Working Papers in Romance Languages

Article Title

À la Recherche d’un Dieu Perdu: Recreating Religion in La Tentation de Saint Antoine


La Tentation de Saint Antoine is "un livre qui fait peur," according to Flaubert scholar Jeanne Bem (13). Indeed, it is a monstrous text that presents us with multiple characters and an amalgam of heresies and temptations. Confusion further stems from the difference in versions: one version of the text was written in 1848, a second version was partially published in 1856, and the final version appeared in 1874. The monstrosity resides lastly in the form of the text: we wonder how to define the genre of La Tentation. Flaubert first conceived of it as a play, perhaps even a puppet play, but the didascalies read more like descriptions in a novel and are impossible to act out.[1]

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