This book mobilizes the unexplored interpretative and critical potential of the taboo as a way of reading accounts of the body in nineteenth-century French fiction. It shows that the taboo bodies hidden in realist texts are amongst their most articulate.
Introduction the Taboo in Theory Part I: The Body 1. Secrets and Suggestions: The Silenced Sexuality of Sand and Rachilde 2. Diagnosing the Female Body: Illness and the Imaginary in Zola's Lourdes 3. War and the Wounded Body: The Male, the Manly, and the Masculine in Tales of the Franco-Prussian War Part II: The Reader 4. Savage Poetry: Cruelty, Torture, and Sadism 5. Metaphors of the Monstrous: The Case of Victor Hugo 6. The Truth Will Out: National and Personal Trauma in Zola's Vérité 7. Conclusion: A Corporeal Secret