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Look Inside The Eighteenth-Century French Novel

The Eighteenth-Century French Novel
Techniques of Illusion


  • Date Published: November 1981
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521282666

£ 23.99

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About the Authors
  • This book deals with the ways in which the French novel of the eighteenth century marks a transition from the long, implausible and often clumsy works of the seventeenth century to the masterpieces of Balzac, Stendhal and Laubert. For her study, Professor Mylne has chosen works by Lesage, Prevost, Marivaux, Crebillon fils, Rousseau, Diderot, Laclos, Restif de la Bretonne and Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, and through her consideration of these particular authors she traces the development of the novelists' technique in the representation of life. She discusses, firstly, the theories and aims which conditioned the genre, such as the allegation of a moral purpose and the pretence that the novel is a true story, an attitude which contributed to the widespread popularity of memoir-novels and the epistolary form. Secondly, on the level of technique and structure, the author studies methods of characterisation and plot-construction, effects of style and emotional tone, and descriptive devices such as the use of factual details to increase verisimilitude.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1981
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521282666
    • length: 304 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 138 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.535kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Notes to the second edition
    1. Prolegomena, theory and background
    2. Fiction, history and truth
    3. Memoirs and pseudo-memoirs
    4. Lesage and conventions
    5. Prévost: the new 'realism'
    6. Marivaux: characters in depth
    7. Crébillon: innovations in points of view
    8. Letter-novels: history and technique
    9. Crébillon's letter-novels
    10. Rousseau: a new seriousness
    11. Diderot: theory and practice
    12. Restif de la Bretonne and Laclos: the culmination of the letter-novel
    13. Bernardin de Saint-Pierre: transitional forms
    14. Conclusion
    15. Post-script: developments and perspectives
    Select bibliography

  • Author

    Vivienne Mylne

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