The Misfit of the Family: Balzac and the Social Forms of Sexuality (review)

The Misfit of the Family: Balzac and the Social Forms of Sexuality (review) Lucey, Michael. The Misfit of the Family: Balzac and the Social Forms of Sexuality. Durham: Duke UP, 2003. Pp. 312. isbn 0-8223-3193-4 Dorothy Kelly, Boston University Michael Lucey's The Misfit of the Family is one of those wonderful books to come along now and then that give us a fresh new perspective on texts long known and deeply studied. The subject itself is not really new ­ family, sexuality, money, class in Balzac ­ however the perspective taken on these issues provides rich and enlightening readings that rejuvenate our understanding of Balzac's textual practices and social representations. Informed by the sociological analysis of Bourdieu, Lucey studies the strategies used by Balzac's characters as they make their way through the fluid social forms of family and sexuality. In particular, Lucey studies characters who occupy non-normative positions in the family and/or in their sexuality, liminal figures "out on a limb," "misfits" in relation to certain accepted practices, or practices in the process of becoming "accepted." He asks such questions as: who has a vested interest in these characters and why, what are the strategies for success developed by these characters in their social situation, why do they succeed or fail? http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nineteenth Century French Studies University of Nebraska Press

The Misfit of the Family: Balzac and the Social Forms of Sexuality (review)

Nineteenth Century French Studies, Volume 33 (3) – Jun 28, 2005

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 The University of Nebraska Press.
ISSN
1536-0172
Publisher site
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Abstract

Lucey, Michael. The Misfit of the Family: Balzac and the Social Forms of Sexuality. Durham: Duke UP, 2003. Pp. 312. isbn 0-8223-3193-4 Dorothy Kelly, Boston University Michael Lucey's The Misfit of the Family is one of those wonderful books to come along now and then that give us a fresh new perspective on texts long known and deeply studied. The subject itself is not really new ­ family, sexuality, money, class in Balzac ­ however the perspective taken on these issues provides rich and enlightening readings that rejuvenate our understanding of Balzac's textual practices and social representations. Informed by the sociological analysis of Bourdieu, Lucey studies the strategies used by Balzac's characters as they make their way through the fluid social forms of family and sexuality. In particular, Lucey studies characters who occupy non-normative positions in the family and/or in their sexuality, liminal figures "out on a limb," "misfits" in relation to certain accepted practices, or practices in the process of becoming "accepted." He asks such questions as: who has a vested interest in these characters and why, what are the strategies for success developed by these characters in their social situation, why do they succeed or fail?

Journal

Nineteenth Century French StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jun 28, 2005

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