The Veil, the Fold, the Image: On Gustave Flaubert's <i>Salammbo</i>

Rodolphe Gasché

in The Stelliferous Fold

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780823234349
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241279 | DOI:
The Veil, the Fold, the Image: On Gustave Flaubert's Salammbo

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Gustave Flaubert thought of Salammbo as an archaeological novel. As he admitted to Feydeau, he intended his archaeological work to be only tentative. Apart from its epic qualities, one of the distinguishing features of this work to which literary critics have paid significant attention is Flaubert's taste for the tableau, manifest not only in the superbly painted landscapes, the plastic effects of his descriptions, but also stylistically and syntactically. This chapter gives a succinct summary of the plot of the novel whose action took place during the Mercenary War of 241–238 bc, which pitted the mercenaries that Carthage had hired to fight the Romans in the immediately preceding first Punic War against their former employers who were unable, or unwilling, to fulfill their promises. This chapter talks about the crucial role of the veil, the fold, and the image in the novel.

Keywords: Salammbo; archaeological novel; Mercenary War; Punic War; veil; fold; image

Chapter.  9579 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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