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Literary Slumming

Slang and Class in Nineteenth-Century France

Eliza Jane Smith

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Belletristik / Essays, Feuilleton, Literaturkritik, Interviews

Beschreibung

Literary Slumming: Slang and Class in Nineteenth-Century France applies a sociolinguistic approach to the representation of slang in French literature and dictionaries to reveal the ways in which upper-class writers, lexicographers, literary critics, and bourgeois readers participated in a sociolinguistic concept the author refers to as “literary slumming”, or the appropriation of lower-class and criminal language and culture. Through an analysis of spoken and embodied manifestations of the anti-language of slang in the works of Eugène François Vidocq, Honoré de Balzac, Eugène Sue, Victor Hugo, the Goncourt Brothers, and Émile Zola, Literary Slumming argues that the nineteenth-century French literary discourse on slang led to the emergence of this sociolinguistic phenomenon that prioritized lower-class and criminal life and culture in a way that ultimately expanded class boundaries and increased visibility and agency for minorities within the public sphere.

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Schlagwörter

French literature, crime studies, 19th century, France