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Consumer ChroniclesCultures of Consumption in Modern French Literature$
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David H. Walker

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781846314872

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317156

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date: 24 November 2017

Flâneurs and Shoppers: Huysmans, En ménage

Flâneurs and Shoppers: Huysmans, En ménage

Chapter:
(p.44) 2 Flâneurs and Shoppers: Huysmans, En ménage
Source:
Consumer Chronicles
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846317156.003

Joris-Karl Huysmans's 1881 novel, En ménage, tells the story of a single man in search of creature comforts that marriage supposedly offers but is unable to provide. The characters' judgements and practices are strongly ensconced in the economics of labour, production and consumption. Shops are prominent in the novel, although the two male protagonists are not in a position to do much shopping. One of them, Cyprien, considers himself a late embodiment of the Parisian flâneur, a principal character in modern urban culture during the first part of the century. He and his companion, André, live in a world where commerce and shopping are the norm, and they both view sex as a basic commodity that they must obtain in their extramarital state.

Keywords:   Joris-Karl Huysmans, En ménage, shopping, flâneur, commerce, sex, consumption, shops, labour, production

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