Politics and Aesthetics in Nineteenth-Century France


The result of interdisciplinary collaboration rarely undertaken in such a systematic manner. Confrontations brings together literary critics, historians, and art historians to reflect on a cluster of themes inspired by the commemoration of the centenary of the Dreyfus Affair. From literary expressions of revolt in all its excess — and nuance — to the complexities of political confrontations illuminated by analyses of “J’Accuse...!”, this book explores the tensions and dissent kindled throughout the century by rhetorical, artistic, and political audaciousness. These essays invite the reconsideration of diverse forms of opposition, repression, and resistance, from the most blatant to the most subtle, as expressed through a variety of objects: word, act, and image become political gestures, just as politics is inspired by artistic and literary creation. After examining diverse forms of textual negotiation, the book explores acts of defiance and concludes with a discussion of a range of polemics, including but not limited to the Dreyfus Affair. This volume represents a reference source rich in new perspectives on the emblematic controversies of the nineteenth century —, literary, artistic, social, and political.

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Editors’ Introduction I. Negotiating Texts T.J. FARRANT: “Balzac, Satire, and Subversion: The Private Life of the Avant-propos to La Comédie humaine” Anne FRÉMIOT: “Crime et contamination dans ´Le Dessous de cartes d’une partie de whist’ de Barbey d’Aurevilly” Philippe MET : “Fantastique, mystification et traduction dans La Guzla de Mérimée ” Armine KOTIN MORTIMER : “ Secrets of Literature, Resistance to Meaning ” Aline MURA-BRUNEL: “Le scandale du non-dit: Balzac et Stendhal” Timothy RASER : “ The Glory of the Critic : Proust’s Preface to La Bible d’Amiens Michael J. TILBY: “Opposition and its Literary Expression in the Late Restoration: A ‘Self-Conscious Model’ ” II. Violence, Defiance, Audaces Owen HEATHCOTE : “Verbal Hygiene for Oscar : The Expression and Containment of Violence in Balzac’s Un début dans la vie” Garett R. HEYSEL : “ Audacious Modes and Spectacular Models : Fashion in Jean Lorrain ” David A. POWELL : “ ‘La Pénultième,’ or the Next-to-Last What ? A Musical Approach to Mallarmé’s ‘Démon’ ” Debarati SANYAL: “The Object of Poetry: Commodity and Critique in Baudelaire” Juliet A. SIMPSON: “Defiant Acts: The Théâtre d’Art, Décor, and the Radical Symbolist ‘Total Work’ ” Gayle ZACHMANN: “Offensive Moves in Mallarmé: Dancing with des asters ” III. Politics and Polemics Eric CAHM: “Moderate Anti-Dreyfusism: The Forgotten Ideology of France’s Republican Elite in 1898” Vincent DUCLERT: “Le procès Zola en 1898: L’accomplissement de ‘J’Accuse¼!’ ” Lucienne FRAPPIER-MAZUR : “ Le Discours épique et révolutionnaire dans I.N.R.I. de Léon Cladel ” Susan HINER : “ Paris Pastoral : Re-Figuring Anarchy in Zola’s Fin de Siècle ” Leonard R. KOOS : “ Making Angels : Abortion Literature in Turn-of-the-Century France ” Jean-Yves MOLLIER: “La propagande dreyfusarde et antidreyfusarde en France de 1894 à 1900” Michelle PERROT : “ La Fronde des femmes au temps de l’Affaire Dreyfus ” Marvin N. RICHARDS : “ 1898 : Poetry on Strike, Prose in the Papers ”