Subversions of Verisimilitude: Reading Narrative from Balzac to Sartre (Hardcover)
Subversions of Verisimilitude focuses on the ways in which a number of French literary narratives written in the realist tradition show a dynamic balance between the desire of the author/narrator to present a verisimilar world and the need for aesthetic balance. While the works studied-narratives by Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, Colette, Proust, and Sartre-range over the course of a century, from 1835 to 1938, they share a perspective on the relations between and the need to engage questions of realist verisimilitude and narrative interest and aesthetics. The book discusses some of the subversive paths taken in realism and, specifically, in canonical narratives solidly anchored in the tradition. The goal here is to analyze these realist texts, regardless of the narrative mode chosen, in order to see the deviations and detours from realism, mostly for aesthetic ends.The book contributes to our understanding of nineteenth- and twentieth-century narrative and furthers our knowledge of the ways in which critical theory illuminates such canonical works.
LAWRENCE R. SCHEHR is Professor of French at the University of Illinois. His most recent books are Figures of Alterity: French Narrative and Its Others, French Gay Modernism, and a translation of The Third Sex.