Half-Told Tales

Dilemmas of Meaning in Three French Novels

By Philip Stewart

Half-Told Tales

220 pp., 6 x 9, 1 halftones, 1 tables, notes, bibl

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9232-9
    Published: January 1987

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Romance Studies

Philip Stewart demonstrates that in each of three novels--Marivaux’s La Vie de Marianne, Diderot’s La Religieuse, and Rousseau’s Julie ou la Nouvelle Héloïse--the characters’ sincerity disguises how incompletely the meaning of their own experience is resolved. However clear their premises, ambiguity creeps in, compromising or subtly contradicting the clarity of their vision. Stewart reveals these countercurrents or repressive rhetorical strategies and situates them with respect to the broad thematics of each work.