Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Subversions of VerisimilitudeReading Narrative from Balzac to Sartre$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lawrence R. Schehr

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823231355

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823231355.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Flaubert and Zola: Challenges to Verisimilitude

Flaubert and Zola: Challenges to Verisimilitude

(p.58) 2. Flaubert and Zola: Challenges to Verisimilitude
Subversions of Verisimilitude

Lawrence R. Schehr

Fordham University Press

Flaubert chose to have his characters fail, often because of their limitations and ignorance rather than tragic flaws in their personalities. With this, the two interrelated issues are addressed in this chapter, the concept of failure and the concept of misreading. While Flaubert is expressing his own personal pessimism, he is at loggerheads with a realist vision in which, arguably, some characters do succeed, against all odds. The specific example, which might be considered a singular case of failure, is Emma Bovary's singular capacity for misreading. By inventing a scientific approach to his analyses, Zola might seemingly have avoided the same pitfalls as other authors before or since. Yet in a number of striking cases — the symphonie en blanc in Au Bonheur des dames, as well as Le Ventre de Paris and Germinal — the system implodes upon itself.

Keywords:   Flaubert, failure, misreading, Emma Bovary, Zola, verisimilitude

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .