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The Artist as Animal in Nineteenth-Century French Literature

English · Paperback / Softback

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The Artist as Animal in Nineteenth-Century French Literature traces the evolution of the relationship between artists and animals in fiction from the Second Empire to the fin de siècle. This book examines examples of visual literature, inspired by the struggles of artists such as Edouard Manet and Vincent van Gogh. Edmond and Jules de Goncourt's Manette Salomon (1867), Émile Zola's Therèse Raquin (1867), Jules Laforgue's "At the Berlin Aquarium" (1895) and "Impressionism" (1883), Octave Mirbeau's In the Sky (1892-1893) and Rachilde's L'Animale (1893) depict vanguard painters and performers as being like animals, whose unique vision revolted against stifling traditions. Juxtaposing these literary works with contemporary animal theory (McHugh, Deleuze, Guattari and Derrida), zoo studies (Berger, Rothfels and Lippit) and feminism (Donovan, Adams and Haraway), Claire Nettleton explores the extent to which the nineteenth-century dissolution of the human subject contributed to a radical, modern aesthetic. Utilizing these interdisciplinary methodologies, Nettleton argues that while inducing anxiety regarding traditional humanist structures, the "artist-animal," an embodiment of artistic liberation within an urban setting, is, at the same time, a paradigmatic trope of modernity.

List of contents

1. Introduction.- Part I Behind Bars: Artists and Animals of the Second Empire.- 2. A Caged Animal: The Avant-garde Artist in Edmond and Jules de Goncourt's Manette Salomon.- 3. Buffon Versus the Beast: Taming the Wild Artist in Émile Zola's Thérèse Raquin.- Part II The Decadent Animals of the Third Republic.- 4. The Decadent Deep Sea: Jules Laforgue's "At the Berlin Aquarium".- 5. Said the Spider to the Fly: The Triumph of the Minor in Octave Mirbeau's In the Sky.- 6. Félline-Fatale: The New Woman as Cat-Woman in Rachilde's L'Animale.- 7. Conclusion: Henri Rousseau and Synthetic Naïveté.

About the author

Claire Nettleton is Visiting Assistant Professor of French at Pomona College, USA, and editor of Viral Culture: How CRISPR Gene Editing and the Microbiome Transform Humanity and the Humanities (2020), based on a colloquium she organized, and writer of multiple articles and essays on the intersection of animal studies, the history of science, visual art and avant-garde fiction.

Product details

Authors Claire Nettleton
Publisher Springer, Berlin
Languages English
Product format Paperback / Softback
Released 01.08.2020
EAN 9783030193478
ISBN 978-3-0-3019347-8
No. of pages 241
Dimensions 152 mm x 16 mm x 211 mm
Illustrations XIV, 241 p. 14 illus.
Series Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature
Subject Humanities, art, music > Linguistics and literary studies > General and comparative literary studies

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