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French Global: A New Approach to Literary History

Edited by Christie McDonald and Susan Rubin Suleiman

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Paper, 576 pages, 2 illus.
ISBN: 978-0-231-14741-5
$32.00 / £22.00

October, 2010
Cloth, 576 pages, 2 illus.
ISBN: 978-0-231-14740-8
$95.00 / £65.50

Recasting French literary history in terms of the cultures and peoples that interacted within and outside of France's national boundaries, this volume offers a new way of looking at the history of a national literature, along with a truly global and contemporary understanding of language, literature, and culture.

The relationship between France's national territory and other regions of the world where French is spoken and written (most of them former colonies) has long been central to discussions of "Francophonie." Boldly expanding such discussions to the whole range of French literature, the essays in this volume explore spaces, mobilities, and multiplicities from the Middle Ages to today. They rethink literary history not in terms of national boundaries, as traditional literary histories have done, but in terms of a global paradigm that emphasizes border crossings and encounters with "others." Contributors offer new ways of reading canonical texts and considering other texts that are not part of the traditional canon. By emphasizing diverse conceptions of language, text, space, and nation, these essays establish a model approach that remains sensitive to the specificities of time and place and to the theoretical concerns informing the study of national literatures in the twenty-first century.

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About the Author

Christie McDonald is Smith Professor of French Language and Literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University. Her books include The Extravagant Shepherd: A Study of the Pastoral Vision in Rousseau's Nouvelle Héloïse, Dispositions on Music and Text, The Dialogue of Writing: Essays in Eighteenth-Century Literature, and The Proustian Fabric. Susan Rubin Suleiman is C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University. Her books include Crises of Memory and the Second World War, Authoritarian Fictions: The Ideological Novel as a Literary Genre, and Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Garde.

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