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Dissecting the Doctor in French Narrative Prose, 1857-1894
The literati's enthrallment with medicine and their subservient adoption of a medical model in the creation of their plots and characters have not previously been seriously questioned. In Medical Examinations, Mary Donaldson-Evans corrects this oversight. Exploring six novels and two short stories published during the Second Empire and the early Third Republic, she argues that there was a growing resistance to medicine's linguistic and professional hegemony, a resistance fraught with ideological implications. Tainted by a subtle—and sometimes not so subtle—anti-Semitism, some of the fiction of this period adopts counterdiscursive strategies to tar the physician with his own brush. Featured authors include Gustave Flaubert, Edmond and Jules Goncourt, Emile Zola, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Guy de Maupassant, and Alphonse and Léon Daudet.
The "I" of the Text
In Medieval Autographies, A. C. Spearing develops a new engagement of narrative theory with medieval English first-person writing, focusing on the roles and functions of the “I” as a shifting textual phenomenon, not to be defined either as autobiographical or as the label of a fictional speaker or narrator. Spearing identifies and explores a previously unrecognized category of medieval English poetry, calling it "autography.” He describes this form as emerging in the mid-fourteenth century and consisting of extended nonlyrical writings in the first person, embracing prologues, authorial interventions in and commentaries on third-person narratives, and descendants of the dit, a genre of French medieval poetry. He argues that autography arose as a means of liberation from the requirement to tell stories with preordained conclusions and as a way of achieving a closer relation to lived experience, with all its unpredictability and inconsistencies. Autographies, he claims, are marked by a cluster of characteristics including a correspondence to the texture of life as it is experienced, a montage-like unpredictability of structure, and a concern with writing and textuality. Beginning with what may be the earliest extended first-person narrative in Middle English, Winner and Waster, the book examines instances of the dit as discussed by French scholars, analyzes Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue as a textual performance, and devotes separate chapters to detailed readings of Hoccleve’s Regement of Princes prologue, his Complaint and Dialogue, and the witty first-person elements in Osbern Bokenham’s legends of saints. An afterword suggests possible further applications of the concept of autography, including discussion of the intermittent autographic commentaries on the narrative in Troilus and Criseyde and Capgrave’s Life of Saint Katherine.
Spectacle and Political Culture in Modern France
In France, both political culture and theatrical performances have drawn upon melodrama. This "melodramatic thread" helped weave the country's political life as it moved from monarchy to democracy. By examining the relationship between public ceremonies and theatrical performance, James R. Lehning sheds light on democratization in modern France. He explores the extent to which the dramatic forms were present in the public performance of political power. By concentrating on the Republic and the Revolution and on theatrical performance, Lehning affirms the importance of examining the performative aspects of French political culture for understanding the political differences that have marked France in the years since 1789.
French Detours, 1900-1930
Laetitia Toureaux and the Cagoule in 1930s France
On the evening of May 16, 1937, the train doors opened at the Porte Dorée station in the Paris Métro to reveal a dying woman slumped by a window, an eight-inch stiletto buried to its hilt in her neck. No one witnessed the crime, and the killer left behind little forensic evidence. This first-ever murder in the Paris Métro dominated the headlines for weeks during the summer of 1937, as journalists and the police slowly uncovered the shocking truth about the victim: a twenty-nine-year-old Italian immigrant, the beautiful and elusive Laetitia Toureaux. Toureaux toiled each day in a factory, but spent her nights working as a spy in the seamy Parisian underworld. Just as the dangerous spy Mata Hari fascinated Parisians of an earlier generation, the mystery of Toureaux’s murder held the French public spellbound in pre-war Paris, as the police tried and failed to identify her assassin. In Murder in the Métro, Gayle K. Brunelle and Annette Finley-Croswhite unravel Toureaux’s complicated and mysterious life, assessing her complex identity within the larger political context of the time. They follow the trail of Toureaux’s murder investigation to the Comité Secret d’Action Révolutionnaire, a secret right-wing political organization popularly known as the Cagoule, or “hooded ones.” Obsessed with the Communist threat they perceived in the growing power of labor unions and the French left wing, the Cagoule’s leaders aimed to overthrow France’s Third Republic and install an authoritarian regime allied with Italy. With Mussolini as their ally and Italian fascism as their model, they did not shrink from committing violent crimes and fomenting terror to accomplish their goal. In 1936, Toureaux—at the behest of the French police—infiltrated this dangerous group of terrorists and seduced one of its leaders, Gabriel Jeantet, to gain more information. This operation, the authors show, eventually cost Toureaux her life. The tale of Laetitia Toureaux epitomizes the turbulence of 1930s France, as the country prepared for a war most people dreaded but assumed would come. This period, therefore, generated great anxiety but also offered new opportunities—and risks—to Toureaux as she embraced the identity of a “modern” woman. The authors unravel her murder as they detail her story and that of the Cagoule, within the popular culture and conflicted politics of 1930s France. By examining documents related to Toureaux’s murder—documents the French government has sealed from public view until 2038—Brunelle and Finley-Croswhite link Toureaux’s death not only to the Cagoule but also to the Italian secret service, for whom she acted as an informant. Their research provides likely answers to the question of the identity of Toureaux’s murderer and offers a fascinating look at the dark and dangerous streets of pre–World War II Paris.
Letters from Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo 1833-1882
My Beloved Toto, a collection of letters written by Juliette Drouet to her lover, Victor Hugo, tells the story of a life and of the great love affair that shaped it. From 1833 until her death half a century later, Drouet wrote to Hugo twice daily on average, resulting in thousands of letters. The 186 translated here—most appearing in English for the first time—offer insights into nineteenth-century French culture as well as an insider’s look at the character, behavior, working habits, and day-to-day life of France’s most monumental man of letters.
Military Fraternity, Intimacy, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century France
Following the French Revolution, radical military reforms created conditions for new physical and emotional intimacy between soldiers, establishing a model of fraternal affection that would persist from the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars through the Franco-Prussian War and World War I.
Based on extensive research in French and American archives, and enriched by his reading of Napoleonic military memoirs and French military fiction from Hugo and Balzac to Zola and Proust, Brian Joseph Martin's view encompasses a broad range of emotional and erotic relationships in French armies from 1789 to 1916. He argues that the French Revolution's emphasis on military fraternity evolved into an unprecedented sense of camaraderie among soldiers in the armies of Napoleon. For many soldiers, the hardships of combat led to intimate friendships. For some, the homosociality of military life inspired mutual affection, lifelong commitment, and homoerotic desire.
"Hinds's study makes an important contribution to studies on the early-seventeenth-century novel. His analysis of the two novels is carried out in two broad and important contexts: sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century French literature in general (Baroque esthetic theory, the literary controversies of the time, etc.) and modern critical theory (Bakhtin, Kristeva, Benjamin, Foucault, etc.). The author brings all of these elements together in a coherent, intelligent, and thought-provoking manner