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The Censorship Effect – Baudelaire, Flaubert, and the Formation of French Modernism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Censorship Effect: Baudelaire, Flaubert, and the Formation of French Modernism

William Olmsted


The book argues that the stylistic features that prompted the criminal indictment of Madame Bovary and Les Fleurs du Mal were the products of an intense struggle and negotiation with a culture of censorship. It maintains that the stylistic features celebrated as hallmarks of modernism—Flaubert’s free indirect discourse, Baudelaire’s multiple poetic personae—are in fact the products of this struggle with censorship. The narrative of modernism that begins with the autonomous writer and extends forward to the autonomous, depersonalized, and autoreferential artwork tends to detach writing from int ... More

Keywords: censorship, self-censorship, Baudelaire, Flaubert, autonomy, collusion, propriety, obscenity, modernism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190238636
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190238636.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Olmsted, author
Senior Research Professor of Humanities, Valparaiso University