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Contemporary French Literature Authors Bibliography

Many introductions to the period are available in French, overwhelmingly directed at French university students preparing national exams. A volume that emphasizes the forward-looking aspects of the Renaissance is Ménager 1997. Recent contributions give more space to the period’s troubles, as does Lestringant, et al. 2000, an extremely comprehensive look at the century. Scholarship from outside the hexagon often has a more theoretical bent; O’Brien and Quainton 2000 introduces the period’s texts through literary theory (and vice versa), while Kenny 2008 uses the concept of “otherness” to address the main preoccupations of French Renaissance authors.

  • Kenny, Neil. An Introduction to Sixteenth-Century French Literature and Thought: Other Times, Other Places. London: Duckworth, 2008.

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    An introduction to the major writers and events of 16th-century France using a consideration of the ways in which they were put into relation with a series of defining “others” (e.g., Antiquity, God, and the Americas).

  • Lestringant, Frank, Alexandre Tarrête, and Josiane Rieu, eds. Littérature française du XVIe siècle. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2000.

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    This substantial, comprehensive volume offers a deep historical context for the literary production of the 16th century. Led by the expertise of Lestringant, the editors consider virtually every author and genre from the period, and the work is unusually strong on the Wars of Religion. Short bibliography; chronology; useful indices of authors and themes.

  • Ménager, Daniel. Introduction à la vie littéraire du XVIe siècle. Paris: Dunod, 1997.

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    A history-of-ideas approach that offers sections on the writer and his context, humanism, philosophy, and forms of thought and art. Short bibliographies after each chapter.

  • O’Brien, John, and Malcolm Quainton, eds. Distant Voices Still Heard: Contemporary Readings of French Renaissance Literature. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press, 2000.

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    Uses canonical Renaissance texts (Rabelais, Montaigne, Marguerite de Navarre, and Louise Labé) to showcase theoretical approaches (structuralism, feminism, and psychoanalysis). An introduction to the primary texts and the critical methods.

  • Literature

    From manuscripts to self-published books, from humanist editions to contemporary critical analysis.

    Contemporary French literature

    In the reading rooms of the Reference library, readers can find a collection of over 2 000 books dedicated to 21th century French writers. Numerous digital resources and online documentation collected through digital legal deposit are also available.

    Review Le Matricule des anges, 131, March 2012

    At François-Mitterrand Library, a collection of contemporary French literature available in free access was created in 2002. It can be consulted in Room H of the Reference Library (Haut-de-jardin level). In 2013, the collection reached 2 500 volumes for 600 represented authors and continues to grow.

    Authors classified as 21th century writers are those whose writing is noteworthy and who started to publish some books in the eighties (this period being considered as a breach by theorists of French literature) or later. It is impossible to be exhaustive. The idea is to favour singular types of writing rather than notoriety. However, the whole of contemporary French literary publications are stored in closed stacks and available in the reading rooms of the Research Library.

    Authors of detective novels (800 volumes) and science-fiction are also widely represented.

    Magazines and critical studies dedicated to contemporary literary creation are also available.

    Digital resources

    The BnF website also offers numerous digital resources in the field of contemporary French literature.

    The Signets de la BnF provide commented links to numerous blogs of contemporary French writers. Bibliographies on several contemporary authors (Marie NDiaye, Olivia Rosenthal, Antoine Volodine, Roland C. Wagner…) provide a list of their works and of critical studies available in the Reference Library.

    Databases are also rich sources of information. Among them, one can find all the titles of the publie.net catalogue, one of the first digital publishers in France. All these works can be consulted in free unlimited access via the computers available in the reading rooms. They are also available online for accredited readers of the Rez-de-jardin level.

    Numerous videos of literary lectures and symposiums are also available online via the BnF website: videos of the Cercle littéraire de la BnF and the Jeudis de l’Oulipo, videos of symposiums about digital literature for example.

    Internet archives

    Targeted web crawling implemented in the framework of digital legal deposit is also widely dedicated to online contemporary French literature : 800 blogs and websites of contemporary French or French-speaking writers, several dozens of online magazines and readers’ blogs are so identified. Some of these websites, such as Zazieweb, one of the pioneer websites in terms of current literary issues, do not exist anymore; however, the archives can still be consulted via all the computers of the Research Library.

    The tutorial “S’écrire en ligne: journaux personnels et littéraires” provides tools for an easier access to this collection of websites.

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

    See also

    Digital resources


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