French Tales

Overview

Fiction is much more enlightening about a country and its people than are statistics, and if we want to find out and understand what a nation is really like, we must read its literature. In French Tales, Helen Constantine offers a panoramic view of French society and culture as seen through its short fiction, ranging through all twenty-two regions of France and featuring the work of an engaging collection of writers.

Here are stories as varied as the regions of France ...

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French Tales

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Overview

Fiction is much more enlightening about a country and its people than are statistics, and if we want to find out and understand what a nation is really like, we must read its literature. In French Tales, Helen Constantine offers a panoramic view of French society and culture as seen through its short fiction, ranging through all twenty-two regions of France and featuring the work of an engaging collection of writers.

Here are stories as varied as the regions of France themselves—dramatic, tragic, comic, poetic, ghostly, satirical. Readers will find both famous and little-known writers—among them Guy de Maupassant, Emile Zola, Daniel Boulanger, Didier Daeninckx, and Colette—and will wander the country from Provence and Alsace to Ile-de-France and Normandy. The themes are timeless—marriage and the dealings between the sexes; the nature of friendship; the misery and the memory of war—and the stories themselves reflect the rich ethnic diversity of France. Thus, Christian Garcin's story set in Lille has Flemish associations; Prosper Mérimée's Mateo Falcone, about an honor killing in Corsica, is in many respects more Italian than French; and Marcel Aymé's story about Arbi, an Arab in Paris living at the bottom of a cul-de-sac, illustrates only too well the plight of many North Africans who settled in the larger cities—Paris and Marseille especially.

Following the model of the highly successful Paris Tales, also translated by Helen Constantine, each story is illustrated with a striking photograph and there is a map indicating the position of the French regions. There is an introduction and notes to accompany the stories and a selection of further readings.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199217489
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Constantine is editor of the magazine Modern Poetry in Translation and the editor/translator of Paris Tales.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Bretagne: You Should Have Changed at Dol Annie Saumont Saumont, Annie 17

Basse-Normandie: Made for Two Daniel Boulanger Boulanger, Daniel 27

Haute-Normandie: A Norman Guy de Maupassant de Maupassant, Guy 33

Nord-Pas-de-Calais: The Voiceless Christian Garcin Garcin, Christian 45

Picardie: The Garden of Illusions Pierre Mac Orlan Orlan, Pierre Mac 61

Ile-de-France: Rue de l'Evangile Marcel Ayme Ayme, Marcel 69

Champagne Ardenne: Light Souls Stephane Emond Emond, Stephane 97

Lorraine: House in the Woods Stephane Emond Emond, Stephane 103

Alsace: The Phantom of Rainbow Street Didier Daeninckx Daeninckx, Didier 109

Pays-de-la-Loire: The Saviours of the White Wine Rene Bazin Bazin, Rene 129

Centre: The Cattle Man Daniel Boulanger Boulanger, Daniel 139

Bourgogne: Where Are the children? Colette 145

Franche-Comte: The Vanishing Louis Pergaud Pergaud, Louis 155

Poitou-Charentes: Julie Jacques Chardonne Chardonne, Jacques 165

Limousin: Four Walls Claude Michelet Michelet, Claude 191

Auvergne: A Mother's Tale Guy de Maupassant de Maupassant, Guy 203

Rhone-Alpes: The Bull from Jouvet Paul Hervieu Hervieu, Paul 213

Aquitaine: We Can't Go On Like This Anne-Marie Garat Garat, Anne-Marie 227

Midi-Pyrenees: The Flood Emile Zola Zola, Emile 255

Languedoc-Roussillon: The Beaucaire Coach Alphonse Daudet Daudet, Alphonse 297

Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur: The Pope's Mule Alphonse Daudet Daudet, Alphonse 305

Corse: Mateo Falcone Prosper Merimee Merimee, Prosper 321

Notes on the Stories 341

Selected Further Reading 348

Publisher's Acknowledgements 350

Map 352

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