In this article we present the ongoing theoretical discussions concerning
the relations between anthropology and literature in France.
We recall the historical relationship of a part of French anthropology
and the world of literature. We then try to show how the anthropology
of literature began by using the model of the anthropology of
art, mainly concentrating on literary works as individual creations
specific to the style or the cosmology of a given writer. We explore a
new perspective on the analysis of the social and symbolic meanings
of literary worlds, putting the emphasis on what is called ‘ethnocriticism’
in France. In order to understand better the influence of literature
and literary motives on contemporary cultural practices, and
to grasp the relation of literary works with the outside world and with
everyday life, we propose to build up a comparative approach of literary
works and rituals. Through different novels or other literary
works, we address possible developments of contemporary anthropologies
of literature in France.