The Misfit of the Family: Balzac and the Social Forms of Sexuality

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August 2003



Examines the portrayal of sexuality in Balzac and the psychoanalytic preoccupations of his critics.


Introduction: Balzac and alternative families; 1. Legal melancholy: Balzac's Eugenie Grandet and the Napoleonic Code; 2. On not getting married in a Balzac novel; Interlude: Balzac and same-sex relations in the 1830s; 3. Balzac's queer cousins and their friends; 4. The shadow economy of queer social capital: Lucien de Rubempre and Vautrin; Epilogue: Vautrin's progeny


Michael Lucey is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of "Gide's Bent: Sexuality, Politics, Writing."


"The historical scholarship seems impeccable... [T]he volume includes many interesting insights and implicitly suggests the need for further study of the Balzacian theme of sexuality in all its forms."--A.H. Pasco, CHOICE "[A] significant contribution not only to the study of the representation of sexuality in Balzac but also to work on the dynamic interrelation between hegemonic and non-hegemonic (if still subaltern) sexual cultures."--Owen Heathcote, Modern and Contemporary France "It is difficult not to be impressed with this study, both in its breadth and in its patient examination of a heretofore much neglected component of Balzac's oeuvre, that of the portrayal of same-sex relations in La Comedie humaine... In opening our eyes to the historical contingencies of same-sex relations in Balzac's opus, Michael Lucey succeeds in bringing the constituent works to life, and in so doing has made a significant contribution to both Queer studies and the domain of Balzac criticism."--Scott Lee, Dalhousie French Studies "The Misfit of the Family highlights the rich history and sociology that literature can provide in our discussions about sexualities and the social forms they take."--Carla Freccero, GLQ "Michael Lucey's The Misfit of the Family is one of those wonderful books to come along now and then that give us a fresh new perspective on texts long known and deeply studied... A reading of this book will open new doors to understanding Balzac's complex social universe."--Dorothy Kelly, Nineteenth-Century French Studies "[A]n urgent and compelling argument which is exceptionally well versed in Balzacian criticism..."--Nicholas White, Journal of European Studies
EAN: 9780822331933
ISBN: 0822331934
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: August 2003
Seitenanzahl: 308 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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