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Flaubert's TentationRemapping Nineteenth-Century French Histories of Religion and Science$
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Mary Orr

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199258581

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258581.001.0001

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Principalities and Powers

Principalities and Powers

Chapter:
(p.75) 2 Principalities and Powers
Source:
Flaubert's Tentation
Author(s):

Mary Orr (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258581.003.0003

This chapter addresses among the most critically commented tableaux of the Tentation. It argues against reading the famous ‘Nebuchadnezzar's Feast’ and ‘Queen of Sheba’ set‐pieces as allegedly depicting worldly and sexual temptations. Instead it argues for Flaubert's use of analogy to comment on the worldliness of the nineteenth‐century Roman Catholic Church and its ruler heads of state/heads of churches (‘Nebuchadnezzar’). The ‘Queen of Sheba’ section then takes to task Gothot‐Mersch's genetic readings. It argues that Flaubert's descriptions of her costume/roles is a critical commentary on the Marian sightings recorded in nineteenth‐century France and on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as instituted by Pope Pius IX.

Keywords:   Nebuchadnezzar's Feast, Queen of Sheba, Gothot‐Mersch, genetic criticism, Constantine, Napoleon I, Napoleon III, Pius IX, Immaculate Conception

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