French Faculty Books

La Figure du Bibliomane

La Figure du Bibliomane

A history of the figure of the bibliomaniac or excessive book-lover. The _bibliomane_ was condemned until the 19th century, at which point it met with veneration in a literary temple of which Flaubert, Stendhal, Nerval, Barbey d’Aurevilly, and Anatole France were so many pillars.

Mémoires du général Toussaint Louverture

Mémoires du général Toussaint Louverture

This edition brings to light the authentic memoir of protest written by Toussaint Louverture, the first black memorialist in French history. Daniel Desormeaux sheds light on the political and ideological dimension of these memoirs which constitute a historical document unique in the genre.

Alexandre Dumas, fabrique d’immortalité

Alexandre Dumas admired from afar the Pantheon and the illustrious dead who had made their way there. Like Chateaubriand, who lamented the fate of the de-pantheonized Mirabeau, he conceived of what could be his glorious tomb: his work itself. This book retraces the posthumous thought that Dumas entertained around his work.

Thémistocle Épaminondas Labasterre (Frédéric Marcelin)

Thémistocle Épaminondas Labasterre (Frédéric Marcelin)

Published in 1901, this is the first volume in a trilogy devoted to Haitian reality which concretises the aesthetic aspirations of a new literary generation. It retraces the destiny of a young idealist who seeks in vain to fight against the cultural mores and tyranny of his time.

Les Biographies littéraires: théories, pratiques et perspectives Nouvelles

Les Biographies littéraires: théories, pratiques et perspectives Nouvelles

Authors’ lives expose the real and imaginary relationships forged between their private inner being and their literary production. Contributors to this volume aim to question the literary work in its relation with its author’s life: what knowledge does biography create? What choices does its practice require?

Screening the Paris Suburbs: From the Silent Era to the 1990s

Screening the Paris Suburbs: From the Silent Era to the 1990s

Decades before the emergence of a French self-styled ‘hood’ film around 1995, French filmmakers looked beyond the gates of the capital for inspiration and content. In the Paris suburbs they found an inexhaustible reservoir of forms, landscapes and social types in which to anchor their fictions, from bourgeois villas and bucolic riverside cafés to post-war housing estates and postmodern new towns. Contributors to this volume address key aspects of this long film history, marked by such towering figures as Jean Renoir, Jacques Tati and Jean-Luc Godard. Idyllic or menacing, expansive or claustrophobic, the suburb served divergent aesthetic and ideological programmes across the better part of a century. Themes central to French cultural modernity – class conflict, leisure, boredom and anti-authoritarianism – cut across the fifteen chapters.

Balzac, l’éternelle genèse

Balzac, l’éternelle genèse

L’ensemble de La Comédie Humaine est le résultat d’un immense travail de révisions et de transformations s’étalant de 1829 à 1855. De façon nouvelle et diversifiée, cet ouvrage aborde ce travail.

Les études qui y sont réunies abordent des questions jusqu’alors peu étudiées : le rôle de la correspondance de Balzac pour une compréhension plus complète du projet et du travail de l’auteur, l’importance de l’archive manuscrite pour la compréhension de l’entreprise balzacienne, le jeu infiniment complexe et riche du travail sur les manuscrits de théâtre, les déplacements d’œuvres d’édition à édition.

Enfin, l’étude précise de la genèse d’œuvres singulières, particulièrement significatives, permet de suivre l’invention d’une forme moderne de représentation du monde social, ainsi que d’un style narratif particulièrement fécond pour l’avenir du roman.

Romanesque Signs

Romanesque Signs

Romanesque Signs: Early Medieval Narrative and Iconography is a classic of medieval scholarship that laid the foundations for viewing literature as an historical artifact that should be read in conjunction with the art, architecture, sculpture and religious rituals produced in the same period. It was the first book to argue that the materiality of representation—how art was created, performed, displayed in its own time—must be taken into account in order to understand its levels of meaning. It also showed that the way this art engages with the history it inherits—secular history, sacred history, intellectual history—is of crucial importance for understanding how and why it was produced as it was. Underlying the book’s thesis is the recognition that Romanesque art reflects history, the world, and sacred history as themes that must be interwoven and choreographed in and as a performance. Hence the term “performative mimesis” used to describe it. The book seeks to overthrow post-Reformation boundaries between the sacred and the secular in order to show that in the early Middle Ages these terms were co-extensive. The sacred and secular existed in equilibrium: the one did not seek to displace the other since they were part of a continuum, each referencing the other at every moment.

Savoirs en Récits II

Savoirs en Récits II

Le dix-neuvième siècle a connu une ambition encyclopédique nouvelle, il a rêvé d’un rapport assuré au monde et à la connaissance, mais il a connu aussi bien – ce faisant – un rapport déroutant à la fragmentation, à la pluralité, aux contradictions, aux illusions. Comment les «récits» érudits de ce temps travaillent-ils les représentations anciennes et les savoirs contemporains ? Comment font-ils jouer ensemble croyances, doutes et désir de savoir ? Savoirs en récits, I et II, explorent les tensions entre les savoirs positifs et la puissance des croyances et des mythes.

Ce deuxième volume réunit diverses versions de ces tensions : avec Balzac la recherche d’un absolu qui se dérobe; avec Nerval la quête mélancolique de la multiplicité des dieux ; avec Flaubert les investigations à la fois érudites et plastiques sur les mythes, les religions, l’Orient et l’Antiquité que sont Salammbô et Hérodias; avec Jules Verne l’épos d’un savoir amer, d’un secret pulvérisé; avec les Goncourt la mise en fragments de leur temps. Les bribes du sacré et les rumeurs du commun se confondent dans le siècle.

Styles of Enlightenment

Styles of Enlightenment

Styles of Enlightenment argues that alongside its democratic ideals and its efforts to create a unified public sphere, the Enlightenment also displayed a tendency to erect rigid barriers when it came to matters of style and artistic expression. The French philosophes tackled the issue of the hierarchy of genres with surprising inflexibility, and they looked down on those forms of art that they saw as commercial, popular, and merely entertaining. They were convinced that the standard of taste was too important a matter to be left to the whims of the public and the vagaries of the marketplace: aesthetic judgment ought to belong to a few, enlightened minds who would then pass it on to the masses.

Through readings of fictions, essays, memoirs, eulogies, and theatrical works by Fénelon, Bouhours, Marivaux, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Mercier, Thomas, and others, Styles of Enlightenment traces the stages of a confrontation between the virile philosophe and the effeminate worldly writer, “good” and “bad” taste, high art and frivolous entertainment, state patronage and the privately sponsored marketplace, the academic eulogy and worldly conversation. It teases out the finer points of division on the public battlefields of literature and politics and the new world of contesting sexual economies.