Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Balzac's Algeria: Realism and the Colonial

Balzac's Algeria: Realism and the Colonial Abstract: Frequently mentioned but almost never shown, Algeria haunts the margins of the Balzac's La Comédie humaine in unexamined ways. This article considers the epistemological and representational stakes of that absent presence. Algeria, I argue, exposes a number of fissures in a nascent Balzacian realism. Functioning as a metonym and repository for the tendency over time of class encounters to produce unclassifiable results, the colony works to contain—and exacerbate—a creeping breakdown in signification at the heart of the Balzacian project. It also figures the limits of the spatial poetics so key to Balzac's panoramic ambitions. All of this, I conclude, symptomizes a basic disjuncture between the colonial periphery and realism's capacity for representing it, and helps explain the relative paucity of colonial settings in Balzac's work and in that of his realist inheritors. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nineteenth-Century French Studies University of Nebraska Press

Balzac's Algeria: Realism and the Colonial

Nineteenth-Century French Studies , Volume 40 (1) – Oct 7, 2011

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-nebraska-press/balzac-s-algeria-realism-and-the-colonial-XW5rN0uyEc
Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
1536-0172
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract: Frequently mentioned but almost never shown, Algeria haunts the margins of the Balzac's La Comédie humaine in unexamined ways. This article considers the epistemological and representational stakes of that absent presence. Algeria, I argue, exposes a number of fissures in a nascent Balzacian realism. Functioning as a metonym and repository for the tendency over time of class encounters to produce unclassifiable results, the colony works to contain—and exacerbate—a creeping breakdown in signification at the heart of the Balzacian project. It also figures the limits of the spatial poetics so key to Balzac's panoramic ambitions. All of this, I conclude, symptomizes a basic disjuncture between the colonial periphery and realism's capacity for representing it, and helps explain the relative paucity of colonial settings in Balzac's work and in that of his realist inheritors.

Journal

Nineteenth-Century French StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Oct 7, 2011

There are no references for this article.