The articles assembled in Culture Wars and Literature in the French Third Republic describe and analyze the ever-widening attempts in the early years of the Third Republic (1870-1914) to mobilize literary phenomena for the purposes of political and social warfare. Literature became the preferred site in which the human implications of the fiercest and most widespread of these culture wars, the battles over national identity waged between proponents of secular and religious education, were articulated, dramatized and appraised. In studies of Erckmann-Chatrian and Vallès, Rachilde and Colette, the Goncourt brothers and Marcelle Tinayre, La Fontaine and Corneille, the song-writer Jules Jouy and the theater critic Francisque Sarcey among others, some of these essays open up new perspectives on well-known issues such as education, the definition of national classics, Boulangism and women’s liberation, while others bring to light hitherto unsuspected connections between apparently disparate problems like decadence, anarchism and feminism, the mystery of literariness and the ban on Muslim headscarves, or the posthumous publication of private letters and the State’s interest in cultural and literary heroes. The final piece crystallizes the fundamental conflict of democratization: the tension between the republican desire for popular participation and the fear of the consequences of that participation by an uncultured public.
In The Enemy Within, Gilbert D. Chaitin deepens our understanding of the nature and sources of culture wars during the French Third Republic. The psychological trauma caused by the Ferry educational reform laws of 1880-1882, which strove to create a new national identity based on secular morality rather than God-given commandments, pitted Catholics against proponents of lay education and gave rise to novels by Bourget, Barrès, A. France, and Zola. By deploying Lacanian concepts to understand the "erotics of politics" revealed in these novels, Chaitin examines the formation of national identity, offering a new intellectual history of the period and shedding light on the intimate relations among literature, education, philosophy, morality, and political order. The mechanisms described in The Enemy Within provide fresh insight into the affective structure of culture wars not only in the French Third Republic but elsewhere in the world today.
This book explores literature in its role as a sacred text within the confines of 19th-century French primary and secondary education, helping the school to take over the role of spiritual authority from the Catholic Church.
Victims of the Book uncovers a long-neglected but once widespread subgenre: the fin-de-si?cle novel of formation in France. Novels about and geared toward adolescent male readers were imbued with a deep worry over young Frenchmen's masculinity, as evidenced by titles like Crise de jeunesse (Youth in Crisis, 1897), La Crise virile (Crisis of Virility, 1898), La Vie st?rile (A Sterile Life, 1892), and La Mortelle Impuissance (Deadly Impotence, 1903). In this book, Fran?ois Proulx examines a wide panorama of these novels, many of which have rarely been studied, as well as polemical essays, pedagogical articles, and medical treatises on the perceived threats posed by young Frenchmen's reading habits. Against this cultural backdrop, he illuminates all that was at stake in representations of the male reader by prominent novelists of the period, including Jules Vall?s, Paul Bourget, Maurice Barr?s, Andr? Gide, and Marcel Proust. In the final decades of the nineteenth century, social commentators insistently characterized excessive reading as an emasculating illness that afflicted French youth. Fin-de-si?cle writers responded to this pathologization of reading with a profusion of novels addressed to young male readers, paradoxically proposing their own novels as potential cures. In the early twentieth century, this corpus was critically revisited by a new generation of writers. Victims of the Book shows how Gide and Proust in particular reworked the fin-de-si?cle paradox to subvert cultural norms about literature and masculinity, proposing instead a queer pact between writer and reader.
French Vocal Literature: Repertoire in Context introduces singers to the history and performance concerns of a vast body of French songs from the twelfth century to the present, focusing on works for solo voice or small vocal ensembles with piano or organ accompaniment, suitable for recitals, concerts, and church performances. Georgine Resick presents vocal repertoire within the context of trends and movements of other artistic disciplines, such as poetry, literature, dance, painting, and decorative arts, as well as political and social currents pertinent to musical evolution. Developments in French style and genre—and comparisons among individual composers and national styles—are traced through a network of musical influence. French Vocal Literature is ideally suited for voice teachers and coaches as well as student and professional performers. The companion website, frenchvocalliterature.com, provides publication information, a discography, links to online recordings and scores, a chronology of events pertinent to music, a genealogy of royal dynasties, and a list of governmental regimes.
In the wake of the Second World War, Samuel Beckett wrote some of the most significant literary works of the 20th century. This is the first full-length historical study to examine the far-reaching impact of the war on Beckett's creative and intellectual sensibilities. Drawing on a substantial body of archival material, including letters, manuscripts, diaries and interviews, as well as a wealth of historical sources, this book explores Beckett's writing in a range of political contexts, from the racist dogma of Nazism and aggressive traditionalism of the Vichy regime to Irish neutrality censorship and the politics of recovery in the French Fourth Republic. Along the way, Samuel Beckett and the Second World War casts new light on Beckett's political commitments and his concepts of history as they were formed during Europe's darkest hour.
In Genius Envy, Adrianna M. Paliyenko uncovers a forgotten history: the multiplicity and diversity of nineteenth-century French women’s poetic voices. Conservative critics of the time attributed the phenomenon of genius to masculinity and dismissed the work of female authors as “feminine literature.” Despite the efforts of leading thinkers, critics, and literary historians to erase women from the pages of literary history, Paliyenko shows how these female poets invigorated the debate about the origins of genius and garnered considerable recognition in their time for their creativity and bold aesthetic ideas. This fresh account of French women poets’ contributions to literature probes the history of their critical reception. The result is an encounter with the texts of celebrated writers such as Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Anaïs Ségalas, Malvina Blanchecotte, Louisa Siefert, and Louise Ackermann. Glimpses at the different stages of each poet’s career show that these women explicitly challenged the notion of genius as gender specific, thus advocating for their rightful place in the canon. A prodigious contribution to studies of nineteenth-century French poetry, Paliyenko’s book reexamines the reception of poetry by women within and beyond its original context. This balanced and comprehensive treatment of their work uncovers the multiple ways in which women poets sought to define their place in history.
Destruction of Cultural Heritage in 19th Century France charts the destruction of earlier architecture as towns pull down their walls, build modern houses, welcome railways and, except for a few scholars, forget about the past. Heritage was largely scorned, and identity found in modernity, not in the past.
Many of the novels analyzed in this study enjoyed mitigated success in France when they were first published, and are all but forgotten today. Societal conditions gave female writers secondary status and repressed the expression of subversive ideas regarding young women. These novels mark the birth of French interest in the documentation and shaping of young female experience through literature. Literary portrayals of the unique space of female adolescence reveal hopes and fears concerning the future, gender relations, social institutions, and a country's place in the world. --
Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jewish army officer, spent twelve years from 1894 to 1906 in solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit. Amidst the dramatic and shifting revelations of what would come to be known throughout the world as the Dreyfus Affair, four influential authors reassessed their moral convictions on the civic questions posed by this abuse. Emile Zola, Maurice Barrès, Bernard Lazare, and Marcel Proust offered fictive articulations of response to these questions. Among them, national citizenship and the roles of secularism and public education, as well as tolerance of Jews and other immigrants to France, loom largest. The four authors considered dilemmas still unresolved in the modern democratic cultures of Europe today. Moreover, as this critical study illuminates, the writers in effect were teaching readers to negotiate individual desires and collective purpose and to assess their own values as the effects of Dreyfus continued to ripple through society.
The Third Republic of France was characterized by weak and short-term governments. This book is a study of three writers, Georges Sorel, Maurice Barres, and Charles Maurras, their writings in the years between 1885 and 1914, and their reactions to the deficiencies they saw in the Third Republic and in the system of French democracy. The study begins in 1885 with the appearance of certain new political factors. It ends in 1914 because the three writers had by this time completed their original contributions to the thought of the country, even if not their total impact on France.A relative position of each of these figures in the French political spectrum is deduced from a combination of attitudes toward a number of issues. These include the extent of economic and social reform, centralization of the power of the state, the nature of the parliamentary system, the desirability of political parties, the relation of Church and State, the responsibility of authority, the use of force or coercion, and national power versus international collaboration. Their views span the political spectrum.Sorel, Barres, and Maurras are important not only because they provided the chief ideological weapons for the attack on the regime but also, in a wider context, because they contribute significantly to understanding of a later period of European political history. In their contemporary significance, all three illustrated the various attitudes of the conservative, the .reactionary, and the moralist. The names and parties may have changed but the same ideas continue to impact French politics and western ideology today. This is a key book for an epoch whose importance lingers in current discourse.