Short Fiction in France, 1800-1850

Short Fiction in France, 1800-1850

Short Fiction in France, 1800-1850

Short Fiction in France, 1800-1850

Excerpt

Until recently, literary historians have paid scant heed to the development of the forms of short fiction in France. Poetry, the novel, the drama, have all received their share of monographs, learned essays, or scholarly congresses, but the brief narrative has been ignored except by a few dedicated writers.

In July, 1913, Mrs.A. Taylor published The Short Story in France 1800-1900 in the Edinburgh Review. This was a quick survey of the characteristic traits of the major writers of the nineteenth century. Fifteen years later James B. Tharp prepared a dissertation on "The Fantastic Short Story, 1850-90" at the University of Illinois, but not until 1941 did the first half of the century receive any consideration, in Alfred Engstrom thesis, "The Artistic Short Story before Maupassant" (Chapel Hill). Engstrom subsequently published The Formal Short Story in France and Its Development before 1850 in Studies in Language and Literature (University of North Carolina Press, 1945). And in 1952 Robert Lewis investigated the brief fiction of the early period more broadly in his dissertation, "The Development of the French Short Story, 1745-1850" (Johns Hopkins, 1952).

Slightly more attention has been paid to specific varieties of the early nineteenth-century brief narrative, as in Edith Cumings ' The Literary Development of the Romantic Fairy Tale in France (Bryn Mawr, 1934) or Pierre-Georges Castex Le Conte fantastique en France (Corti, 1951). Most scholarly work, however, has centered on particular writers, as, for ex-

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