Outrage and Insight (David H. Walker) pdf, epub, doc

The Papin sisters — two maids who shocked France by savagely butchering their mistress and her daughter.

Violette Nozières — arrested for poisoning her mother and father.

The serial murderer Eugen Weidmann — the last man to be publicly guillotined in France.

These sordid tales, widely disseminated by the French press in articles known as the faits divers, have inflamed the imaginations of French writers and intellectuals from Zola and de Beauvoir to Barthes, Foucault and Lacan. They are the basis for some of the most enduring characters in French fiction — Julian Sorel, Emma Bovary and Thérèse Desqueyroux — and continue to enthrall readers on a daily basis.

This fascinating book is the only systematic study of the creative relationship between French writers and intellectuals and the fait divers. In addition to finding inspiration in these items, many French novelists and intellectuals have been moved to comment on the psychological, social and judicial issues to which they habitually give rise. The study of this phenomenon underscores the powerful hold the sensational has exerted on the nation's psyche and shows how the more lurid aspects of popular culture have fired the imaginations not only of the masses but of the intelligentsia as well.

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