New PDF release: A Short History of French Literature

By Sarah Kay, Terence Cave, Malcolm Bowie

ISBN-10: 0198159315

ISBN-13: 9780198159315

During this lucid and cutting edge quantity, 3 unusual students hint this heritage of French literature from its beginnings to the current day. From the oral, volatile nameless works of the early center a while 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 imaginitive experimentation of the 20 th, a brief heritage of French Literature demonstrates the area value of French literature, and the intense richness of its variety. the 3 major components of the amount disguise the center a long time, the Early glossy interval, and the trendy interval, and provide wide-ranging, own, and particular assurance of significant writers and events. Writing for the basic reader up to for college students, the authors diversity expertly among authors and their works, ancient occasions, and literary activities, providing as an entire an authoritative and leading edge account of the background of French literature.

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The Eastern and Western churches had long been at loggerheads, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Franciscans and Dominicans struggled for control of the universities, and for several brief periods there were even rival popes shoring up competing claims to the Holy See. It is true that the Church used accusations of heresy, or the threat of excommunication or interdiction, to police its members, but its persecutions tended to be inconsistent and inefficient. Only its own errant theologians were pursued with any rigour although the Inquisition, established in the early thirteenth century in order to combat the Cathar heresy, was active in Occitania for a period.

In the mid-twelfth century, the French king had less direct control over land and resources than the count of Champagne, and far less than the English-based Henry Plantagenet. After marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152, Henry commanded not only his father’s lands of Anjou and Maine, and the duchy of Normandy, which his father had conquered in 1144, but also immense estates in south-western France: Poitou, and the vast territory of Aquitaine. When he was then crowned King Henry II of England in 1154, he controlled an empire stretching from the Pyrenees to Scotland.

We can have only an approximate knowledge of what early medieval texts were like. Not only are many of them unattributed, they are also undated and—to a considerable extent— undatable. Much effort has been devoted to narrowing the timeframes within which particular works may have been composed, by identifying possible allusions to contemporary events, or the influence of one text on another. But the findings of such research often remain open to dispute while, to some scholars, it is fruitless even to attempt to identify a determinate point of origin for texts that live and evolve in an at least partly oral tradition.

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


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