The subversion of gleaning in Balzac's Les Paysans and in Millet's Les Glaneuses

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Throughout nineteenth-century France gleaning was perhaps the most controversial usufruct practice and the most frequently depicted in art. Balzac's "objective" depiction of peasant resistance to the suppression of customary usufruct rights, in his 1845 novel Les Paysans (The Peasants), is motivated by his desire to delegimitized gleaning and bring it under the landowners' control. Balzac's description of the empty, harvested field separating the gleaners from the landowner's grain-laden carts recurs in Millet's 1857 painting Les Glaneuses (The Gleaners), which reflects the poorest peasant's economic marginalization and the landowners' growing power through surveillance - analogous to Foucault's panopticon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalNeohelicon
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The subversion of gleaning in Balzac's Les Paysans and in Millet's Les Glaneuses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this