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Chapter 1 - Order and Origin

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2021

Aaron Matz
Affiliation:
Scripps College, California
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Summary

Chapter 1, “Order and Origin,” begins by asking what we mean when we speak of the “modern novel.” Frequently its origins are traced to Gustave Flaubert, but this assumption deserves more scrutiny than it receives. What was preoccupying Flaubert in the months (indeed the very minutes) when he was formulating his beliefs about the novel, the pronouncements that would go on to become articles of faith for Joyce and other modern novelists? He was terrified that he had fathered a child, and he wrote in great detail about his aversion to the idea of creating new life. This chapter argues that this was not an idle distaste. It was, in fact, evidence of a sensibility (astringent, subtractive, devoted to an ideal of order) that undergirds the very idea of the modern novel that Flaubert inaugurated. This chapter provides close study of the procreative morality of Madame Bovary, L’Éducation sentimentale, and Bouvard et Pécuchet to demonstrate how such books, and such attitudes toward the problem of giving life, determined the course of the modern novel.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Order and Origin
  • Aaron Matz, Scripps College, California
  • Book: The Novel and the Problem of New Life
  • Online publication: 24 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108989718.002
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  • Order and Origin
  • Aaron Matz, Scripps College, California
  • Book: The Novel and the Problem of New Life
  • Online publication: 24 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108989718.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Order and Origin
  • Aaron Matz, Scripps College, California
  • Book: The Novel and the Problem of New Life
  • Online publication: 24 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108989718.002
Available formats
×