Dussardier on the Barricades: History and Fiction in L'Éducation sentimentale


Although Flaubert avoided the full-scale depiction of the June Days in L'éducation sentimentale, he does include in the novel a retrospective account of Dussardier's heroic action on the barricades. Dussardier's intervention has an important structural function, acting as a bridge between two "Œdipal confrontations, Frédéric's abortive attempt to shoot Arnoux before the June Days and Roque's shooting of a defenceless prisoner in the aftermath of the June Days. The episode also has a complex relationship to the documentary material compiled by Flaubert. A close examination of the "avant-texte reveals that Flaubert shaped the episode to meet certain fictional requirements, rather than being bound by historical actuality. (DAW)

Williams, Tony
Release Year:
2000 Spring-Summer; 28(3-4): 284-300