King, Jeri DeBois

Paratextuality in Balzac's La Peau De Chagrin/the Wild Ass's Skin
1992 0-7734-9507-X
This work is several studies in one, beginning with a positivistic examination of the paratext (subtitles, epigraphs, both editorial and authorial) that surrounds Balzac's first signed novel. It yields several readings equally deserving of consideration. Numerous references to critics like Barthes and Greenblatt support the author's attempt at a deconstructive reading of Balzac, subverting the positivistic approach to the text by focusing on extra-textual elements, with the help of Genette. This study, an exercise in post-structuralist criticism, a celebration of Balzac, and a demonstration of the implications of Genette's work in contemporary literary criticism, will prove useful to both the beginner and the graduate student of Balzac.