This book provides an engaging, accessible, and exciting new history of French literature from the Renaissance through the twentieth century, from Rabelais and Marguerite de Navarre to Samuel Beckett and Assia Djebar. Christopher Prendergast, one of today's most distinguished authorities on French literature, has gathered a transatlantic group of more than thirty leading scholars who provide original essays on carefully selected writers, works, and topics that open a window onto key chapters of French literary history. The book begins in the sixteenth century with the formation of a modern national literary consciousness, and ends in the late twentieth century with the idea of the "national" coming increasingly into question as inherited meanings of "French" and "Frenchness" expand beyond the geographical limits of mainland France.
- Provides an exciting new account of French literary history from the Renaissance to the end of the twentieth century
- Features more than thirty original essays on key writers, works, and topics, written by a distinguished transatlantic group of scholars
- Includes an introduction and index
The contributors include Etienne Beaulieu, Christopher Braider, Peter Brooks, Mary Ann Caws, David Coward, Nicholas Cronk, Edwin M. Duval, Mary Gallagher, Raymond Geuss, Timothy Hampton, Nicholas Harrison, Katherine Ibbett, Michael Lucey, Susan Maslan, Eric Méchoulan, Hassan Melehy, Larry F. Norman, Nicholas Paige, Roger Pearson, Christopher Prendergast, Jean-Michel Rabaté, Timothy J. Reiss, Sarah Rocheville, Pierre Saint-Amand, Clive Scott, Catriona Seth, Judith Sribnai, Joanna Stalnaker, Aleksandar Stević, Kate E. Tunstall, Steven Ungar, and Wes Williams.
Christopher Prendergast is professor emeritus of French literature at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of King's College and the British Academy. He is the general editor of the Penguin Proust, and his many books include Mirages and Mad Beliefs: Proust the Skeptic (Princeton).
"In this splendid essay anthology, Prendergast gathers a stellar cast of scholars to provide a wide-ranging and thoughtful introduction to French literature. . . . [E]very contribution here brings the history of French literature to vivid life, providing rich insights and inviting well-repaid rereading."--Publishers Weekly
"This is a tremendous achievement, bringing into a single volume much of the best writing and thinking on French literature that is currently available anywhere. It is highly readable, full of energetically pursued arguments, and it will last for a long time, precisely because its notions of history are so flexible and imaginative. The book proves that the history of literature can only benefit from disciplined speculation about the possibilities of the past."—Michael Wood, professor emeritus, Princeton University
Table of Contents
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Christopher Prendergast: