Questions of Interpretation in La Princesse de Clèves


People are so divided about La Princesse de Clèves' they're ready to devour each other.' So reported Mme de Lafayette, to whom his landmark of French fiction is traditionally attributed, when it first appeared in 1678. Over three centuries the initial divisions have widened into large areas of critical disagreement.
Questions of interpretation in La Princesse de Clèves' outlines the main areas of controversy and confronts the radically divergent critical responses that have been made with the witness of the text itself. Without seeking to advance easy solutions, it suggests plausible readings and possible approaches in the light of the evidence provided by language and ideas more uncertain and ambiguous than might at first appear. Offering as it does a wide-ranging review of recent critical opinion and providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date bibliographical tool at present available, this important new work is an invaluable tool for all readers and students of this famous novel.
”Scholarship and critical acumen go hand in hand in this excellent book. Campbell’s study is an invaluable guide to realities that lie behind these “jeux de miroirs.” in: EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY FICTION 9:4
Prefatory Note. Introduction. I Questions of love. Words of love. Possession, repression, oppression. 'Le plus grand de tous les maux...'. The dream of love. The heart of the matter. A reasonable choice? II Relationships. Marriage. Friendship. The Court. III Appearances. Image. Belief. Hide-and-seek. Discovery? IV Home Truths. True confessions? Seeing clearly. V The right decision? Right and wrong. Uneasy rest. Postscript. Bibliography.
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