In 1934, Nancy Cunard published Negro: An Anthology, which brought together more than two hundred contributions, serving as a plea for racial justice, an exposé of black oppression, and a hymn to black achievement and endurance. The anthology stands as a virtual ethnography of 1930s racial, historic, artistic, political, and economic culture. Samuel Beckett, a close friend of the flamboyant and unconventional Cunard, translated nineteen of the contributions for Negro, constituting Beckett's largest single prose publication. Beckett traditionally has been viewed as an apolitical postmodernist rather than as a willing and major participant in Negro's racial, political, and aesthetic agenda....Read More
The year was 778. Charlemagne, starting homeward after an expedition onto the Iberian Peninsula, left his nephew, Count Roland, in command of a rear guard. As Roland and his troops moved through the Pyrenees, a fierce enemy swooped down and annihilated them. Whether the attackers were Moors, Basques, Gascons, or Aquitainians is still disputed. The massacre soon passed into legend, preserved but at the same time expanded and interpreted in oral tradition and written accounts.
Dormant after the late Middle Ages, the legend began to inspire literary works even before the discovery and publication of the Oxford manuscript Chanson de ...Read More
Les Soeurs Vatard, described by its author as a “lewd but exact” slice of life, was J.-K. Huysmans’ second novel. Huysmans abandoned poetry and turned to the novel at a time when the works of Emile Zola were intensely controversial; Les Soeurs Vatard is dedicated to Zola by "his fervent admirer and devoted friend."In it, Huysmans vividly depicts the scene that for his generation of French writers stood for the contemporary world: the brutal, teeming life of the industrial quarters of Paris in the 1870s.
Huysmans’ Vatard sisters are “Désirée, an urchin of fifteen, a brunette with large, pale eyes ...Read More
Along with Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco, Fernando Arrabal is a major exponent of the Theater of the Absurd. In this study Arrabal’s plays are seen as a contemporary expression of a festive form of theater that flourished during the Middle Ages and that had its roots in the drama of Aeschylus and Aristophanes.
With this view of Arrabal’s work, Luis Arata explores the nature of play in art in the light of Jean Piaget's psychology. He thus offers a new way to approach festive and playful art.
Luis Oscar Arata is managing director of the Paradox Studio Theatre in Milwaukee.
Didi, Gogo, Pozzo, Lucky—the bizarre names stand out strangely against the bare-bones landscape of Waiting for Godot. In an intriguing new study of one of the most haunting plays of this century, Frederick Busi shows that these names serve important dramatic functions, reinforcing the changing roles assumed by the mysterious characters in their tortuous search for—and avoidance of—self.
Busi also explores Beckett's convoluted literary relationship with James Joyce, especially as revealed in the plays-within-the-play and verbal jigh jinks of Finnegan's Wake, where, as in Godot, the same characters keep dreamily encountering themselves in different disguises, under shifting names. Beckett's strong ...Read More
The Metamorphoses of the Self: The Mystic, the Sensualist, and the Artist in the Works of Julien Green
American writer Julien Green’s (1900–1998) origins, artistic motivation, and identity was a source of mystery and confusion even for those that most fêted him. The first non-French national to be elected to the Académie française, Green authored several novels (The Dark Journey, The Closed Garden, Moira, Each Man in His Darkness, and the Dixie trilogy), a four-volume autobiography (The Green Paradise, The War at Sixteen, Love in America and Restless Youth), and his famous Diary.
In this study, John. M Dunaway begins with an examination of the autobiographical context of Julien Green’s works, in which the duality of mystic and ...Read More
Philippe de Vigneulles (1471–1528), cloth merchant and hosier from the city of Metz, wrote a collection of comic short stories which he called Cent Nouvelles ou contes joyeux. The work constitutes an important step in the development of the nouvelle form in France. In an extended explication, Ms. Kotin analyzes the tales for the modern reader, historically, generically, structurally, and in terms of their human significance.
Inscribed in a tradition of short narrative forms in late medieval and early Renaissance France, these tales remake or recast traditional narrative patterns into new forms. Philippe de Vigneulles’s tales constitute a “recit” of ...Read More
This collection is the first full-length literary study on Machaut, France’s leading poet and musician of the 14th century. Machaut’s narrative poems, called dits, have only been lightly studied. Here, author William Calin examines the works for their intrinsic merit and for their historical importance in influencing many writers, most notably Chaucer.
William Calin is professor of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon.
The Nouvelles Récréations et Joyeaux Devis of Bonaventure des Périers are here translated for the first time into modern English. The translators have been successful in retaining the vitality of this important French Renaissance satirist, turning his colloquial sixteenth-century French into equally colloquial and lively American. The translation of the 129 tales is prefaced by a biographical study of des Périers both as man and artist, and a critical bibliography is also included.
Raymond C. La Charité and Virginia A. La Charité are associate professors of French at the University of Kentucky....Read More
As one of the outstanding minds of France, the career of George Duhamel reflects the universal range of his interests. A physician turned poet, playwright, novelist, publicist, critic, and world traveler, Duhamel for half a century has sought as a liberal humanist to defend the moral and aesthetic values of Western civilization against the encroachment of a dehumanizing machine age.
Duhamel first achieved fame as a writer with two eloquent outcries against war in Vie des Martyrs and Civilisation, written while he was a front-line surgeon during World War I. His later plays and novels continued to deal with the ...Read More