The Sentimental Education of the Novel

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Overview

"This highly original and elegantly persuasive argument may well be one of the most important revisions of nineteenth-century French literary history to have appeared in the past five years."--Margaret Waller, Pomona College

"This is literary history and cultural analysis of striking significance. . . . [It] provides a remarkable example of feminist rethinking of classic problems in literary and cultural history. . . ."--Richard Terdiman, University of California, Santa Cruz

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Editorial Reviews

Nineteenth-Century French Studies
Carefully crafted, Cohen's book makes a persuasive argument about the relative value of prose realism and its chief rival in the sentimental social novel. Her book merits a large and appreciative audience of literary historians, theorists, and specialists in women's studies.
— James Allen Smith
European Legacy - Armand E. Singer
This is an important book. . . . Almost every page presents some salient point, proffers a useful fact, argues a question. . . . In short, a remarkable work, necessary, and highly recommended.
Nineteenth-Century French Studies - James Allen Smith
Carefully crafted, Cohen's book makes a persuasive argument about the relative value of prose realism and its chief rival in the sentimental social novel. Her book merits a large and appreciative audience of literary historians, theorists, and specialists in women's studies.
The Wordsworth Circle - G. Gabrielle Starr
[A] significant scholarly contribution.
French Review - John T. Booker
A serious, intelligent attempt to understand more fully the early development of the nineteenth-century French novel.
From the Publisher

Co-Winner of the 1999 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize, Modern Language Association

"This is an important book. . . . Almost every page presents some salient point, proffers a useful fact, argues a question. . . . In short, a remarkable work, necessary, and highly recommended."--Armand E. Singer, European Legacy

"Carefully crafted, Cohen's book makes a persuasive argument about the relative value of prose realism and its chief rival in the sentimental social novel. Her book merits a large and appreciative audience of literary historians, theorists, and specialists in women's studies."--James Allen Smith, Nineteenth-Century French Studies

"[A] significant scholarly contribution."--G. Gabrielle Starr, The Wordsworth Circle

"A serious, intelligent attempt to understand more fully the early development of the nineteenth-century French novel."--John T. Booker, French Review

European Legacy
This is an important book. . . . Almost every page presents some salient point, proffers a useful fact, argues a question. . . . In short, a remarkable work, necessary, and highly recommended.
— Armand E. Singer
French Review
A serious, intelligent attempt to understand more fully the early development of the nineteenth-century French novel.
— John T. Booker
The Wordsworth Circle
[A] significant scholarly contribution.
— G. Gabrielle Starr
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691095882
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/7/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations vii
Acknowledgments ix
Introduction Reconstructing the Literary Field
Out of the century's chaos 3
Realism in literary-political contexts 10
Genre is a social relation 16
Hors d'usage 20
Chapter I Conflicting Duties: Sentimental Poetics
What else is lost in Illusions perdues 26
Conflicting duties 34
The double bind of liberalism 40
Woman's destiny 46
A light touch 48
Few details, few manners, few portraits 50
Image of the heart 53
Sentimental blazon 54
". . ." 57
Beyond purely personal life 58
All should be clear 60
To interest, to instruct 62
Analysis of the heart 63
Oh torments of an uneasy conscience! 64
Tableau 65
A secure refuge 67
"Tragedy now is politics" (Napoleon, 1799) 70
Chapter II The Novel Is a Young Man of Great Expectations: Realism against Sentimentality
So women wrote under the Emperor? 77
Novels for chambermaids and salon novels 82
Woe to those who accept the social contract 87
An obstacle, a motive, a duty 90
A minor duty! A duty of little importance! 93
The way of the world 97
Just want it! 104
The goal of all her actions 106
What I understand as sacrifice 108
I write for men, not girls 112
Chapter III The Heart and the Code: George Sand and the Sentimental Social Novel
What will rule the novel? 119
The heart and the code 124
The tears of the oppressed 130
The political idea, the social idea 135
Victim of an unjust law 139
I am the slave and you the lord 143
The heart that directs her conduct 145
Huge heaps of manure 150
Physical and moral beauty's diverse and contrasting forms 153
The novelist is the real lawyer of abstract beings 155
Chapter IV A Compromised Position: French Realism and the Femme Auteur
He said, she said 163
The Muse of Limoges 165
"Rather death." "Rather life." 174
Une Fausse Position 185
Woman is the style 191
Select Bibliography 197
Index 211
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