Download A Short History of French Literature by Sarah Kay, Terence Cave, Malcolm Bowie PDF

By Sarah Kay, Terence Cave, Malcolm Bowie

During this lucid and leading edge quantity, 3 distinctive students hint this heritage of French literature from its beginnings to the current day. From the oral, volatile nameless works of the early heart a long time through the emergence of a print tradition within the Renaissance, via to the tried codification of genres and kinds within the 19th century and the innovative experimentation of the 20 th, a brief historical past of French Literature demonstrates the area value of French literature, and the intense richness of its diversity. the 3 major elements of the quantity hide the center a long time, the Early glossy interval, and the fashionable interval, and provide wide-ranging, own, and exact insurance of significant writers and activities. Writing for the normal reader up to for college kids, the authors variety expertly among authors and their works, ancient occasions, and literary hobbies, delivering as an entire an authoritative and cutting edge account of the background of French literature.

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Extra resources for A Short History of French Literature

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The matter of France consists in stories purportedly drawn from French history, usually set in the reign of Charlemagne or one of his successors, and usually (though not always) associated with chansons de geste. Probably the most famous of these is the Chanson de Roland which describes Charlemagne’s wars in Spain and the loss of his nephew, Roland, in the battle of Rencesvals. Les Saisnes is a sequel to 42 the middle ages: earliest texts to 1470 the Roland in which Charlemagne and his surviving nephew subdue Germany, and so in preferring the matter of France to the two others, Bodel is not innocent of self-promotion.

The word mester means ‘craft’, but also ‘service’ and even ‘ministry’: faire lo Deu mester, for example, is to recite the Holy Office. If the spontaneity of Bernart’s song echoes the nightingale’s, it also encapsulates the supreme value of a joyous, quasi-religious, ecstatic love. In the next stanza he turns to economic imagery, boasting his supreme ‘wealth’ as a lover. His joy arises from contemplating his lady, so lovely that it would take a year adequately to praise her. In imagination he is with her; and yet in reality he is far away.

Throughout the Middle Ages the kings of France sat squeezed uncomfortably between these two powerful and heavily militarized neighbours, their vulnerability especially exposed by the humiliations of the Hundred Years War with England (1337–1453). Another source of their discomfort, in the later Middle Ages, was the rapid economic growth and successful urbanization of two more of their neighbours: the Low Countries to the north and the city states of northern Italy to the south. French kings made repeated efforts to consolidate their power within the modern hexagon, but successes depended heavily on the military, diplomatic, and administrative skills of individual kings.

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