- Title Pages
- 1 Earning, Yearning and Making Do: Huysmans, <i>Les Soeurs Vatard</i>
- 2 <i>Flâneurs</i> and Shoppers: Huysmans, <i>En ménage</i>
- 3 From Shopping to Schopenhauer: Huysmans, <i>A vau-l'eau</i>
- 4 Transactions and Value: Gide, <i>L'Immoraliste</i>
- 5 <i>La Lente Agonie du petit commerce? Balzac, Grandeur et décadence de César Birotteau</i> and Zola, <i>Au bonheur des dames</i>
- 6 <i>Elevé dans le commerce</i>: Céline, <i>Mort à crédit</i>
- 7 The Emporium Strikes Back: Dutourd, <i>Au Bon Beurre</i>
- 8 The Big Sell
- 9 The <i>grand magasin</i>: Zola, <i>Au bonheur des dames</i>
- 10 ‘Les Vénus des comptoirs’: Feminism and Shopping in the 1920s
- 11 Total Retail: Figures of the Dystopian Superstore
- 12 Speculations on Value
- 13 Post-war 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?
This book explores the socio-economic history of modern France as depicted in literary narratives from the end of the nineteenth century to the second half of the twentieth. It examines patterns of behaviour relating to shops and shopping, expenditure and consumption, focusing on novels that bear witness and give significance to the development of the French consumer society. It contextualises French literature within the socio-economic moment that gives rise to it and views each text as the centre where forces engaging with socio-economic realities converge.
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