Eugène Fromentin Criticism - Essay

Barbara Wright (essay date July 1964)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Wright, Barbara. “Fromentin's Concept of Creative Vision in the Manuscript of Dominique.French Studies: A Quarterly Review 18, no. 3 (July 1964): 213-26.

[In the following essay, Wright considers the manner in which Fromentin's use of creative vision in Dominique changed in the transition from manuscript to published text.]

In describing the adolescent awakening of Dominique, Fromentin gives a valuable account of poetic inspiration. The expansive urge of the young hero is closely paralleled in the burgeoning of springtime, as he walks through the countryside in a state of rapture, ‘dans une sorte d'ivresse, rempli d'émotions...

(The entire section is 6253 words.)

Arthur R. Evans, Jr. (essay date 1964)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Evans, Arthur R., Jr. “The Notational, Cumulative Sentence” and “Formal, Mannerist Patterns.” In The Literary Art of Eugène Fromentin: A Study in Style and Motif, pp. 47-63; 64-95. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1964.

[In the following essay, Evans notes Fromentin's use of symmetry, rhythm, and balance in his writing.]

Fromentin's prose is artistic, self-conscious, and highly disciplined, its distinguishing qualities deriving ultimately from expressive tendencies which are intimately related. A strongly classic formal sense evidenced in the constant use of symmetries, parallelisms, and correspondences works in harmony with a descriptive,...

(The entire section is 14489 words.)

Barbara Wright (essay date October 1965)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Wright, Barbara. “Valdieu: A Forgotten Precursor of Fromentin's Dominique.Modern Language Review 60, no. 4 (October 1965): pp. 520-28.

[In the following essay, Wright considers the influence that Valdieu had on Fromentin and the writing of Dominique.]

Within a tradition like that of the French personal novel, direct literary ‘influences’ are as elusive as the end of the rainbow, and just about as insubstantial when they are found. Few authors of personal novels have been spared acrimonious debates as to literary sources and possible plagiarisms,1 when in fact they were contributing to a collective culture in which each...

(The entire section is 4983 words.)

Geoffrey Bremner (essay date October 1969)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Bremner, Geoffrey. “Ambivalence in Dominique.Forum for Modern Language Studies 5, no. 4 (October 1969): pp. 323-30.

[In the following essay, Bremner discusses the strengths and weaknesses of Fromentin's Dominique.]

Nearly all the critics who have concerned themselves with Fromentin's Dominique, from George Sand to Dr Barbara Wright in her recent edition1 and D. G. Charlton in his review of it,2 have discussed the motivation of Dominique's withdrawal. It seems that the central problem of the novel is the one which Fromentin has been least successful in treating. We know from Fromentin's correspondence with George Sand...

(The entire section is 4149 words.)

F. M. Latiolais (essay date fall 1970)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Latiolais, F. M. “‘Not Quite a Masterpiece’—Fromentin's Dominique Reconsidered.” Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 4, no. 1 (fall 1970): 35-48.

[In the following essay, Latiolais examines the appeal of Dominique despite the criticism leveled against it.]

It is the fate of any book either to find successive readers or to perish and be relegated to the vaults of literary history, there to be looked at only by inspectors whose interest is more or less clinical. Eugène Fromentin's Dominique, in spite of its obvious deficiencies and many detractors, has managed somehow to find new readers through whom it...

(The entire section is 6964 words.)

Robin Magowan (essay date winter 1973)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Magowan, Robin. “Dominique: The Genesis of a Pastoral.” L'Esprit Createur 13, no. 4 (winter 1973): 340-50.

[In the following essay, Magowan analyzes pastoral attributes in Fromentin's Dominique.]

Most criticism is end-oriented. Just as we judge a novel's success by its ending, so we refuse to extend our speculations beyond the final published draft. But a work of art is more than a single autonomous whole. It is also a thing in process. It talks about time and is itself the product of time, and these two times must have something to do with one another if their world is to be thought a true world. Thus much of the confusion in genre studies—and...

(The entire section is 4309 words.)

Emanuel J. Mickel, Jr. (essay date 1981)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Mickel, Emanuel J., Jr. “Narrative Structures in Dominique” and “Characters and Psychology.” In Eugène Fromentin, pp. 88-103; 113-23. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981.

[In the following essay, Mickel analyzes the structure and characters in Dominique.]


Dominique is the narrative account of selected moments drawn from the adolescence and youth of the book's principal character. Because of the novel's meaning, it is important that this period in Dominique's life not be seen in isolation but rather in comparison to the life being led by the principal character more than twenty years later. Thus...

(The entire section is 11613 words.)

Richard Bales (essay date November 1988)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Bales, Richard. “Strategies of Persuasion in Fromentin's Dominique.Essays in French Literature, no. 25 (November 1988): 37-52.

[In the following essay, Bales suggests that Fromentin used sophisticated methods of persuasion in Dominique to influence his readers.]

In an article of 1928, Marcel Cressot described Fromentin's Dominique (1862) as presenting “le procès du romantisme”.1 Thirty years later, Ronald Grimsley was to assert that the novel contains “the final expression of a Romanticism which has overcome itself only to ensure its permanent survival in a more remote and hermetic form”.2 And Graham...

(The entire section is 6400 words.)

Norma Rinsler (essay date 1988)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Rinsler, Norma. “Fromentin's Dominique.” In Studies in French Fiction in Honour of Vivienne Mylne, edited by Robert Gibson, pp. 243-61. London: Grant & Cutler Ltd., 1988.

[In the following essay, Rinsler considers various interpretations of Dominique and concludes that Fromentin's richness of language and structure allows the work to be viewed from many different aspects.]

There are books which are so familiar that they become invisible. Dominique has been one of those books for the present writer, remembered, in Empson's phrase, as a ‘taste in the head’, and offering at a recent re-reading a profoundly surprising appearance of...

(The entire section is 8832 words.)