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Flaubert's TentationRemapping Nineteenth-Century French Histories of Religion and Science$
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Mary Orr

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199258581

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258581.001.0001

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(p.232) Conclusions
Flaubert's Tentation

Mary Orr (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The book concludes by reappraising critics' blocks, but through rereading Flaubert's well‐known correspondence with Sand and Colet and response to the camera of Du Camp, all against crucial moments in the revision of the Tentation. This way of remapping the significance of the text in the personal and literary‐historical lives of its creation, borrows explicitly from the vocabulary of French ‘evolutionary’ theory, Lamarckian ‘transformisme’. The concluding sections thus name the ‘unities of composition’ and ‘literary transformisms’ of Flaubert's 1874 Tentation and the text as a paradigm of both ‘literary science’ and the ‘fantastic real’. The vital importance of the dialogic structure of the work—religion and science; the Egypt of Saint Anthony and Antoine—marks this ‘oeuvre de toute [sa] vie’ as an ‘oeuvre de toute la vie’, religious and scientific, of 19th‐century France. Supremely a text which challenges received ideas and doxa, Flaubert's Tentation everywhere prizes probing literary‐critical vision of his own times.

Keywords:   George Sand, Louise Colet, Maxime du Camp, photography, unities of composition, literary transformism, l'oeuvre de toute, la vie

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