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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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Earning, Yearning and Making Do: Huysmans, Les Soeurs Vatard

Earning, Yearning and Making Do: Huysmans, Les Soeurs Vatard

(p.21) 1 Earning, Yearning and Making Do: Huysmans, Les Soeurs Vatard
Consumer Chronicles
Liverpool University Press

Joris-Karl Huysmans wrote his 1884 novel, A Rebours, to consider a milestone in cultural history and to detach himself from Emile Zola's naturalism. He also wrote three other texts that adhere to the tenets of the naturalist movement: Les Sœurs Vatard (1879), En ménage (1881) and A vau-l'eau (1882). Huysmans's early novels tackle consumerism and the learning processes that foreshadowed modern consumer culture. In addition, Huysmans's fiction paints a picture of commercial activities in the everyday life of key Parisian quartiers in France, drawing attention to the characters' incomes as well as the cost and nature of goods and services they purchase. The narrative highlights earnings and expenditure, yearnings and acquisitions, personal possessions and shopping behaviour.

Keywords:   Joris-Karl Huysmans, Les Sœurs Vatard, novels, consumerism, consumer culture, quartiers, France, earnings, expenditure, shopping

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