By Timothy Unwin

This quantity deals a different and necessary perception into the radical in French over the last centuries. In a chain of essays, said specialists talk about quite a few issues together with nineteenth-century realism, ladies and fiction, well known fiction, test and innovation, conflict and the Holocaust, the Francophone novel, and postmodern fiction. they provide a demanding reassessment of significant figures, whereas intentionally analyzing conventional perspectives of literary historical past opposed to the grain. Theoretical dialogue is mixed with shut analyzing of texts and exploration of context, comparability with different genres and different literatures, and connection with novels from prior classes. This companionable creation encompasses a chronology and consultant to additional studying. From it emerges a robust experience of the energy and effort of the trendy French novel, and of the debates surrounding it.

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Extra info for The Cambridge Companion to the French Novel from 1800 to the Present

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What knowledge, pleasure, insights or experience do we get from them? 3 The first was what he called the 'desiring' mode in which there is an almost fetishistic pleasure in the words themselves. The second is the mode of 'suspense', where we are carried forward by the narrative (or by what is known as its hermeneutic code) to the point where we almost forget the actual words of the text as we unravel the story. And the third is the 'productive' mode, where our relationship with the text is active, initiating in us the desire to write.

Later first-person narratives such as Manon Lescaut (1731) will again use this device in order to establish the authority and plausibility of their account. What is striking, of course, is not so much that this simple technique is used, but that it should be deemed necessary in the first place. In order to establish their credentials as serious literature, early modern novels place an almost exaggerated reliance on this notion of 'authenticity'. The eighteenth century sees the invention and repeated use of the topos of the lost manuscript.

Letters are presented as not just one document, but as a whole series of interrelated documents, and they have the added advantage that the same story is told from multiple 10 Cambridge Companions Online © Cambridge University Press, 2006 On the novel and the writing of literary history points of view. The reader will find as much in the gaps and the omissions as in the ironic variations of testimony. The epistolary novel provides us with a glimpse of two fascinating problems associated with the novel in general.

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