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A History of French Literature: From Chanson de Geste to Cinema Hardcover – Jun 2003


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"David Coward's new History is heroically comprehensive and shrewdly concise, generously accommodating in its definition of the subject, yet wisely discriminating in its detailed assessments. As the new millennium gets under way, it will surely be not only an essential guide but a lasting source of renewable pleasure for anyone interested in the literature and culture of France." Times Literary Supplement <!--end-->


"In its breadth, depth, concision and sophistication of analysis, this book is an exceptional achievement. Neglecting neither Francophone nor gender-specific literature, this single-volume history of a thousand years of French writing and culture is a tour de force." Choice

"Covering in varying depth everything down to modern gay, regional, and francophone writing, this approachable and clearly written book can be read front to back or a given strand can be followed through by moving through the headings classifying genres: theatre, poetry, etc." Modern Language Review

"[...] Coward comes into his element, and provides an invaluable synthesis of where French is now and where it is going. A whole raft of mainstream and marginal writing is presented and evaluated, and it is here that those of us who teach French find ourselves pedagogically the most deeply in Coward's debt." The Times Higher Education Supplement

"The concise discussion of structuralism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, and deconstruction will be of use to many students of literature." World Literature Today

About the Author

David Coward is Research Professor in French at the University of Leeds. He has written widely on the literature and culture of France since 1700 and has translated tales by Sade and Maupassant, plays by Molière and novels by Diderot and Dumas fils. His English version of Albert Cohen's Belle du Seigneur was awarded the Scott-Moncrieff Prize for Translation in 1996. He writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and is a contributor to the literary pages of magazines and newspapers in the UK and US.

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