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French literature on screen is a multi-author volume whose eleven chapters plus an introduction offer case histories of the screen versions of major literary works by such authors as Victor Hugo, Marcel Proust, Françoise Sagan, and George Simenon. Written by leading experts in the field, the various chapters in this volume offer insightful investigations of the artistic, cultural, and industrial processes that have made screen versions of French literary classics a central element of the national cinema.

French literature on screen breaks new scholarly ground by offering the first trans-national account of this important cultural development. These film adaptations have been important in both the American and British cinemas as well. English language screen adaptations of French literature evince the complexity of the relationship between the two texts, the two media, as well as opening up new avenues to explore studio decisions to contract and distribute this particular type of ‘foreign’ cinema to American and British audiences. In many respects, the ‘foreign’ quality of master works of the French literary canon remain their appeal over the decades from the silent era to the present.

The essays in this volume also address theoretical concerns about the interdependent relationship between literary and film texts; the status of the ‘author’, and the process of interpretation will be addressed in these essays, as will dialogical, intertextual, and transtextual approaches to adaptation.

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Intertextuality in the fiction and criticism
Author: Daniela Caselli

This is a study on the literary relation between Beckett and Dante. It is a reading of Samuel Beckett and Dante's works and a critical engagement with contemporary theories of intertextuality. The book gives a reading of Beckett's work, detecting previously unknown quotations, allusions to, and parodies of Dante in Beckett's fiction and criticism. It is aimed at the scholarly communities interested in literatures in English, literary and critical theory, comparative literature and theory, French literature and theory and Italian studies.

The popular novel in France
Diana Holmes

HolmesLooseley_01_TextC.indd 87 29/11/2012 10:50 88 Imagining the popular is only about itself, or that it can teach only despair, are wrong’(Todorov 2007: 72).4 Novelist Nancy Huston wittily debunked the orthodoxy of pessimism in Professeurs de désespoir (Teachers of Despair, 2004) and argued for the moral and aesthetic significance of fictional stories in L’Espèce fabulatrice (The Story-telling Species, 2008). This shared diagnosis of a French literature, and particularly a French novel, more radically divided than elsewhere between ‘high’ and ‘low’ brows, is borne out

in Imagining the popular in contemporary French culture
French fiction and Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood
Avril Horner

Gothic writing might seem somewhat anomalous. However, in this chapter I shall argue that Djuna Barnes’s most famous work, Nightwood, which was written in Europe and published in 1936, engages with French literature in a number of ways in order to develop its own transatlantic Gothic agenda. I shall therefore try to retrieve Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood as a Gothic text and, in so doing, trace its

in European Gothic
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Catherine Maxwell and Stefano Evangelista

, Evangelista traces Swinburne’s responses to Matthew Arnold, focusing in particular on the young Swinburne’s challenge to the older critic who was held as the foremost English authority on French literature and cosmopolitan culture. Evangelista shows how Swinburne elaborated a unique form of critical writing, in which he staged a playful, hybrid dialogue between English and French voices, a form that he

in Algernon Charles Swinburne
Literature and/or reality?
Marion Sadoux

   Christine Angot’s autofictions: literature and/or reality? From her very first novel,Vu du ciel,which was published in ,Christine Angot has established herself firmly as a writer who has made it her mission to explore and expose relentlessly the thin line between reality and fiction.1 The last quarter of the twentieth century, in French literature, will probably be remembered, among other things, as the period in which a new genre – that of autofiction – emerged and flourished. It has become a privileged mode of writing for many writers who have

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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Kipling’s secret sharer
Norman Etherington

Some might argue that Joseph Conrad does not belong in this collection of conservative artists of empire. Born a subject of the Russian czar, educated as a Polish patriot, steeped in French literature, a wanderer on the seven seas during his chosen career as a ship’s officer, Conrad is a long stretch from every stereotype of Englishness. Fellow seamen, mocking his stylish

in Imperium of the soul
The bearded lady, displacement and recuperation in Apollinaire’s Les Mamelles de Tirésia
Stephen Thomson

in any way compromised by it. The iconic prominence of Dali’s own whiskers and his possible standing as something of a bearded lady are, of course, out of the question. In this chapter, I will explore the currency of this figure in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French literature. In particular, I will examine ways in which that currency is caught up in techniques of unexpected juxtaposition and displacement associated with avant-garde movements of the period, in particular Surrealism and Dada. The bearded lady is indeed

in The last taboo
Yulia Ryzhik

This chapter focuses on the two poets’ varied responses to Continental events and writers, whether in the past or in early modern times. Spenser and Donne knew the Continent well, but the former almost certainly at second hand, in part through Italian and French literature and in part through hearing of its wars – ones in which Elizabeth reluctantly played a role. Donne spent time there and came to know a number of European writers. Both poets were intimately aware of ancient Roman literature, but neither ignored what was across the English Channel, contemporary or recent. Each, for example, knew some poetry by Pierre de Ronsard, but responded to him in different ways. In comparing the two poets’ overall methods of appropriating Continental literature, the chapter focuses on one ancient author, Ovid, and on one geographical feature, the hill.

in Spenser and Donne
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Screening French literature
Homer B. Pettey and R. Barton Palmer

1 Introduction: screening French literature Homer B. Pettey and R. Barton Palmer French literature on screen relies upon investigations of the processes of artistic, cultural, and industry adaptations. The French film industry has always cherished the national heritage of classic literature and has adapted to the screen the works of Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Honoré de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, Émile Zola, and Marcel Proust. Hollywood has also been keen on adapting these authors’ seminal works, often adapting a French cinematic version of the novel. So, too

in French literature on screen