The Price of Literature: The French Novel's Theoretical Turn

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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 15 Mar 2019
The Price of Literature examines the presence of theory in the nineteenth-century French novel, something Proust likened to leaving a price tag on a gift. Emerging after the French Revolution, what we now call literature was conceived as an art liberated from representational constraints. Patrick M. Bray shows how literature’s freedom to represent anything at all has meant, paradoxically, that it cannot articulate a coherent theory of itself—unless this theory is a necessarily subversive literary representation, or “the novel’s theoretical turn.”

Literary thought, or the theory produced by the text, can only function by exploring what escapes dominant representations. The Price of Literature analyzes how certain iconic texts from the nineteenth century (by Mme de Staël, Hugo, Balzac, Flaubert, and Proust) perform a theoretical turn to claim the freedom to represent anything in the world, but also literature’s ability to transform the world it represents. The conclusion advances a new way of thinking about literary scholarship—one based on how literature redistributes ways of writing by lending form to thought.
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ISBN-13: 9780810139329
ISBN-10: 0810139324
Pagini: 168
Dimensiuni: 152 x 229 x 18 mm
Greutate: 0.23 kg
Editura: Northwestern University Press
Colecția Northwestern University Press

Notă biografică

PATRICK M. BRAY is an associate professor in the Department of French and Italian at The Ohio State University and the author of The Novel Map: Space and Subjectivity in Nineteenth-Century French Fiction.


Introduction – The Novel’s Price Tag                                                                   
Chapter One – The Exceptional Madame de Staël                                                          
Chapter Two – Hugo’s Literary Sublime or the Theoretical Peuple                                
Chapter Three – Balzac and the Chagrin of Theory                                                        
Chapter Four – Flaubert’s Novel Utopia or the Literary Method                                   
Chapter Five – Having your Cake and Eating It too: Proust’s Aestheticized Thought   
Conclusion – Distributions of Literature                                                                        
Works Cited