A History of French Literature: From Chanson de geste to by David Coward
By David Coward
This amazing quantity offers a whole historical past of the literature of France from its origins to the current day, taking us past conventional definitions of ‘literature' into the realm of the best-seller and, past phrases, to photo fiction and cinema
• provides a definitive background of the literature of France from its origins to the current day.
• accommodates insurance of Francophone writing in Europe, Canada, the West Indies and North and Sub-Saharan Africa.
• hyperlinks the improvement of literature to the mentalities and social stipulations which produced it.
• Takes us past “literature” to review picture fiction, cinema and the bestseller.
• Maps the increase of the highbrow, and in so doing charts a development from literary doctrine to serious theory.
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Additional resources for A History of French Literature: From Chanson de geste to Cinema
The same imaginative input colours the cult of the Virgin – intercessor and inspiration – which was expressed in verse compilations like Gautier de Coinci’s Les Miracles de Notre Dame (1214–27). 20 THE MIDDLE AGES But devotional literature was not only evangelical, it was admonitory. 1206) denounced hypocrisy and materialism just as, a century later, Gervais de Bus’s acronymic Le Roman de Fauvel (written 1301–14) attacked Flatterie, Avarice, U/Vilenie, Variété, Envie and Lâcheté. 1260) by Philippe de Novare described the moral conduct appropriate to each of the ‘four ages of man’.
Later lyric poetry If theatre remained attached to its Christian mission and history clung to the glamour of chivalry, lyric poetry after Rutebeuf kept faith with courtly love and built on its semi-ﬁxed forms. The lover’s congé became at Arras a more general farewell lyric; the tenso, a dialogue about love, turned into the more tightly organized jeu parti; the ballade, originally a dance lyric, found a place beside the more relaxed rondeau and the formal chant royal before being annexed permanently for French prosody by Machaut and Villon.
1106) recounts not the life of the sixth-century abbot of Clonfert but his fantastic voyage, which has both elements of Celtic myth and echoes of the Arabian Nights. But if Brendan at least has roots in history, later hagiographers borrowed from epic and romance to glorify purely ﬁctitious martyrs, as in the case of Godefroi de Bouillon, King of Jerusalem. Yet in a sense, such developments grew out of the limitations of the genre. Stories about good people are usually duller than tales of the wicked and authors had always generated excitement by stressing miracles and the trials of martyrs: Saint Laurent toasted on his griddle or Saint Margaret emerging unscathed from the belly of the dragon.