Jules Michelet, a French historian was the first person to define and use the word. Test yourself with this quiz. France itself ranks first on the list of Nobel Prizes in literature by country. The context and nature of French medieval literature, Language and learning in 16th-century Europe, The 18th century to the Revolution of 1789, Tragedy and the survival of Classical form, Mme de Staël and the debate on literature, Politics subordinate to other concerns: Mauriac, Bernanos, and others, La Nouvelle Critique (French New Criticism), https://www.britannica.com/art/French-literature, History World - History of French Literature, The Catholic Encyclopedia - French Literature, French literature - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), French literature - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), African literature: Modern literatures in European languages. This page was last edited on 2 November 2020, at 00:05. French literature is, generally speaking, literature written in the French language, particularly by citizens of France; it may also refer to literature written by people living in France who speak traditional languages of France other than French. How much do you know about the men and women who wrote some of the greatest works of French literature? He lives with his beautiful and loving wife, and all is well between them except for one thing: each week, the baron disappears for three days, and nobody knows where he goes. Although the European prominence of French literature was eclipsed in part by vernacular literature in Italy in the 14th century, literature in France in the 16th century underwent a major creative evolution, and through the political and artistic programs of the Ancien Régime, French literature came to dominate European letters in the 17th century. Balzac Joke coming: What's the difference between English, French and Russian Literature? The new orthodoxy asserted the claims of imagination and feeling against reason and of individual desire against social and moral convention. Novelists It is this material which is transformed in France, a few decades later, into literature. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). In English literature, at the start, boy meets girl, and at he end they live happily ever after. Every night, the Beast asks Beauty to marry him, and every night she rejects him until finally she agrees, only to find when she wakes the handsome prince of whom she has been dreaming of nightly. Literary works written in French in countries outside the Hexagon, including former dependencies, are discussed under the appropriate national entries. At the same time, boulevard drama felt on its neck the breath of the avant-garde; and from the 1960s onward French writers began stimulating new approaches to almost every field of rational inquiry. Frequently forced underground, these and their inheritors nevertheless gave energy to the revolutionary ethos that constituted another, equally French, contribution to the radical traditions of western Europe. In this version, the Beast is a visuallyterrifying yet gentle creature who treats Beauty with great care and kindness. From the early modern period onward, France developed its own distinctive and many-stranded cultural tradition, which, while never losing sight of the riches of the medieval base and the Judeo-Christian biblical tradition, has come chiefly to be thought of as Mediterranean in its allegiance, rooted in the imitation of Classical models as these were mediated through the great writers and thinkers of Renaissance Italy. In this version, French culture prizes reason, formal perfection, and purity of language and is to be admired for its thinkers as much as for its writers. Though born within the 17th century, in 1694, Voltaire becomes - after a long life and a multifaceted career - the characteristic voice of the French 18th century. As of 2006, French literary people have been awarded more Nobel Prizes in Literature than novelists, poets and essayists of any other country. Villeneuve’s tale features many subplots and fantastical devic… Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. [6] The following French or French language authors have won a Nobel Prize in Literature: Literature written in the French language, National Literature Nobel Prize shares 1901–2009, Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française. A writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution, even if it takes place in the most honorable form."[5]. Though its literary culture has no single figure whose influence can be compared to that of Italy’s Dante or England’s Shakespeare, successive periods have seen its writers and their language exercise an influence far beyond its borders. The French language is a Romance language derived from Latin and heavily influenced principally by Celtic and Frankish. Postcolonial literature The year is 1775, and life in England and France seems paradoxically the best and the worst that it can be. Of course, no article on the best books about France would be complete without a look at some of the finest French novels and works created by people who have lived and written in the language of love. Beckett • Writing in his Salon of 1846, he affirmed that “romanticism lies neither in the subjects that an artist chooses nor in his exact copying of truth, but in the way he feels…. French literature - French literature - Prose fiction: In the field of prose fiction, Jean Echenoz’s comic pastiches of adventure, detective, and spy stories pleased both critics and the reading public. French literature, the body of written works in the French language produced within the geographic and political boundaries of France. For most of the 20th century, French authors had more Literature Nobel Prizes than those of any other nation. Surrealism • Existentialism Literature of Quebec French literature has been influenced by the revolutionary changes that took place in politics, science, art, religion and philosophy. This article is a general introduction to French literature. Literature matters deeply to the people of France and plays an important role in their sense of identity. The version of French tradition that began in the 17th century and has established itself in the cultural histories and the schoolbooks was given fresh force in the early 20th century by the philosopher-poet Paul Valéry and, especially, his English admirers in the context of the political and cultural struggle with Germany. The influence of the Hebrew Bible and other Jewish writings on early French literature is limited. Literature written in the French language, by citizens of other nations such as Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, etc. 16th century • 17th century Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “The Lais of Marie de France” by Marie De France. Literature of Haiti, Writers • to describe in a commemorative book the death of his lieutenant on … French is still, however, the preferred medium of creative expression for many in Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, France’s former colonies in Africa and Asia, and its Caribbean dependencies. 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