The Writing of Melancholy
Modes of Opposition in Early French Modernism
After the failed revolution of 1848, the sense of disillusion that swept through France deeply affected the literature of the time. Chambers argues that literary melancholy and disorientation constituted a symptom of historical conditions rather than, as many other critics contend, a willful resistance to them.
Enriched by careful readings of works by Flaubert, Nerval, Baudelaire, Gautier, and Hugo, this book is a subtle meditation on the powers of writing and reading and a suggestive contribution to current debates over the historical status of literary texts. Originally published in French, the book has been revised and expanded to include a new chapter on Gérard de Nerval's "Sylvie."