Francesco Paolo Alexandre Madonia

Imperfections and genre hybridization in Honoré de Balzac’s Les employés

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The imperfection of the human being and his social constructions is at the heart of the Comédie humaine. This article intends to explore this aspect of Balzac’s literary production through the analysis of Les Employés (1845), in which the mediocrity of the bureaucratic world is examined in detail. In the novel, mediocrity wins over merit, but the representation of imperfection transcends the purely narrative dimension: Les Employés is an experimental work in which the hybridization between the novel and the theatrical genre questions the limits of literary creation.


  • imperfection
  • hybridization of literary genres
  • novel
  • theatre


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