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Narratives of French Modernity

Themes, Forms and Metamorphoses- Essays in Honour of David Gascoigne


Edited By Lorna Milne and Mary Orr

Inspired by the work of their colleague David Gascoigne, a group of scholars from the UK and France examine in this book the narrative strategies of some of the most interesting and important French writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Stretching chronologically from 1905 to 2005, the volume examines a wide variety of prose genres, from pornography to Bildungsroman to magic realism, as well as poetry. Michel Tournier figures in several of the contributions, emerging as something of a touchstone for many of the thematic preoccupations that are common throughout the period: values and authority, self and other, identity, spirituality, migration and exile, sexuality, the body, violence and war, and language. The authors also examine the flourishing of intertextuality, as well as the use of traditional forms, such as mythical structures and the ‘robinsonade’, to undermine authoritative ‘métarécits’. Probing these themes and forms, and their metamorphoses across 100 years, the essays demonstrate a striking degree of continuity, linking writers as different as Apollinaire and Houellebecq or Valéry and Fleutiaux, and highlight the difficulty of dividing the period neatly into chronologically ordered categories labelled ‘modern’ or ‘postmodern’.


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Notes on Contributors -339


Notes on Contributors Susan Bainbrigge is Senior Lecturer in French at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on twentieth-century and contempo- rary French literature and autobiography studies, especially in relation to Simone de Beauvoir. More recent research has taken her into the field of Belgian francophone literature and she has edited, with Jeanette den Toonder, a book on Amélie Nothomb. She is currently working on Belgian francophone cultural and literary identity. Anne Chevalier, formerly Professor of French Literature at the University of Caen, works on questions relating to literary texts in the twentieth cen- tury: prose and poetry, autobiographical writing, intertextuality, the rep- resentation of space, and childhood. She has published articles and essays and has edited a number of important works, including Proust’s Albertine disparue for the Pléiade edition of À la Recherche du temps perdu. She has also edited texts by Larbaud, translated from English and Spanish: Lettres de Paris (Gallimard, 2001), and Du Navire d’argent (Gallimard, 2003). She is a contributor to the Dictionnaire Marcel Proust, edited by A. Bouillaguet and B. G. Rogers (Honoré Champion, 2004). David Evans is Lecturer in French at the University of St Andrews and works on poetic rhythm and the relationship between poetry and music. He has published Rhythm, Illusion and the Poetic Idea: Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé (Rodopi, 2004) and articles on Théodore de Banville and Michel Houellebecq. He has edited, with Kate Grif fiths, Haunting Presences: Ghosts in French Literature and Culture (University of Wales Press, 2009)...

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