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Why the Novel?: Toward a Reconsideration of Le Romanesque in Flora Tristan's "Méphis ou le prolétaire"

Jeanne M. Kabulis
Nineteenth-Century French Studies
Vol. 27, No. 1/2 (Fall—Winter 1998-1999), pp. 38-50
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23537556
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Why the Novel?: Toward a Reconsideration of Le Romanesque in Flora Tristan's "Méphis ou le prolétaire"
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Abstract

Flora Tristan's only novel, Méphis ou le prolétaire (1838) is of particular interest considering the author's indictment of fiction in the preface to Pérégrinations d'une paria (1838). Tristan's novel represents then a departure from the form of her previous writings as well as from other feminine social novels of the time. Tristan uses her "meta novel" to explore the reasons for the genre's devalorized status. In this reading, I focus on the embedded narrative of Mariéquita's story, as it constitutes a candid glimpse of the feminine experience, the complexity of representing it and a paradoxical defense of le romanesque.

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