Kit Yee Wong deposited The Phantasmagorical City: Haussmann’s Paris in Zola’s ‘Nana’ and ‘L’Assommoir’ in the group American Literature on Humanities Commons 5 months, 3 weeks ago
Haussmann’s re-building of Paris in the 1850s and ’60s had created an ordered city. However, the bourgeoisie used the new urban configurations as a weapon against the lower classes. This article describes the spaces of the underground and the overground: the underground is the metaphorical and literal rubbish heap for those in the lower parts of society, and the overground limits its spatial privileges to the bourgeoisie. The two novels ‘Nana’ and ‘L’Assommoir’ demonstrate the modern underworld of the Haussmannian city, and how the mythical is a physical reality and space within modernity.