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Stéphane Gerson

Parti « sur les traces d’un inconnu » au dix-neuvième siècle, Le Monde retrouvé de Louis-François Pinagot marque, non pas un tournant, mais une étape significative dans l’oeuvre d’Alain Corbin. Ce livre détonne dans l’historiographie contemporaine, interpellant ses lecteurs dans sa conception et dans sa rhétorique. Il le fait dès ses premières pages, surtout dans ses premières pages: un « prélude » singulier, mélange de voix, de genres, de caractères typographiques qui appréhende Louis-François Pinagot, l’énigmatique sabotier percheron, dans sa présence et dans son absence. « Louis-François Pinagot a existé », lance Corbin en ouverture, avant de présenter l’ouvrage, un peu plus loin, comme une « méditation sur la disparition1 ».

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Edward C. Knox

In the last ten to fifteen years, at least twenty personal narratives and sets of essays have appeared, recounting attempts by Americans to fit in, to belong at some level in France. These texts, of which Adam Gopnik’s Paris to the Moon is probably the best known, have by now become a full-fledged genre, one that appears, moreover, to be more prominent on France than on any other country or culture, with Italy/Tuscany as the only competitor. Two became bestsellers (Gopnik and Sedaris) and a third (Kaplan) was a National Book Award finalist. Nor is this an isolated phenomenon, as Carolyn Durham demonstrates in the area of fiction elsewhere in this issue.

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Marie-Ève Thérenty

This article describes the results developed in the recently published La Civilisation du journal, histoire culturelle et littéraire de la presse (ed. Dominique Kalifa, Philippe Régnier, Marie-Ève Thérenty, and Alain Vaillant), a collaboration between historians and literary scholars working together for eight years to write a synthesis about the history of the French press during the nineteenth century. It offers a comprehensive encyclopedia of journalism, the genres and forms of the periodical press, the principal figures of nineteenth-century French journalism, and the modern culture of the press. The article describes the different projects between history and literature that could be developed after this project. This kind of methodology should be extended to the relations between press and literature during the twentieth century, to women's journalism and to the globalization of the media during the nineteenth century. These projects could be developed with the help of the website Médias19.

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Available in Hell

Germaine Tillion's Operetta of Resistance at Ravensbrück

Donald Reid

Pierre Vidal-Naquet called the three studies resister Germaine Tillion had published in 1946, 1973, and 1988, on the concentration camp to which she had been sent, her “three Ravensbrücks.”4 Although resistance is important in each, these works focus primarily on the relation of exploitation to extermination in the camps. There is, however, a first, or perhaps a fourth, “Ravensbrück,” which is neither a memoir nor a history like the other three. In it, the state of resistance in which Tillion lived her deportation comes to the fore. Inspired by Jacques Offenbach’s L’Orphée aux Enfers, Tillion wrote Le Verfügbar aux Enfers in late 1944 at Ravenbrück, after having spent a year incarcerated there. Like David Rousset’s frequent reference to Père Ubu in L’Univers concentrationnaire (1946), his essay on Buchenwald, Tillion’s operetta reminds us that the genres we usually call on to present the horrific in the normal world may be lacking when the horrific is the norm.

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Dennis A. Gilbert

At a time when a "return to Sartre" is being heralded in France and elsewhere in preparation for the celebration of the centennial of his birth, it seems appropriate to ponder the nature and tenor of this renewal. To which aspects of Sartre's work are we returning as the centennial approaches, and are we doing so with fresh eyes or with the same critical prejudices that have obscured our appreciation of this work in the past? If one looks for answers to Bernard-Henri Lévy (aka BHL), the principal instigator of this current renewal, with specific regard to the genre that interests us in these pages—the theater—one is going to be sorely disappointed. For while Lévy considers Sartre "the first [writer]—the only [writer]—to know how to split himself equally well between being a theoretician and an accomplished storyteller," he lavishes this praise solely on the theory and practice of Sartre's novels: "The concept of engagement is not a political concept stressing the social duties of the writer; it is a philosophical concept highlighting the metaphysical powers of language. … Sartre … has never really written a novel with a [totalizing] thesis or message" (BHL 85, 86).

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Adrian van den Hoven

Neither the apparently cold-blooded murder of a complete stranger, the central event in The Stranger, nor Hugo's murder of Hoederer in Dirty Hands—a political assassination or crime of passion, depending on how one views it—can be considered unusual acts, in literature or in life. The topic of murder has itself created an extremely popular genre: the detective novel or "whodunit," which has become a huge industry and has aficionados everywhere, Sartre being one. In French theater, the topic of political assassination has resulted in such famous plays as de Musset's Lorenzaccio (1834), which ostensibly deals with Florence in the sixteenth century and the tyrannical Alexandre de Médicis, who is assassinated by his young cousin, but is in fact "a limpid transposition of the failed revolution of July 1830." It is well known that Sartre was an admirer of Musset and Romantic theater. In 1946, Jean Cocteau, who helped with the staging of Les Mains sales (Dirty Hands), wrote L'Aigle ` deux têtes (The Two-Headed Eagle), which was inspired "by the sad life of Empress Elisabeth of Austria and her tragic death by the hand of the Franco-Italian assassin, Luigi Lucheni." Sartre himself, in Nausea, has Anny use the engraving in Michelet's Histoire de France depicting the assassination of the Duke de Guise as a perfect illustration of "privileged situations."

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Edited by Ârash Aminian Tabrizi, Kate Kirkpatrick, and Marieke Mueller

papers here – nearly 40 were presented. But the articles that follow provide an excellent demonstration of the ways that Sartre – himself proficient in an enormous variety of intellectual domains and textual genres – continues to provoke readers from

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Camille Robcis and Benjamin Poole

. While the massive scope of his project precludes close analysis of specific shows and broadcasts, Bourdon offers an innovative solution to this challenge, examining the evolution of different television genres. Several chapters tackle various genres

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La flânerie au feuilleton?

Quotidien et modernité critique chez Siegfried Kracauer

Catherine Nesci

nombreuses, surtout si on considère que Muhlmann mène son étude hors contexte, historique ou national, et sans considération ou problématisation des divers genres journalistiques. L’interprétation minutieuse et novatrice qu’elle fait des essais benjaminiens

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Searching for What Is Already Found

Ivan Jablonka and the Life of a Nobody

Melanie Hawthorne

that even a nobody could become a representative of a certain type of life. The difference between these two poles—1889 and 1998—enables us to measure how far our notion of biography has evolved. The genre of graphic (written) accounts of a life (bios