as a peau de chagrin he could sense diminishing, few scholars have been as generous as he with their time, both to the great literary figures with whom his name is...
The Ecole Saint-Simonienne's Outrage to Public Morals
The trial of the Saint-Simonian leader Prosper ("Pere") Enfantin and his apostles (August 27 and 28, 1832) offered Paris an impressive display of pomp and circumstance. Lined up in hierarchical order and singing Saint-Simonian hymns, the members of...
Unswathing the Mummy: Body, Knowledge, and Writing in Gautier's le Roman De la Momie
In a vast range of disciplines from medicine and philosophy to art and literature, the desire to know the human body has often coincided, whether literally or figuratively, with the desire to open it and see its insides. In the sixteenth and seventeenth...