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Sunday of Fiction

The Modern French Eccentric

by Peter Schulman

Publication Year: 2003

In a world of increasing conformity, the modern eccentric can be seen as a contemporary hero and guardian of individualism. This study defines the modern eccentric intwentieth-century French literature and compares the notions of the eccentric in nineteenthand twentieth-century French literature by tracing the eccentric's relationship to time, space, and society. While previous studies have focused on the notion of eccentricity in purely formal terms, The Sunday of Fiction delineates the eccentric as a fully fictional character. This work also completes prior criticism by exploring twentieth-century fictional eccentrics in works by authors such as Raymond Queneau, Jean-Echenoz, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, and Georges Perec, and by filmmakers such as Jacques Tati and Pierre Etaix.

Published by: Purdue University Press

Series: Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures


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Title page

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pp. v-vi

List of Eccentrics

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pp. vii-ix

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pp. xi-xii

The editors at Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures have been very helpful in shaping this manuscript into its final form. I would like to thank Susan Y. Clawson, production editor at PSRL, for her caring and perspicacious editing of this book. In ...

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Introduction: A la recherche de l’excentrique perdu

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pp. 1-10

In a world of increasing conformity, the modern eccentric can be seen as a contemporary hero and guardian of individualism. With this rudimentary notion of the eccentric in mind, this book defines the modern eccentric in twentieth-century French literature, ...

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Chapter One. Nineteenth-Century Eccentric Prototypes

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pp. 11-42

At the fin de siècle, in 1885, Jules Andrieu, a self-proclaimed “amateur d’excentriques,” announced: “Une histoire documentée de la littérature excentrique est encore à faire. Elle mériterait de tenter une bonne plume de chercheur et d’humoriste et serait ...

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Chapter Two. The Clinamen: The Discreet Eccentric

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pp. 43-114

Describing his proposed definitive anthology of fous littéraires, Chambernac, the protagonist of Queneau’s Les enfants du Limon, specifies that he will restrict his study to the nineteenth century because it is an era that is close enough for him to ...

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Chapter Three. The Eccentric’s Universe

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pp. 115-161

The Sunday of Life The quote from Hegel that Queneau uses as an epigraph for Le dimanche de la vie could also be used to describe the space the modern eccentric inhabits and appreciates: “C’est le dimanche de la vie qui nivelle tout et éloigne tout ce ...

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Conclusion: L’excentrique retrouvé

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pp. 162-167

While in the nineteenth century, eccentrics strove to be noticed as they metaphorically cried their singularity from the rooftops, the twentieth-century eccentric is characterized by a sudden understatement that may account for the term’s absence from ...


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pp. 169-171


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pp. 173-183


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pp. 185-196

E-ISBN-13: 9781612490830
E-ISBN-10: 1612490832
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557532510
Print-ISBN-10: 1557532516

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2003

Series Title: Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures
Series Editor Byline: Patricia Hart See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 605706655
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Sunday of Fiction

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • French fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
  • Eccentrics in literature.
  • French fiction -- 19th century -- History and criticism
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