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“La Famille”: An Unpublished Short Story in French by Edith Wharton

Sarah Whitehead
p. 301-308

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Edith Wharton
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Ce document sera publié en ligne en texte intégral en décembre 2021.

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Despite being fluent in French from an early age and choosing to live the last three decades of her life in France, biographers generally agree that when it came to writing fiction in French, Edith Wharton’s only published effort was her decidedly unsuccessful “Les Metteurs en Scène,” a short story which appeared in the Revue des Deux Mondes in October 1908 (Lee 303; Lewis 234). Furthermore, whilst “Les Metteurs” is not a straightforward translation of another English story of hers (as in the case of her French version of “Atrophy” (1927) entitled “Atrophie” and also published in the Revue des Deux Mondes in July 1929), it is generally recognised as a reworking of her 1905 story, “The Introducers” and therefore does not constitute a wholly new story composed specifically for a French treatment.

The discovery of “La Famille” amongst her unpublished papers at the Beinecke library at Yale changes this picture of Wharton’s fiction output in French. The undated typescript, complete with h...

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Sarah Whitehead, « “La Famille”: An Unpublished Short Story in French by Edith Wharton »Journal of the Short Story in English, 73 | 2019, 301-308.

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Sarah Whitehead, « “La Famille”: An Unpublished Short Story in French by Edith Wharton »Journal of the Short Story in English [En ligne], 73 | Autumn 2019, mis en ligne le 01 décembre 2021, consulté le 15 juin 2021. URL :

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Sarah Whitehead

Sarah Whitehead teaches English Language and Literature in London, England. She has written on the short story, Edith Wharton and the Comic Gothic in various venues, including JSSE, Short Fiction in Theory and Practice, European Journal of American Culture, The Edith Wharton Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and the collected volume: The New Edith Wharton Studies. She recently (2020) published two hitherto unpublished Wharton short stories, “The Children’s Hour” and “A Granted Prayer” in the Times Literary Supplement and The Atlantic magazine respectively. Her current projects include a study of the early publication of James Joyce’s short stories in The Smart Set magazine.

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