Therese Dolan (essay date spring-summer 1998)
SOURCE: Dolan, Therese. “Guise and Dolls: Dis/covering Power, Re/covering Nana.” Nineteenth-Century French Studies 26, nos. 3-4 (spring-summer 1998): 368-86.
[In the following essay, Dolan discusses Emile Zola's use of clothing in his novel Nana to reveal and to confront hierarchies of class and status.]
Before Nana ever sets foot on stage at the Théâtre des Variétés in the first chapter of Emile Zola's novel, the reader knows her by her surfaces. Bordenave, scoffing at Hector de la Faloise's lame attempt to find talent in Nana, will praise only her skin: she is outer husk, not inner core, a commodified spectacle for visual and physical consumption....
(The entire section is 6561 words.)