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  • Barbey d’Aurevilly: Bibliographie des Ecrivains Français, Volume 22
  • Karen Humphreys
Melmoux-Montaubin, Marie-Françoise. Barbey d’Aurevilly: Bibliographie des Ecrivains Français, Volume 22. Paris: Memini, 2001. ISBN8886609329

This carefully compiled and thoughtfully organized volume is a valuable resource particularly for scholars of Barbey d'Aurevilly, although in light of the vast spectrum of material cited, non-specialists are likely to find it useful as well. Marie-Françoise Melmoux-Montaubin presents a thorough bibliography of works by and about Barbey from the early 19TH-century through the year 2000. Each entry is numbered and can be referenced quickly by theme or author's name. The work is structured according to a general template for the series, Bibliographie des Ecrivains Français and a prefatory note highlights the general organization of the volume according to such rubrics as Manuscrits, Editions, et Traductions, Etudes Bibliographiques, Etudes Biographqiues, Etudes Générales as well as a variety of indexes. Within this format, Melmoux-Montaubin categorizes the numerous facets of Barbey's œuvre. She begins with a brief commentary on current Aurevillian studies and maintains that recent criticism reaches beyond the scope of Les Diaboliques, his most widely read work, embracing a wider range of Barbey's writings.

Part one, Manuscrits, Editions, et Traductions provides an overview of Barbey's fictional, poetic, and critical production and includes references to his journals and correspondence. The section that features the many articles that Barbey contributed to various journals and reviews provides an impressive overview of Barbey's criticism. This section is also of interest to nineteenth-century scholars and students since it refers to works that pertain to nineteenth-century French culture in general. The nine sections that follow detail bibliographical information about biographies, bibliographies, Etudes Générales, dandyism, women, Catholic and Norman influences, narrative structure, commentaries by Barbey's contemporaries, and critical studies of specific texts by Barbey. The segments that list critical material on dandyism, women, and Catholic ideology are areas of scholarship that might be useful to non-specialists since they include works that investigate these themes by a variety of authors, e.g. Charles [End Page 180] Bernheimer's Figures of Ill Repute: Representing Prostitution in nineteenth-century France, or A.L. Bucher's Le Mal dans l'imaginaire littéraire français or J.R. Feldman's Gender on the Divide: The Dandy in Modernist Literature – all of which dedicate one or more chapters to Barbey. Parts 9 and 10 detail references to contemporary and recent critical works of specific texts. This section is especially relevant to scholars of Barbey. Sections 11 and 12 provide citations for works that focus on Barbey and one or more other writers and book reviews of critical studies on Barbey and his work.

The concluding passage, Desiderata, identifies three areas that remain to be explored in greater depth: stylistic and lexical analysis of Barbey's work, his lengthy correspondence, and the large body of criticism he wrote over a lifetime. An index of key words, recent theses, and authors and translators concludes the volume. Melmoux-Montaubin's complete and thorough tome "tend à l'exhaustivité"(17); it will undoubtedly facilitate and enrich research in Aurevillian scholarship and numerous other areas of 19th-century French studies.

Karen Humphreys
Trinity College


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