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Jules Vallès and the Narration of History

Contesting the French Third Republic in the Jacques Vingtras Trilogy

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Rachael Langford

This study focuses on the work of the nineteenth-century journalist and revolutionary, Jules Vallès (1832-1885). By exploring the relationship between Vallès's trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels and the ideology underpinning the early Third Republic, it argues that his trilogy aimed at several levels to contest the legitimacy of the French Third Republic. The study begins by discussing the historical motivations behind the Republic's forceful propagation of its ideology. It then goes on to chart the typical discursive modes through which Third Republican ideology was (re)produced, in particular the speeches, festivals and iconography of the infant regime. The concluding chapters provide a detailed analysis of literary strategies used by Vallès to combat the ideological discourses of the Republican regime.
Contents: The ideology of the French Third Republic - The use of History in the French Third Republic - Jules Vallès and the politics of the 'Jacques Vingtras' trilogy - The depiction of rhetoric in the 'Jacques Vingtras' trilogy - The depiction of history in the 'Jacques Vingtras' trilogy - Reason and emotion in the 'Jacques Vingtras' trilogy.