preload preload preload preload

A New History of French Literature Denis Hollier Harvard University Press


30th April 2011 History Books 5 Comments

These two volumes, consisting of 164 essays written by American and European specialists, provide an original and outstanding overview of French literature from 842 to the present. Each essay is introduced by a date and arranged in chronological order. A brief headline follows the date, relating the essay to a major literary event. Essays, however, follow no specific format. Some are devoted to a genre, others to a major literary movement or historical event. Large surveys are also included. Social and cultural perspectives are present, including essays on women in French literature and art, viewed from philosophical as well as theoretical perspectives. Such a compilation runs the risk of being disjointed and uneven. What emerges, however, is a rich mosaic covering over 1000 years of French literature, beginning with the Serments de Strasbourg . Most of the scholars writing for these volumes bring to the task years of specialized research concerning areas and subjects they have written on extensively. This results in broad, inclusive, and associative essays that demonstrate depth as well as breadth. These pages can be read in sequence by the ambitious reader in search of a stimulating survey that goes beyond dates and summaries and that raises social, political, literary, and philosophical issues. The scholar, too, selecting essays at random, will find novel insights by peers that merit further consideration. There is no history of French literature of this nature on the market today, in French or in English. Highly recommended.
- Anthony Caprio, Oglethorpe Univ., Atlanta, Ga.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

An impressive volume…It is not to be thought of as an exhaustive reference book, nor is it designed to be read right through as a single text. Its mode d’emploi is that of the browser. And as such it is indeed–as the blurbs repeat to us–a triumph. Plunge in, almost at random, and you will come up with pearls like Leo Bersani on Proust, DeJean on the salons or the editor on May 1968, discourse and power. I shall come back to it often.
–Peter France (Times Literary Supplement )

This remarkable collection of brief essays on topics ranging from the Strasbourg Oaths of 842 to a 1983 broadcast of ‘Apostrophes,’ France’s celebrated television literary interview program, is far more than a survey of 12 centuries of writing in France. It is a fascinating, generally very readable and almost always unpredictable ramble through the thick and varied garden of culture tended for these many centuries by the French people. The volume’s editor, Denis Hollier, a professor of French at Yale University, has managed the considerable feat of compiling hundreds of brief essays by 164 mostly American scholars of French literature and to impose on the whole extraordinary unity. The result is a Francophile’s delight and a lucid, often entertaining display of erudition…You can drop your cup at random into this deep well of cultural history and almost always come up with something sweet and stimulating to drink.
–Richard Bernstein (New York Times )

An original and outstanding overview of French literature from 842 to the present…There is no history of French literature of this nature on the market today, in French or in English. Highly recommended.
–Anthony Caprio (Library Journal )

Despite the eclectic nature of the various contributions…they nonetheless form a coherent ensemble thanks to the coordinating skills of a sophisticated editorial board and to Renee Morel’s indispensable index…The fact is that this [book] has rendered its predecessors obsolete, making it one of a kind in its field today.
–Ernest Sturm (French Review )

Each and every chapter is chock full of illuminating and intriguing facts, and each one, rather than reserve the stage for one main actor, allows anyone who has something to say to take part in the fun. Stendhal, for instance, has two chapters devoted to his work–on his Romantic manifesto Racine et Shakespeare (1823), and another on his novel La charteuse de Parme (1893)–but his elegant shadow falls on dozens of other pages. Each chapter is announced by a date, a headline event and a theme, and is written by one of 165 academics collected by Hollier from both North America and Europe. And here one must marvel at Hollier’s achievement: academics who can write both intelligently and with humor. The mind boggles.
–Alberto Manguel (Globe and Mail )

This grandly imagined and executed history of French literature is without precedent in any language…Here are many of the best contemporary critics and theorists, writing with vivid originality…This volume is a triumph of editorial and critical intelligence.
–Richard Poirier (Raritan )

The fact is that A New History of French Literature has rendered its predecessors obsolete.
–Ernest Storm (French Review )

Exciting, riotous, irritating, invigorating, often provocative, always interesting. (L ‘Humanité-Dimanche )

For the first time, Marie de France, Marguerite de Navarre, Germaine de Staël, George Sand, and Colette have come forward as prize-winners.
–Claire Devarrieux (Liberation )

After all the lights from the festivities have been extinguished, after all the babble from the colloquia has stilled, and the celebration of the bicentennial of the French Revolution on both sides of the Atlantic comes to an end, one book will remain–this one.
–Pierre-Yves Pétillon (Critique )

This splendid introduction to French literature from 842 A.D. to the present decade is the most imaginative single-volume guide to the French literary tradition available in English.

Conceived for the general reader, this volume presents French literature not as a simple inventory of authors or titles, but rather as a historical and cultural field viewed from a wide array of contemporary critical perspectives. The book consists of 164 essays by American and European scholars, and covers the history of French literature from 842 to 1989.

An impressive volume…It is not to be thought of as an exhaustive reference book, nor is it designed to be read right through as a single text. Its mode d’emploi is that of the browser. And as such it is indeed–as the blurbs repeat to us–a triumph. Plunge in, almost at random, and you will come up with pearls like Leo Bersani on Proust, DeJean on the salons or the editor on May 1968, discourse and power. I shall come back to it often.
–Peter France

This remarkable collection of brief essays on topics ranging from the Strasbourg Oaths of 842 to a 1983 broadcast of ‘Apostrophes,’ France’s celebrated television literary interview program, is far more than a survey of 12 centuries of writing in France. It is a fascinating, generally very readable and almost always unpredictable ramble through the thick and varied garden of culture tended for these many centuries by the French people. The volume’s editor, Denis Hollier, a professor of French at Yale University, has managed the considerable feat of compiling hundreds of brief essays by 164 mostly American scholars of French literature and to impose on the whole extraordinary unity. The result is a Francophile’s delight and a lucid, often entertaining display of erudition…You can drop your cup at random into this deep well of cultural history and almost always come up with something sweet and stimulating to drink.
–Richard Bernstein

An original and outstanding overview of French literature from 842 to the present…There is no history of French literature of this nature on the market today, in French or in English. Highly recommended.
–Anthony Caprio

Despite the eclectic nature of the various contributions…they nonetheless form a coherent ensemble thanks to the coordinating skills of a sophisticated editorial board and to Renee Morel’s indispensable index…The fact is that this [book] has rendered its predecessors obsolete, making it one of a kind in its field today.
–Ernest Sturm

Each and every chapter is chock full of illuminating and intriguing facts, and each one, rather than reserve the stage for one main actor, allows anyone who has something to say to take part in the fun. Stendhal, for instance, has two chapters devoted to his work–on his Romantic manifesto Racine et Shakespeare , and another on his novel La charteuse de Parme –but his elegant shadow falls on dozens of other pages. Each chapter is announced by a date, a headline event and a theme, and is written by one of 165 academics collected by Hollier from both North America and Europe. And here one must marvel at Hollier’s achievement: academics who can write both intelligently and with humor. The mind boggles.
–Alberto Manguel

This grandly imagined and executed history of French literature is without precedent in any language…Here are many of the best contemporary critics and theorists, writing with vivid originality…This volume is a triumph of editorial and critical intelligence.
–Richard Poirier

The fact is that A New History of French Literature has rendered its predecessors obsolete.
–Ernest Storm

Exciting, riotous, irritating, invigorating, often provocative, always interesting.

For the first time, Marie de France, Marguerite de Navarre, Germaine de Staël, George Sand, and Colette have come forward as prize-winners.
–Claire Devarrieux

After all the lights from the festivities have been extinguished, after all the babble from the colloquia has stilled, and the celebration of the bicentennial of the French Revolution on both sides of the Atlantic comes to an end, one book will remain–this one.
–Pierre-Yves Pétillon

A New History of French Literature

One Hundred Great French Books: From the Middle Ages to the Present

“This work doesn’t contain a single boring entry; each one presents useful insights. Entries include a brief summary and commentary and run no more than two pages. A wide spectrum of literary genres, styles, and formats are covered.” Library Journal

“One hundred tasty, satisfying hors d’oeuvres to prepare the readers palate for the main coursethe actual reading of these great French books.” Bob Mitchell, author, Match Made in Heaven

“Elegant, evocative, and always to the point, this collection unerringly points the reader in the right direction, toward enjoying some of the greatest of the world’s literature.” Lynn Hunt, professor, modern European history, UCLA

“This witty and learned presentation of ‘One Hundred Great French Books’ is a delight. It offers a pithy overview of French and francophone literature . . . and will whet the appetite of newcomers and seasoned readers of French alike.” Cathy Yandell, French professor, Carleton College

“Deft and illuminating . . . an enjoyably subjective trawl through different literary genres, from novels and poetry to plays and short storiesand a great deal more . . . Mr. Donaldson-Evans is expert at detecting the wider cultural effects that certain French books have had.” Wall Street Journal

“Readers will appreciate this concise and vibrantly written invitation to survey the best and brightest authors of one of the great literatures on the planet . . . Enjoy!” Franois Rigolot, professor, French literature, Princeton University

Proving that French literature has been a consistent and powerful source of cultural influence on an international level, this provocative and concise collection of 100 timeless French masterworks spans10 centuries. Featuring a broad spectrum of literary genres, styles, and formatswith the entertaining inclusion of comic books, detective novels, and science fictionthis illuminating introduction provides cultural and social context to emphasize the importance of each work in literary history. Detailing each author’s background, historical significance, and a focused summary of content, this fresh and lucid compilation offers a rich panorama of one of the most fascinating and influential literatures in the world and will inspire aficionados of great writing to seek out the complete featured masterpieces for themselves.


One Hundred Great French Books: From the Middle Ages to the Present










  • 5 responses to "A New History of French Literature Denis Hollier Harvard University Press"

  • Youri Carma
    19:32 on April 29th, 2011
    Reply to comment

    The book is very interesting and very well written. It is composed of individual articles and essays rather than chapters, which makes it very refreshing. In this book, French Literature is placed in its historical, political, social, and philosophical context. This approach allows the reader to make more sense of the authors as well the texts. Literature is also viewed in the context of other artistic manifestations as well as in its different media. The only downside that I found is that, since the book does not aim to be exhaustive, some authors do not seem to find their place in it, Duras and Yourcenar for example.

  • briansp
    18:08 on April 30th, 2011
    Reply to comment

    France has been a great cultural center through all of its existence. “One Hundred Great French Books” is a guide to a collection of the greatest works of French literature. From the oral traditions of the Song of Roland, stating that God will not allow a death of solider of Charlemagne be unavenged, to more popular works such as the Hunchback of Notre Dame, “One Hundred Great French Books” is a treasure trove of information about the best of French literature, a fine addition to literary studies collections.

  • clomid pcos
    1:54 on May 1st, 2011
    Reply to comment

    One Hundred Great French Books: From The Middle Ages To Present was written by Lance Donaldson-Evans and released by Blue Ridge Publishers on March 31, 2010.

    One Hundred Great French Books is a glorious compilation of many of the books we have grown to love and a few we had simply forgotten. This book lays out with quick and beautiful detail, the story behind the author, characters and plot origin of each book while providing the reader with a generous synopsis of each. One Hundred Great French Books has well written and descriptive passages that will fuel your need to read the poignant and timeless works of literary art synopsized between its pages. This book is a wonderful reference tool not only for a student but also for the avid reader and lover of the written word.
    From such works as, La Chanson de Roland(ca. 1095 The Song Of Roland )to La Possibilite’ d’une ile(2005 The Possibility Of An Island), the choices abound. If, after reading One Hundred Great French Books you still have not found that which you seek, the author invites you to explore 50 more wonderful French titles in the Afterword. Every genre imaginable spills forth in One Hundred Great French Books and a tickling of intrigue can be felt for them all. Merci beaucoup Lance Donaldson-Evans for this highly enlightening read.
    WebbWeaver Reviews

  • Mike_mk
    10:15 on May 2nd, 2011
    Reply to comment

    As a former student of Dr. Lance Donaldson-Evans,’ I bought this book to read what he considers great literature in the present. I find his comments enlightening and marked by his good humor. I especially liked his comments about Zola. A good read.

  • that sucked!
    23:24 on May 2nd, 2011
    Reply to comment

    This is a terrific introduction to French literature from the Middle Ages to modern times. Each entry is summed up briefly with a commentary so that no more than two pages are provided on those included. Starting with the classic Song of Roland and including well known works by renowned authors like Sartre, de Troyes, Pascal, Moliere, Racine, Hugo and others; One Hundred Great French Books is a great introduction to some of the best works ever. However, what makes this so complete is genres normally ignored by English literature anthologies, but not by Lance Donaldson-Evans. For instance the editor also includes the comic book Asterix by Goscinny and Uderzo. With a wide gamut of genres, formats and centuries including twenty-fist century works like W, or Memory of Childhood by Perec, readers will relish this fine easy to use guide that says oui oui Francais.

    Harriet Klausner

  • Leave a Reply

    * Required
    ** Your Email is never shared