Le geste signifiant. La rhétorique du corps paroxystique dans La Conquête de Plassans d’Émile Zola
The movement with a meaning. Rhetoric of the paroxystic body at La Conquête de Plassans d’Émile Zola
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19th century literature makes the body one of the objects of interest treating it as a surface on which signs appear that are a trace of emotions swirling inside it. Zola is one of those writers who put the body centrally to their work, making it a starting point to deepen the mystery of a man. The presented study is an analysis of affects manifesting through the gesture and movements of the body. The main character’s body is, ac‐ cording to the biological model of the epoch, a hysterical type. However, it is not just a hysterical body, but it is also paroxystic which means, the penultimate moment before the end. It is this ri9, externalized in the dynamic posture of the body, that is acting out, assigned to a man, which is the ambivalence of this seemingly obvious model of oversensitive femininity, common in discourses of the 19th century.
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