THE NOVEL IN FRANCE by Martin Turnell


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A knowledgeable, considered study of certain French novelists and novels by a younger English critic (some of this material has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement etc.) which makes its final judgment in relation to the range of experience offered. For Mr. Turnell, it is Stendhal who is the greatest French novelist, and then , and to these two writers he brings to bear a most intensive scrutiny. From some general criteria of criticism, Turnell goes on to a discussion of the Princess of Cleves, which presaged the modern psychological novel; the ""neglected""- even forgotten Laclos; Benjamin Constant's Stendhal, who ""altered the perspective of European psychology""; Balzac, whose shrewd but limited intelligence was directed at a world of violence; Flaubert whose technical mastery was offset by the immaturity of his vision; and finally Proust's sensitive, subjective panorama of a society in flux... A serious, detached examination which draws on other opinion as well as from the original texts, this should find a longterm following among thoughtful readers, students, etc.

Pub Date: May 11th, 1951
Publisher: New Directions