Driving Us Crazy: Fast Cars, Madness, and the Avant-Garde in Octave Mirbeau’s La 628-E8

In Octave Mirbeau’s La 628-E8 (1907), a fragmented autobiographical novel, the author recounts his fantastic experiences zipping around Europe in an early automobile.

Claire Nettleton

“À nous deux,” Balzac: Barrès’s Les Déracinés, and the Ghosts of La Comédie humaine

This article examines how Balzacian plots of ambition and ascension are held up as both possibility and impossibility in Maurice Barrès’s 1897 novel Les Déracinés, where they are subject to repeated, often simultaneous

François Proulx

The “Accidental Murderer”: Jury Acquittal in Maupassant’s Crime Stories

In several of Guy de Maupassant’s short stories, juries acquit defendants who have admitted to committing heinous crimes in the heat of passion--infanticides, parricides, and other domestic homicides.

Sara D. Schotland

Keys: Press and Privacy in the Goncourts’ Charles Demailly

This article explores the connections between Second Empire fiction and journalism with particular reference to the Goncourts’ Charles Demailly.

Edmund Birch

Prosper Mérimée’s Improvisatrice: The Voice of Corsican Lament in Colomba

Prosper Mérimée’s depiction of Corsica as an anachronistic and primitive society in Colomba (1840) relied significantly on the author’s evocation of one of the island’s oldest musico-poetic practices--the improvisation

Ruth E. Rosenberg

Alfred de Musset et les beaux-arts: le poète en critique "sympathique"

Better known as a poet than as an art critic, Alfred de Musset (1810-1857) wrote several texts about aesthetics, among those the Salon de 1836.

Gilles Castagnès

“Dans le passé mort”: Pierre Loti, Images, and Time

Often overlooked as a theorist of photography, Pierre Loti (1850–1923) provided original insights that anticipate those of critics such as Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag.

Caroline Ferraris-Besso

“J’ai menti à la science”: Female Sexual Pleasure and the Limits of Medicine in Dubut de Laforest

Jean-Louis Dubut de Laforest’s novel Mademoiselle Tantale (1884) is the story of a young woman’s sexual impotence and the medical community’s failure to find a remedy for her inability to experience orgasm.

Sharon Larson

Suffering for the Novel’s Sake: Female “Mystical Substitution” in Barbey d’Aurevilly’s Un prêtre marié and Bloy’s Le Désespéré

This essay analyzes Barbey d’Aurevilly’s 1865 novel Un prêtre marié and Le Désespéré by Léon Bloy (1887) as literary case studies for the Catholic doctrine of vicarious suffering, or “mystical substitution.” In these narratives,

Willemijn Don


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