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Le Struggleforlife : Contesting Balzac through Darwin in Zola, Bourget, and Barrès

Le Struggleforlife : Contesting Balzac through Darwin in Zola, Bourget, and Barrès Abstract: Social Darwinist themes feature in late nineteenth-century French ideological fiction from across the political spectrum. This article considers the evolutionary perspectives underpinning the traditionalist, anti-Republican ideology of the right-wing reactionary authors Maurice Barrès and Paul Bourget in Les Déracinés (1897) and L'Étape (1902 ) respectively. Their appropriation of evolutionary ideas in these texts may be seen as an attempt to wrest the mantle of scientific exclusivity away from both the secular and democratic political establishment of the Third Republic and the literary naturalists led by Émile Zola. It may also, however, be seen as a means by which they assert their claim to be recognized as the true inheritors of the political, scientific and literary legacy of Honoré de Balzac. (LL) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nineteenth Century French Studies University of Nebraska Press

Le Struggleforlife : Contesting Balzac through Darwin in Zola, Bourget, and Barrès

Nineteenth Century French Studies , Volume 36 (2) – Apr 25, 2008

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
1536-0172
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: Social Darwinist themes feature in late nineteenth-century French ideological fiction from across the political spectrum. This article considers the evolutionary perspectives underpinning the traditionalist, anti-Republican ideology of the right-wing reactionary authors Maurice Barrès and Paul Bourget in Les Déracinés (1897) and L'Étape (1902 ) respectively. Their appropriation of evolutionary ideas in these texts may be seen as an attempt to wrest the mantle of scientific exclusivity away from both the secular and democratic political establishment of the Third Republic and the literary naturalists led by Émile Zola. It may also, however, be seen as a means by which they assert their claim to be recognized as the true inheritors of the political, scientific and literary legacy of Honoré de Balzac. (LL)

Journal

Nineteenth Century French StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Apr 25, 2008

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