Reading Un Coeur simple: the Pleasure of the Intertext.
Intertextuality in Flaubert's Un Coeur simple (1877) works to frustrate a simple or monologic reading of the text. The conte makes overt allusion to eighteenth-century works that were well known to readers of the 1870s and which come from opposing eighteenth-century traditions (Rousseauesque sentiment versus Voltairean satire). Thus the title Un Coeur simple deliberately recalls Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's Une Chaumière indienne, whose central character, a pariah, is a problematic model for the saintly life of Félicité. The parrot, on the other hand, has antecedents in Enlightenment anti-Christian satire (Gresset, Parny). (NEC)