The book concludes by reappraising critics' blocks, but through rereading Flaubert's well‐known correspondence with Sand and Colet and response to the camera of Du Camp, all against crucial moments in the revision of the Tentation. This way of remapping the significance of the text in the personal and literary‐historical lives of its creation, borrows explicitly from the vocabulary of French ‘evolutionary’ theory, Lamarckian ‘transformisme’. The concluding sections thus name the ‘unities of composition’ and ‘literary transformisms’ of Flaubert's 1874 Tentation and the text as a paradigm of both ‘literary science’ and the ‘fantastic real’. The vital importance of the dialogic structure of the work—religion and science; the Egypt of Saint Anthony and Antoine—marks this ‘oeuvre de toute [sa] vie’ as an ‘oeuvre de toute la vie’, religious and scientific, of 19th‐century France. Supremely a text which challenges received ideas and doxa, Flaubert's Tentation everywhere prizes probing literary‐critical vision of his own times.
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