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Balzac and violence : representing history, space, sexuality and death in la Comédie humaine

Author: Owen Heathcote
Publisher: New York : Peter Lang, 2009.
Series: French studies of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, 23
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Violence is one of the main themes in the novels of Hanore de Balza. Executions, muders, savagery and death accompany the conspiracies and the turbulence that characterise his post-Revolutionary times, from the terror to Napoleonic campaigns and then to the upheavals of 1830 and 1848. Despite the importance of violence in Balzac, this is the first book-length study of the topic. The book begins by tracing the links  Read more...
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Named Person: Honoré de Balzac; Honoré de Balzac
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Owen Heathcote
ISBN: 9783039105519 3039105515
OCLC Number: 315238522
Description: 288 pages ; 23 cm.
Contents: Contents: Mourning Becomes Prometheus: History, Space, Gender and Death in Balzac - Violence and Form in the Balzac Novel: Les Paysans, Illusions perdues and Splendeurs et miseres des courtisanes - The Origins of Violence in Balzac: From Stenie to El Verdugo - Balzac `le fataliste'? Historical Materialism and Material Violence in Sur Catherine de Medicis and Le Requisitionnaire - Post-Revolutionary Violence: Crossroads of Terror in Une tenebreuse affaire - The Violence of Touraine: Le Lys dans la vallee - Out in the City: History, Violence and Gender in L'Envers de l'histoire contemporaine - Violating Sexual Difference: La Fausse maitresse, Autre etude de femme, and La Fille aux yeux d'or - Violent Sexualities? The Representation of Prostitution and the Prostitution of Representation - Violence, Politics and Death: Z. Marcas - The Poetics of Death in Albert Savarus - Mourning Becomes Prometheus: Homeopathy, Repair - and Unrest.
Series Title: French studies of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, 23
Responsibility: Owen Heathcote.

Abstract:

Violence is one of the main themes in the novels of Hanore de Balza. Executions, muders, savagery and death accompany the conspiracies and the turbulence that characterise his post-Revolutionary times, from the terror to Napoleonic campaigns and then to the upheavals of 1830 and 1848. Despite the importance of violence in Balzac, this is the first book-length study of the topic. The book begins by tracing the links between violence and Balzac's approach to the novel, not merely in terms of violent content, but, equally importantly, in terms of the form associated with that content. From and content combine to perpetuate and naturalise violence and suffering. After charting examples of this combination in one of Balzac's earliest fictions, the books moves on to the links between violence and place violence and history (Catherine de Medicis; the Terror), between violence and place(from his native Touraine to sickness in Paris), and between violence and gender/sexuality. It alos examines the repersentiation of violence in the form of spoken or written death. Throughout the analysis, the bokk asks the following question: do Balzac's novels reinforce or counteract the literary text's apparent love-affair with violence?

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