Henry Céard: Photographs of an Affair


Une Belle Journee, Henry Céard's naturalist novel of 1881, has been labeled by 20th-century critics as "346 pages ou rien ne se passe." Taking an opposing view, this essay proposes that Céard's use of descriptive techniques to help create the tension normally provided by the plot was both ingenious and a natural outgrowth of contemporary æsthetic thinking on the polarity of the subjective and objective. Through his descriptive passages, Céard contrasts the photographic, realist objectivity of his narration with the painterly, romantic subjectivity of the perceptions of his main characters to advance both his theme and his story. (JK)

Kelly, Jill
Release Year:
Fall-Winter 1995-96; 24 (1-2): 203-216