FROM HISTORY TO THE NOVEL: THE WORKS OF BARBEY D’AUREVILLY OR ‘AN UNWRITTEN HISTORY’
History is very important in Barbey d’Aurevilly’s literary work. One can feel enormous nostalgia for the past in his novels, even those which are not typically historical. The French Revolution of 1789, the Chouan movement and the nobility are recurring themes which fascinate and inspire the novelist. Barbey willingly draws on history, but he chooses historical facts with the aim of modifying them according to his wishes. His novels are not a faithful transcription of the past: they rewrite history, which eventually becomes a myth and is placed in a world where symbolic and supernatural dimension is by far more important than reality. Expressing the novelist’s philosophy of history, his novels become a sort of poems woven on the canvas of history.