The Cambridge Introduction to French Literature

The Cambridge Introduction to French Literature

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Description

In this highly accessible introduction, Brian Nelson provides an overview of French literature - its themes and forms, traditions and transformations - from the Middle Ages to the present. Major writers, including Francophone authors writing from areas other than France, are discussed chronologically in the context of their times, to provide a sense of the development of the French literary tradition and the strengths of some of the most influential writers within it. Nelson offers close readings of exemplary passages from key works, presented in English translation and with the original French. The exploration of the work of important writers, including Villon, Racine, Moliere, Voltaire, Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, Proust, Sartre and Beckett, highlights the richness and diversity of French literature.show more

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About Brian Nelson

Brian Nelson is Professor Emeritus of French Studies and Translation Studies at Monash University, Melbourne, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His publications include Perspectives on Literature and Translation: Creation, Circulation, Reception (co-edited with Brigid Maher, 2013), The Cambridge Companion to Emile Zola (Cambridge, 2007) and translations of the novels of Emile Zola.show more

Table of contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Chronology; 1. Villon: a dying man; 2. Rabelais: the uses of laughter; 3. Montaigne: self-portrait; 4. Corneille: heroes and kings; 5. Racine: in the labyrinth; 6. Moliere: new forms of comedy; 7. La Fontaine: the power of fables/fables of power; 8. Madame de Lafayette: the birth of the modern novel; 9. Voltaire: the case for tolerance; 10. Rousseau: man of feeling; 11. Diderot: the enlightened sceptic; 12. Laclos: dangerous liaisons; 13. Stendhal: the pursuit of happiness; 14. Balzac: 'All is true'; 15. Hugo: the divine stenographer; 16. Baudelaire: the streets of Paris; 17. Flaubert: the narrator vanishes; 18. Zola: the poetry of the real; 19. Huysmans: against nature; 20. Mallarme: the magic of words; 21. Rimbaud: somebody else; 22. Proust: the self, time and art; 23. Jarry: the art of provocation; 24. Apollinaire: impresario of the new; 25. Breton and company: surrealism; 26. Celine: night journey; 27. Sartre: writing in the world; 28. Camus: a moral voice; 29. Beckett: filling the silence; 30. French literature into the twenty-first century; Notes; Further reading.show more