Divining Figures in Flaubert's Salammbô

The article focuses on interpretive issues in Flaubert's Salammbô. Traditionally, the novel has been understood as being organized by a series of oppositions that culminates in the opposition between the deities that preside over the novel, Tanit and Moloch. Upon closer examination, however, all relations to the divine appear to be organized by the concept of sacrilege in that all parties in the novel seek to appropriate the divine for secular uses. But all that remains accessible of the divine are figurations of it. Therefore, the attempts to understand and appropriate the divine in the novel ultimately fail to go beyond the difficulties inherent to the task of ordering the figurations of it. (SB) [Treatment of gods]
Barnett, Stuart
Volume 1992-1993 Fall-Winter; 21(1-2): 73-87