Literary Precedents for Bellefleur

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The hybrid nature of Bellefleur makes it difficult to place its origins. Like most of Oates's work, it contains a vast network of allusions to world literature. In fact, it resembles the great novels of the nineteenth century, the chronicles of families and nations by Dickens, Tolstoy, Balzac, and George Eliot. It is of course in the tradition of the Gothic novel, but with particular reference to Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897); in Bellefleur Dracula appears as the Swedish count Ragnar Norst. Oates also blurs the line between fact and fiction by quoting from one of Ben Franklin's narratives and supplying details from contemporary accounts of the abolitionist John Brown. The local color of New York State is underlined by references to the tales of Washington Irving, and the Edenic theme, so prevalent in Oates, by references to Paradise Lost (Milton, 1667). There are also clever allusions to specific poets, e.g...

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This section contains 171 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Bellefleur Short Guide
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Bellefleur from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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