By Alison Finch

This e-book is the 1st to supply a cultural heritage of French literature from its very beginnings, analysing the connection among French literature and France's evolving strength constructions from the center a long time via to the current day. It exhibits the political connections among the elite literature of France and different points of its tradition, from racism, misogyny, tolerance and liberal reform to music, highway functionality, advertizing and cinema. The nation's literature contributed to those and was once formed through them.

The publication highlights the continuities and the original fault-lines within the society that, over a millennium, has produced 'French culture'. It appears to be like at France's early and carrying on with fight for a countrywide id via either its language and its literature, and it exhibits that this fight co-exists with openness to different cultures and a bawdy or refined rebelliousness opposed to the Church and other kinds of authority. En direction it takes in food, gardens and the French culture in arithmetic. The survey offers an available method of key concerns within the background of French tradition in addition to a large context for experts.

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Extra resources for French Literature: A Cultural History

Sample text

Yet the poem is still being referred back to some kind of theatre, however much of a castle in the air. A novel is written, but when Conrad employs a narrator to help him tell his story, the genre of the written word is being assimilated to that of the spoken one. The question of how we are to classify such a novel is less important than the recognition of the fact that two different radicals of presentation exist in it. It might be thought simpler, instead of using the term radical, to say that the generic distinctions are among the ways in which literary works are ideally presented, whatever the actualities are.

Epos and fiction make up the central area of literature, and are flanked by the drama on one side and by the lyric on the other. Drama has a peculiarly intimate connection with ritual, and lyric with dream or vision, the individual communing with himself. We said at the beginning of this book that there is no such thing as direct address in literature, but direct address is natural communication, and literature may imitate it as it may imitate anything else in nature. In epos, where the poet faces his audience, we have a mimesis of direct address.

In Bernard Shaw the comic parabasis is transferred from the middle of the play to a separate prose preface, which is a change from drama to fiction. In epos some kind of comparatively regular metre tends to predominate: even oratorical prose shows many metrical features, both in its syntax and in its punctuation. In fiction prose tends to predominate, because only prose has the continuous rhythm appropriate for the continuous form of the book. Drama has no controlling rhythm peculiar to itself, but it is most closely related to epos in the earlier modes and to fiction in the later ones.

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