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Bachelors, Bastards, and Nomadic Masculinity: Illegitimacy in Guy de Maupassant and André Gide

Fagley, Robert M (2009) Bachelors, Bastards, and Nomadic Masculinity: Illegitimacy in Guy de Maupassant and André Gide. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Bachelors, Bastards, and Nomadic Masculinity: Illegitimacy in Guy de Maupassant and André Gide Robert M. Fagley, PhD University of Pittsburgh, 2009 This dissertation is a thematic exploration of bachelor figures and male bastards in literary works by Guy de Maupassant and André Gide. The coupling of Maupassant and Gide is appropriate for such an analysis, not only because of their mutual treatment of illegitimacy, but also because each writer represents a chronologically identifiable literary movement, Realism and Modernism, and each writes during contiguous moments of socio-legal changes particularly related to divorce law and women's rights, which consequently have great influence on the legal destiny of illegitimate or "natural" children. Napoleon's Civil Code of 1804 provides the legal(patriarchal) framework for the period of this study of illegitimacy, from about 1870 to 1925. The Civil Code saw numerous changes during this period. The Naquet Law of 1884, which reestablished limited legal divorce, represents the central socio-legal event of the turn of the century in matters of legitimacy, whereas the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the First World War furnish chronological bookends for this dissertation. Besides through history, law, and sociology, this dissertation treats illegitimacy through the lens of various branches of gender theory, particularly the study of masculinities and a handful of other important critical theories, most importantly those of Michel Foucault, Eve Sedgwick and of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. Bachelors and bastards are two principal players in the representation of illegitimacy in Maupassant and Gide, but this study considers the theme of illegitimacy as extended beyond simple questions of legitimate versus illegitimate children. The male bastard is only one of the "counterfeit" characters examined in these authors' fictional texts. This dissertation is divided into three parts which consider specific thematic elements of their "bastard narratives." Part One frames the representation in fiction of bachelor figures and how they contribute to or the role they play in instances of illegitimacy. Part Two springs from and develops the metaphor of the "counterfeit coin," whether represented by a bastard son, an affected schoolboy, a false priest, or a pretentious littérateur. Part Three explains the concept of "nomadic masculine" practices; such practices include nomadic styles of masculinity development as well as the bastard's nomadism.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Fagley, Robert
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMecchia, Giuseppinamecchia@pitt.eduMECCHIA
Committee MemberInsana, Lina
Committee MemberKiesling, Scottkiesling@pitt.eduKIESLING
Committee MemberReeser, Toddreeser@pitt.eduREESER
Date: 30 September 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 13 May 2009
Approval Date: 30 September 2009
Submission Date: 13 August 2009
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > French
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: bachelorhood; bastardy; illegitimacy; masculinities
Other ID:, etd-08132009-140705
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:59
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:49


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