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Scapeland

Writing the Landscape from Diderot’s Salons to the Postmodern Museum

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Gillian B. Pierce

Scapeland: Writing the Landscape from Diderot’s Salons to the Postmodern Museum is a comparative, interdisciplinary study tracing theories of the sublime and a history of spectatorship from Diderot’s eighteenth-century French Salons, through art criticism by Baudelaire and Breton, to Jean-François Lyotard’s postmodern exhibition Les Immatériaux. In the Salons, an exploration of the painted landscape becomes an encounter with both the limits of representation and the infinite possibilities of fiction. Baudelaire and Breton explore similar limits in their work, set against the backdrop of the modern city. For them, as for Diderot, the attempt to render visual objects in narrative language leads to the development of new literary forms and concerns. Lyotard’s concept of the “postmodern museum” frames the sublime encounter, once again, in terms that expressly evoke Diderot’s verbal rendering of painted spaces as a personal promenade. According to Lyotard, Diderot “ouvre, par écrit, les surfaces des tableaux comme les portes d’une exposition.. . . [il] abolit . . . l’opposition de la nature et de la culture, de la réalité de l’image, du volume et de la surface.” Reading the literary production of these four writers alongside their art criticism, Scapeland considers narrative responses to art as imaginative assertions of human presence against the impersonal world of objects.

Contemporary French Art 2

Gérard Garouste, Colette Deblé, Georges Rousse, Geneviève Asse, Martial Raysse, Christian Jaccard, Joël Kermarrec, Danièle Perronne, Daniel Dezeuze, Philippe Favier, Daniel Nadaud

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Michael Bishop

Gérard Garouste, Colette Deblé, Georges Rousse, Geneviève Asse, Martial Raysse, Christian Jaccard, Joël Kermarrec, Danièle Perronne, Daniel Dezeuze, Philippe Favier, Daniel Nadaud: after the eleven essays of Contemporary French Art 1, devoted to major artists from Ben Vautier and Niki de Saint Phalle to Annette Messager and Gérard Titus-Carmel, the present volume pursues its interrogations of the what, the how and the why of contemporary plastic production of some of France’s finest practitioners. If, as ever, such production can reveal elements of an interweaving of individualized preoccupations and modes, endless specificities demarcate and affirm originalities that pure theory and its leveling anonymity may obscure. Thus is it that Gérard Garouste is alone in that obsession with ‘indianness’ and ‘classicalness’; that Colette Deblé’s gesture is drawn implacably to the unseenness of female representation; that Georges Rousse plunges photography into the realm of matter’s poetic sacredness; that Geneviève Asse traverses a pure seemingness of abstraction to attain to an intimacy of silence; that Martial Raysse’s ‘hygiene of vision’ may endlessly renew and hybridize itself. Christian Jaccard, too, will explore with uniqueness an art of materiality at the frontier of metaphysics; Joël Kermarrec will offer us the inimitable exquisite traces of surging desire and deception; Danièle Perronne’s boxes and stringings, her paintings and her sheetings will unfold a psychic infinity at the heart of form. And, if Daniel Dezeuze seeks namelessness and pure structuration, the latter yet surge forth via works that relentlessly identify a gesture so distant, we may feel, from the at once sobering and ceremonial microproliferations of a Philippe Favier or the tense but genial articulations of Daniel Nadaud’s sculptural imagination.

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Cristina Johnston

Through the prisms of ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, French Minority Cinema explores key questions of identity and social interaction in the context of republican France, across two significant ‘minority’ cinemas: cinéma de banlieue and gay cinema. It offers the first comprehensive parallel study of these two bodies of film and their inter-relations, examining issues of national cinema and identity and the problematic status of minorities within the contemporary Republic. Against a backdrop of political and media debates on the PACS, parity, the affaire du voile and the French principle of laïcité, banlieue youth dissatisfaction, and gay parenting, French Minority Cinema charts the negotiatory discourse that has emerged through, and around, a core corpus of films released over the past two decades. This study will be of interest to scholars and students alike, working in the fields of French, Film, and Gay and Lesbian/Queer Studies.

Rive Gauche

Paris as a Site of Avant-Garde Art and Cultural Exchange in the 1920s

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Edited by Elke Mettinger, Margarete Rubik and Jörg Türschmann

From the late 19th century onwards Paris had been a congenial locus for bohemian life. By 1920 Montparnasse had superseded Montmartre as the intellectual and artistic heart of the city, inaugurating a decade of unequalled creative achievement and innovative self-performance. These were the years of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ or années folles. “Paris” – as Gertrude Stein famously remarked – “was where the twentieth century was”. The Rive Gauche offered a carnivalesque atmosphere of liberality, where the manifold experiments of the avant-garde could breathe freely.
This volume attempts to do justice to the polyphony of voices and points up the synergies that existed between the creative activities of writers, painters, publishers, photographers and film-makers. The contributors adopt interdisciplinary approaches, casting new light on the rich and diverse artistic world of Paris in the twenties as presented in lesser known works by French artists, English and American expatriates, but also Belgian, Dutch, German, Polish or South American avant-gardists. The collection thus gives the reader a fascinating insight into artistic productions which have hitherto received comparatively little critical attention.

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Edited by Erik Tonning, Matthew Feldman, Matthijs Engelberts and Dirk Van Hulle

Madame Bovary at the Movies

Adaptation, Ideology, Context

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Mary Donaldson-Evans

Some eighteen film directors from France to the United States, Germany to India, have applied themselves to the task of adapting Madame Bovary to the screen. Why has Flaubert’s 1857 classic novel been so popular with filmmakers? What challenges have they had to meet? What ideologies do their adaptations serve? Madame Bovary at the Movies seeks to answer these questions, avoiding value judgments based on the notion of fidelity to the novel. In-depth analyses are reserved for the studio films of Renoir, Minnelli and Chabrol and the small-screen adaptation of Fywell. As the first book-length examination of the Madame Bovary adaptations, this volume, in addition to its pedagogical applications, will be a useful reference for scholars of literature and film and for those interested in the burgeoning field of adaptation studies.

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Pierre Taminiaux

The Paradox of Photography analyzes the discourse on photography by four of the most important modern French poets and theorists (Baudelaire, Breton, Barthes and Valéry). It stresses in particular the importance of this visual language for the development of both new forms of narrative and original critical studies on issues of representation in art. It also reflects upon the integration of photography within the domain of technical modernity while emphasizing its aesthetic identity stemming from the Western tradition of figurative painting.

Perspectives on the ‘Other America’

Comparative Approaches to Caribbean and Latin American Culture

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Edited by Michael Niblett and Kerstin Oloff

Uniting critical writing on novels, poetry, painting, and ritual, this volume takes a regional approach to the cultures of the Caribbean Basin. Ranging across the linguistic spectrum of the area, it examines cultural production from the Anglophone, Francophone, and Hispanophone islands, Suriname and the Guyanas, and ‘Latin’ and Central America. The interdisciplinary nature of the collection and the challenge it poses to the balkanization of the region within academic discourse will make it of especial interest to students and scholars of the Caribbean. Inspired by the category of the ‘Other America’ as developed by Édouard Glissant, the book offers a series of original and stimulating engagements with topics that include nationalism, migration and exile, landscape and the environment, gender and sexuality, and Postcolonial Studies and ‘world literature’. In addition to contributions by leading scholars such as Peter Hulme, Theo D’haen, and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, it contains interviews with two renowned novelists from the region, Lawrence Scott and Mayra Santos-Febres. Underpinning the collection is an interrogation of received ideas of the nation-state and a suggestion that regionalism might provide a better optic through which to view the circum-Caribbean – that national consciousness, in other words, must always also be a regional consciousness.

Sébastien Japrisot

The Art of Crime

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Edited by Martin Hurcombe and Simon Kemp

Influential author of highly unconventional crime fiction, screenwriter, and occasional film director, Sébastien Japrisot was one of those rare contemporary writers in France able to establish an international reputation for himself. Although Japrisot’s novels in particular continue to be read and studied across the world, this volume is the first ever academic study of Japrisot’s work in the fields of both literature and cinema. Through a combination of thematic and text-specific studies, this volume takes in, and examines the legacy of, Japrisot’s work from his youthful writings under his real name, Jean-Baptiste Rossi, to his crime fiction and screen writings of the 1960s and 1970s, concluding with his final novel Un long dimanche de fiançailles ( A Very Long Engagement). It is both an essential introduction to Japrisot and a valuable academic assessment of his work’s importance in the field of contemporary French literature and film.

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Edited by Matthijs Engelberts, Danièle de Ruyter-Tognotti, Karine Germoni and Helen Penet-Astbury