Cultures of Consumption in Modern French Literature
David H. Walker
David H. Walker is Professor of French at the University of Sheffield and was formerly President of the Society for French Studies and President of the Association of University Professors of French. His books include 'Outrage and Insight: Modern French Writers and the ‘fait divers’'. Oxford, Berg French Studies, 1995 and a number of critical editions of the work of André Gide.
Acknowledgements Introduction I. WAITING FOR THE CONSUMER SOCIETY 1. Earning, Yearning and Making Do: Huysmans, 'Les Soeurs Vatard' 2. 'Flaneurs and Shoppers: Huysmans, 'En menage' 3. From Shopping to Schopenhauer: Huysmans, ' A vau- l'eau' II. ECONOMIES OF CONSUMPTION (1) 4. Transactions and Value: Gide, 'L'Immoraliste' III. SMALL SHOPS 5. 'La lente Agonie du petit commerce? Balzac, 'Grandeur et decadence de Cesar Birotteau' and Zola, 'Au bonheur des dames' 6. 'Eleve dans le commerce: Celine, 'Mort a credit' 7. The Emprium Strikes Back: Dutourd, 'Au Bon Beurre' IV. BIG STORES 8. The Big Sell 9. The 'grand magasin': Zola, 'Au bonheur des dames (2)' 10.'Les Venus des comptoirs' : Feminism and Shopping in the 1920's 11. Total Retail: Figures of the Dystopian Superstore V. ECONOMIES OF COMSUMPTION (2) 12. Speculations on Value VI. REFLECTIONS ON THE CONSUMER SOCIETY 13. Post-wr visions of Paradise: The Dawning of the Consumer Society 14. Managing the Consumers (1): Motivational Analysts 15. Managing the Consumers (2) Advertisers 16. The Consumers Managing 1: Making Do by Instalments 17. The Consumers Managing 2: Making Do and Producing Conclusion: A Good Buy? Bibliography Index
Walker’s clear exposition of the progression of his argument at every stage is helpful, if occasionally repetitive. His work is itself a treasure trove of references to literary and historical texts that discuss the evolution and importance of shopping in the modern period. Readers of modern French literature with an eye for consumer economics will undoubtedly get their money’s worth from this volume.
Beth Gerwin Modern Language Review, Vol. 107, Part 4
University of Lethbridge
Walker’s prose remains clear, readable, even playful. The greatest strength of this book lies in the author’s ability to synthesize vast amounts of information from primary and secondary works in order to tell a coherent story. Works of fiction unfold in time and in tandem with a thoroughly documented history of consumer culture in modern France.
H-France Review Vol. 12, No. 18
Consumer Chronicles offers scholars and undergraduates alike fresh purchase not only on the development of consumer culture in modern France, and on literary and theoretical engagements with it, but also on their own practices of critical consumption.
French Studies, vol 66, no 1
It is a work of impeccable scholarship, and possesses the virtues of ample illustration, detailed demonstration, and the relentless, exhaustive pursuit of a single broad topic.
Size: 239 x 163 mm
Publication: March 31, 2011
Series: Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 19