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Reviewed by:
  • Relire 'L'Éducation sentimentale' ed. by Pierre Glaudes et Éléonore Reverzy
  • Mary Orr
Relire 'L'Éducation sentimentale'. Sous la direction de Pierre Glaudes et Éléonore Reverzy. (Rencontres, 331; Études dix-neuviémistes, 39.) Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2017. 354 pp. Histoire d'un jeune homme: une lecture de 'L'Éducation sentimentale'. Par François Vanoosthuyse. Mont-Saint-Aignan: Presses universitaires de Rouen et du Havre, 2017. 248 pp.

The enduring modernity and ethical/aesthetic complexity of L'Éducation sentimentale make it one of Flaubert's most significant works, not least for the time of its publication in 1869 [End Page 299] and subject, the 1848 Revolution. If fiftieth-anniversary rereadings of May 1968 and its cultural legacies offer striking parallels with Flaubert's reconsideration of revolution in his work, editors Pierre Glaudes et Éléonore Reverzy state rather different reasons for the need to Relire L'Éducation sentimentale': the novel 'est resté longtemps oublié des programmes de concours de l'enseignement du second degré; le relire ou plutôt de le lire sur nouveaux frais, comme s'efforcent de le faire les contributions réunies [...], à l'occasion du programme d'agrégation 2018' (Avant-propos, p. 11; emphasis in the original). The four main modes of rereading L'Éducation sentimentale' (Part One, 'Histoire du texte—génétique'; Part Two, 'Poétique du récit et stylistique'; Part Three, 'Société, histoire, politique, religion'; Part Four, 'Enjeux éthiques et philosophiques') group contributions and interventions by established francophone experts of Flaubert (for example, Yvan Leclerc, Éric Le Calvez, Stéphanie Dord-Crouslé, Jeanne Bem, Gisèle Séginger, and Jacques Neefs) and the rising generation of their interlocutors. The volume therefore covers important themes ('Modernité et mobilité', Bem; 'L'Espagne dans L'Éducation sentimentale', Nicolas Bourguinat; 'Avatars du religieux', Glaudes; 'Amitié et envie', Fabrice Wilhelm; 'Le Bonheur', Juliette Azoulai), investigates major issues of style ('Trouver un bon titre', Leclerc; 'Frédéric est-il un personnage du roman?', Boris Lyon-Caen; 'Le Romanesque', Reverzy; the work as 'Roman du retrait', Jacques-David Ebguy), and returns to its main dynamics ('Logiques de l'argent', Christophe Reffait; 'L'Histoire des sentiments', Séginger; 'Le Sentiment politique', Neefs), as well as close analyses of Flaubert's telling details and ear for clichés and linguistic markers (Guy Larroux, '"Il parle bien, Frédéric Moreau'"). The collection is therefore at once comprehensive and eclectic. Only when its coverage of L'Éducation sentimentale is compared with the list of suggested subjects and passages for close reading set out for the oral examination lesson plan for the 2018 agrégation can the value of this volume as new set of critical responses to Flaubert's text find its wider significance (see 'Agrégation interne: Lettres modernes', <http://media.devenirenseignant.gouv.fr/file/interne/78/3/Rj-2018-agregation-interne-lettres-modernes_984783.pdf> [accessed 1 February 2019], pp. 94–95). For teachers of Flaubert's novels, therefore, this collection offers a set of 'master classes' in how (better) to teach the reading and rereading of L'Éducation sentimentale. The editors could therefore have more usefully reflected on the essential apparatus that makes for research-led teaching collections in and beyond specific national frames, and as essential compendium resources for further study. Striking omissions in this collection as a resource for researchers and teachers are bibliographies of works cited and further reading for each chapter, biographical notes including relevant Flaubert publications for each contributor, and more detailed contextualization in the Introduction for its project and for the enduring socio-historical importance of L'Éducation sentimentale itself.

The contribution to Part Two of Relire 'L'Éducation sentimentale' by François Vanoosthuyse (on 'La Narration par "plans" dans L'Éducation sentimentale) thus also provides necessary context for his monograph, Histoire d'un jeune homme: une lecture de 'EEducation sentimentale'. In effect, it is a lesson in detailed close reading of the novel (based on Pierre-Marc Biasi's 2002 Livre de Poche edition). Vanoosthuyse's Introduction, however, overtly focuses on guiding newcomer student readers of the text, 'en prenant les difficultés une à une: la singularité de la composition, les incertitudes du...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1468-2931
Print ISSN
0016-1128
Pages
pp. 299-301
Launched on MUSE
2019-05-17
Open Access
No
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