Nobody disputes the modern relevance of Marguerite Yourcenar’s work. Back in 1981, when she was the first woman to be elected to the Académie Française, her work was received enthusiastically, rather deferentially even; there was something of an aura surrounding it with the media attention her election attracted. But this time is now past and more recent research activity has taken a new turn, with critical attention focusing on Yourcenar’s roots in her own century. The study of traditional major themes – death, the sacred, nature, history etc. – has given way to the study of more comparative, theoretical issues such as the relationship between text and images, and more incisive issues such as ecology, gender, political activism etc. And her work seems to expand accordingly, offering up a seemingly inexhaustible supply of subject matter, not only through her novels but also through her novellas, her many essays, plays, letters and so on.
The primary objective of the «Yourcenar» series is to publish monographs, collected volumes, conference proceedings and volumes resulting from doctoral research which will give our intended public of academics and Yourcenar devotees a regularly updated idea of the state of the art in the field. Cross-disciplinary approaches are encouraged. The intention is to publish two volumes per year, in either English or French. The collection is directed by Francesca Counihan (Maynooth University) and Bérengère Deprez (Université catholique de Louvain).