Book launch: Complicity in Fin-de-siècle Literature by Dr Helen Craske

Date: Friday 12 July 2024
Time: 16:30 - 18:15

We are pleased to announce the publication of Complicity in Fin-de-siècle Literature by Dr Helen Craske, a Junior Research Fellow and alumna.

You are all cordially invited to attend the book launch event, which will take place at Merton on Friday 12th July. For further details (and to RSVP), please view this form.

Short abstract:

Complicity in Fin-de-siècle Literature examines late-nineteenth century French understandings of literature as a morally collusive medium, which implicates readers, writers, and critics in risqué or illicit ideas and behaviour. It considers definitions of complicity from the period’s evolving legal statutes, critical debates about literary ‘bad influence’, and modern theories of reader response, in order to achieve a deeper understanding of how cultural production of the period forged relationships of implication and collusion.

The analysis draws on a range of case studies from different media forms, including: Naturalist, Decadent, and psychological novels, biographically revealing fiction (‘romans à clefs’), little magazines (‘petites revues’), and saucy magazines (‘revues légères’). Texts written by well-known literary figures—such as Émile Zola, Octave Mirbeau, and Rachilde—appear alongside previously overlooked periodical and archival sources.

The book is available via Oxford Scholarship Online, to which students and staff with institutional affiliation can access without charge. Print copies will be available from next Thursday (20th June). There is a 30% off promotional code: AAFLYG6.

Online copy

Print copy