Review by Choice Review
In this rich and concise volume, 12 respected experts on 19th-century French literature come together to present insightful recent scholarship on Flaubert. Eschewing a chronological or purely thematic approach, Unwin (Univ. of Bristol, UK, and also editor of Cambridge Companion to the French Novel: From 1800 to the Present, 1997) offers the reader myriad pathways through the Flaubertian canon. The essays focus on Flaubert's overlooked early works, travel writings, and correspondence as well as his fictional masterpieces. They provide probing analyses of themes (death, history) and techniques (compositional practices, modes of characterization, stylistic innovations, visual figuration) and also discussion of broad theoretical issues (Flaubert's place in literary history, the impulse that drove him toward theater, the role of failure in his life). Illuminating unexpected or neglected aspects of Flaubert's work, each of these contributions enhances and deepens the reader's appreciation of his writing. The volume concludes with an essay by Mario Vargas Llosa, who analyzes Flaubert's legacy from the point of view of a practicing contemporary author. A chronology and a short up-to-date bibliography, including online and electronic resources, complete this indispensable guide to Flaubert and his world. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. C. B. Kerr Vassar College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.