Gender Difference and Cultural Labour in French Fiction from Zola to Colette

Book chapter
Change log
White, NJ 

To sketch out the parameters of the field of male and female fiction on the cultural labour of women in the early Third Republic, I offer as wilfully contrary examples: Émile Zola’s short story, Madame Sourdis (1880), about the art world; Guy de Maupassant’s novel of mainstream journalism, Bel-Ami (1885), and Marcelle Tinayre’s rather different novel of feminist journalism La Rebelle (1905); and finally, Colette’s La Vagabonde (1910) which charts quasi-autobiographically Renée Néré’s post-divorce journey between stage performance and writing. In thus comparing male and female accounts of women’s role and status in the realm of cultural labour, this matrix of texts not only maps out the historical movement between centuries but also the aesthetic movement beyond the limits of exclusively male-authored French Naturalism, not simply in modernist fiction but in women’s writing too.

French literature, 1800-1899, Zola, Émile(1840-1902), 0000 0001 2095 8660, short story, "Madame Sourdis", artistic creativity, work, female-male relations, sexual difference, Maupassant, Guy de(1850-1893), <i>Bel-Ami</i>(1885), Tinayre, Marcelle(1872-1948), <i>La Rebelle</i>(1905), Colette, Sidonie-Gabrielle(1873-1954), <i>La Vagabonde</i>(1910), <i>The Vagabond</i>, novel, 1900-1999
Is Part Of
The Labour of Literature in Britain and France, 1830-1930: Authorial Work Ethics