Despite rumours of its demise in literary theory and practice, realism persists. Why this is, and how realism is relevant to current interdisciplinary debates in gender studies and cultural studies, are the questions underlying this work.
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With particular reference to nineteenth-century French culture, the contributors explore the role realism has played in the social construction of gender and sexuality. Among their subjects are nineteenth-century physiologies, photographs, caricatures, and Balzac's Comedie humaine; the ethnographic claims of the Goncourts' naturalism and the historical claims of Zola's; and the allure of exotica displayed at new museums and international expositions.
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