French Literature, Thought and Culture in the Nineteenth Century
This volume adopts a varied approach to the study of the "material world" in the French literature, thought and visual arts of the 19th century. Beginning with more purely philosphical definitions of materialism, seen as a topic within the history of ideas, it moves to a broader, more general treatment of materialism - and examines the political, social and cultural repercussions of the emergence of this consumer society. In particular, the book tackles the question of how things, objects and the material surface of the world - for so long disdained and excluded by a deeply entrenched Neo-classical cultural tradition - came to be fully incorporated into the literature and visual arts of the period. Contributors look not only at the Romantic and Realist transcendence of the Neo-classical heritage of abstraction and idealism, but also adopt modern critical perspectives to analyze central themes such as urbanization, fetishism and the representation of the female body. By the author of "Popular Culture in Modern France: A Study of Cultural Discourse" and co-editor (with N. Hewitt) of "France and the Mass Media".