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Flaubert and Joyce: The Rite of Fiction

Flaubert and Joyce: The Rite of Fiction

RICHARD K. CROSS
Copyright Date: 1971
Pages: 208
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x185g
  • Book Info
    Flaubert and Joyce: The Rite of Fiction
    Book Description:

    Richard Cross assesses the French writer's impact on his Irish counterpart through a comparison of tone, theme, and technique in their major writings. Juxtaposing passages from their novels, he reveals through textual analysis certain structural and thematic patterns.

    Originally published in 1971.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7218-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. v-viii)
    RICHARD K. CROSS
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. CHAPTER I THE PRIESTHOOD OF ART TWO VOCATIONS
    (pp. 5-14)

    To readers who know Flaubert and Joyce best for their scrupulous portraits of burgher-life it seems natural to bracket the two writers as “realists.” “Flaubert belongs to Rouen as Joyce belongs to Dublin,” remarks Philip Spencer. “Essentially drab in spite of its cradle of woodland scenery and emphatically contemporary in spite of its medieval past,” he goes on to say, “Rouen was synonymous with commerce and commerce at its most uninviting: a greyness of spirit seemed to droop over the river and seep into the hearts of the inhabitants.”¹ One cannot help recalling the brown tints, emblematic of Dublin’s moral...

  6. CHAPTER II DEAD SELVES EPIPHANIES IN TROIS CONTES AND DUBLINERS
    (pp. 17-32)

    The reputations of Flaubert and Joyce do not depend upon their contributions to the short story, yet at a crucial point in his career each man distinguished himself in the genre.Un Coeur simpleand “The Dead” are undisputed masterpieces, andLa Légende de saint Julienand several of the otherDublinersstories stand near that mark. From the moment of publicationTrois Contesenjoyed a critical esteem that Joyce’s stories received initially only from the most discriminating readers, among them Ezra Pound, who observed that inDubliners“English prose catches up with Flaubert.”²

    Any attempt to make rapprochements between...

  7. CHAPTER III LES NOURRITURES CELESTES SYMPATHY AND JUDGMENT IN L’EDUCATION SENTIMENTALE AND A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN
    (pp. 35-68)

    In our time one commonly assumes that a novelist’s first book will be an essay in self-definition. Flaubert found it possible to completeL’Education sentimentale,however, only after he had perfected his fictional craft inMadame BovaryandSalammbô,and Joyce had to subject his talent to the discipline of Dubliners before he could castA Portrait of the Artistin its proper mode. The two writers invested a great deal of their youthful experience in theirBildungsromane,but in neither of them do we find the sort of formless self-indulgence characteristic of many autobiographical novels. Both men did in...

  8. CHAPTER IV SEA CHANGES THE RENDERING OF INWARD EXPERIENCE IN MADAME BOVARY AND PROTEUS
    (pp. 71-92)

    For some FlaubertistesL’Education sentimentaleisle livre sacré.² And a considerable number of devotees regardFinnegans Wake,whose “form is the one traditionally associated with scriptures and sacred books,”³ as the crown of the Joyce canon. But most cultivated readers—those who, without adhering to any cult, comprise a solid majority of Flaubert and Joyce’s steady audience—cannot accept these priorities. For these readers (and they include many of the most astute critics)Madame BovaryandUlyssesremain their authors’ greatest accomplishments. TheEducationand the Wake may be more ambitious in their conception, but, if achieved form constitutes...

  9. CHAPTER V JEUNES FILLES EN FLEURS SPATIAL FORM IN MADAME BOVARY AND NAUSICAA
    (pp. 95-122)

    As the preceding chapter suggests, one of the great services Flaubert performed for fiction was to liberate it from what E. M. Forster has characterized as “tyranny by the plot.”² That is not to say, of course, thatMadame Bovaryis a plotless or an action-less novel. Flaubert maintains a continuous narrative line through most of the book and at a half dozen key points employs full-blown dramatic scenes to advance the story. The attenuation of plot is much more marked inUlysses,although even there the dramatic development of character continues to play an essential role.³ Indeed it is...

  10. CHAPTER VI THE NETHERMOST ABYSS EXPRESSIONISM IN LA TENTATION OE SAINT ANTOINE AND CIRCE
    (pp. 125-150)

    Readers ofUlyssesgenerally regard the fifteenth chapter,Circe,as the most ambitiously conceived and brilliantly realized episode in the book. Joyce rewrote the chapter from beginning to end nine times, and its composition left him utterly exhausted.² Remarking that he intended to send a typescript ofCirceto Pound, the author went on to reflect wearily, “I do not think that the reading of such aWalpurgisnachtwill do his or anybody else’s health much good.”³ Although most commentators have not shared Joyce’s doubts, virtually all of them have conceded the aptness of his analogy. Correspondingly, Flaubert’s critics have...

  11. CHAPTER VII IMPASSIVE STARS THE VISION OF FACT IN BOUVARD ET PÉCUCHET AND ITHACA
    (pp. 153-174)

    Seeking a literary precedent which would help French readers come to terms withUlysses,Ezra Pound fixed on Flaubert's last work,Bouvard et Pécuchet.The latter, he maintained, had inaugurated a new form and one which no subsequent fiction writer except Joyce had dared to employ: an anatomy of universal imbecility, with “I’homme-type,” the most general of generalizations, at its center. Besides Joyce, “only Rabelais and Flaubert attacked a whole century.”³

    Many, perhaps most, readers would take exception to Pound’s claim that the authors’ attitudes toward their characters are fundamentally the same and the protagonists themselves no more than bourgeois...

  12. CHAPTER VIII INVISIBLE NOVELISTS THE CORE OF THE AFFINITY AND ITS LIMITS
    (pp. 177-192)

    In the opening years of this century, when Joyce was searching for masters who could help him learn to write fiction, he found his own country a wasteland. “A nation which never advanced so far as a miracle-play,” he scornfully asserted, “affords no literary model to the artist, and he must look abroad.”¹ Beginning his investigation across the Irish Channel, Joyce determined that the British tradition was a shambles. Even the contemporary English novelist whose philosophical acuity he most respected, George Meredith, he declared “plainly lacking in that fluid quality, the lyrical impulse,” he considered indispensable. Neither, he felt, did...

  13. INDEX
    (pp. 193-195)