Reconstructing Woman: From Fiction to Reality in the Nineteenth-century French Novel by Dorothy Kelly (Paperback, 2008)

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Reconstructing Woman explores a scenario common to the works of four major French novelists of the nineteenth century: Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, and Villiers. In the texts of each author, a new Pygmalion (as Balzac calls one of his characters) turns away from a real woman he has loved or desired and prefers instead his artificial re-creation of her.