French Global: A New Approach to Literary History

French Global: A New Approach to Literary History

by Christie McDonald
     
 

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Is it possible to reread the entire sweep of French literature from a world perspective? Recasting French literary history in terms of the cultures and peoples that interacted both within and outside of France's national boundaries, this volume offers a new way of looking at the history of a national literature, along with a truly global and contemporary

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Overview

Is it possible to reread the entire sweep of French literature from a world perspective? Recasting French literary history in terms of the cultures and peoples that interacted both within and outside of France's national boundaries, this volume offers a new way of looking at the history of a national literature, along with a truly global and contemporary understanding of language, literature, and culture.

Questions concerning the relationship between France's territorial center and its extraterritorial peripheries are crucial to contemporary discussions of Francophonie. Boldly extending these and related questions to a whole range of French literature, the essays in this volume explore spaces, mobilities, and multiplicities from the Middle Ages to the present. They rethink literary history not in terms of national boundaries, as traditional literary histories have done, but in terms of a global paradigm that emphasizes border crossings and encounters with "others." Contributors offer new ways of reading canonical texts and considering other texts that are not part of the traditional canon. By emphasizing diverse conceptions of language, text, space, and nation, they offer a model approach that remains sensitive to the specificities of time and place and to the theoretical concerns that inform the study of national literatures in the twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

French Studies
...a powerful and persuasive revision of the monumental and monolithic idea of French literature, redefined as a multifaceted process fraught with differences and contradictions and bearing the stamp of transnational movements.

— Oana Panaite

H-France
French Global is an invaluable text for students and scholars of French-speaking literatures and cultures.

— Arcana Albright

Mitchell Greenberg
French Global marks a unique and innovative approach to the history of "French" literary studies. It is the great merit and originality of this volume to propose an open, cross-cultural narrative of the heterogeneity that has always been a part of French literary production. This book is a welcome reference tool that offers students of French a useful guide to an alternative reading of French literature and literary history.

Philip Stewart
In a fascinating chronological series of mental voyages beyond the usual territorial boundaries, this comprehensive and rich compendium represents the beginning of the end—or perhaps the end—of 'national' literature, while retaining the specificity of a language of expression and helping us rethink the usual paradigms of French literature 'from the outside in,' as if 'Francophonie' had always existed.

Marianne Hirsch
In our era of comparatism, world literature and 'littérature-monde,' cosmopolitanism, and universalism and migration, the idea of a national literature may well be obsolete. Yet this is not exactly what readers of French Global will find. Read together, these rewarding essays present a more fraught relation between the global and the national, or the local, and a more complex history leading to an accent on 'worlding' and cultural interconnections. Paradoxically, perhaps, they adumbrate a multifaceted series of specifically French conceptions of the global.

French Studies - Oana Panaite
...a powerful and persuasive revision of the monumental and monolithic idea of French literature, redefined as a multifaceted process fraught with differences and contradictions and bearing the stamp of transnational movements.

H-France - Arcana Albright
French Global is an invaluable text for students and scholars of French-speaking literatures and cultures.

European Legacy - Maria Lupas
an innovative work first and foremost for reintroducing literary history as an approach to reading texts.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231519229
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
09/03/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
576
File size:
19 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Christie McDonald is Smith Professor of French Language and Literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University. Her books include The Extravagant Shepherd: A Study of the Pastoral Vision in Rousseau's Nouvelle Héloïse, Dispositions on Music and Text, The Dialogue of Writing: Essays in Eighteenth-Century Literature, and The Proustian Fabric.

Susan Rubin Suleiman is C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University. Her books include Crises of Memory and the Second World War, Authoritarian Fictions: The Ideological Novel as a Literary Genre, and Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Garde.

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