By David Caron

The deluge of metaphors brought on in 1981 in France by way of the 1st public experiences of what could become the AIDS epidemic unfold with some distance higher pace and potency than the virus itself. to appreciate why it took France goodbye to react to the AIDS concern, AIDS in French Culture analyzes the intersections of 3 discourses—the literary, the scientific, and the political—and strains the foundation of French attitudes approximately AIDS again to nineteenth-century anxieties approximately nationhood, masculinity, and sexuality.

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Written immodestly on his face and body. . It was consubstantial with him, less as a habitual sin than as a singular nature. . The sodomite had been a temporary aberration; the homosexual was now a species. (43) [L’homosexuel du XIXème siècle est devenu un personnage: un passé, une histoire et une enfance, un caractère, une forme de vie; une morphologie aussi, avec une anatomie indiscrète et peut-être une physiologie mystérieuse. Rien de ce qu’il est au total n’échappe à sa sexualité. .

I simply did on two living bodies the analytical work that surgeons do on corpses. [[M]on but a été un but scientifique avant tout. . Qu’on lise le roman avec soin, on verra que chaque chapitre est l’étude d’un cas curieux de physiologie. En un mot, je n’ai eu qu’un désir: . . noter scrupuleusement les sensations et les actes de ces êtres. J’ai simplement fait sur deux corps vivants le travail analytique que les chirurgiens font sur les cadavres. (Oeuvres complètes, vol. 1, 520)] Later in his career, Zola further developed his theories in a longer essay entitled Le roman expérimental (The Experimental Novel), in which he systematized the idea that the novel should adopt the scientific method of modern medicine and attempt to cure society of its various ills.

Then, on perceiving some people on his left, two men and a woman, it occurred to him to question them. But the woman fled at his approach, and the men warned him away with threatening gestures. Others whom he saw, clad in sordid garments, inexpressibly filthy, and with the suspiciouslooking faces of bandits, were careful to avoid him, slinking away between the bushes like crawling, crafty animals. And on noticing that the dead, in the rear of these evil-looking men, were shoeless, displaying their bare feet in the grey light, he ended by realising that these prowlers were some of the tramps following the hostile armies, plunderers of corpses, predatory German Jews, who had entered France in the wake of the invasion.

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