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Sophie Bélot

In The Cinema of Catherine Breillat, Bélot offers a detailed analysis of Breillat’s past and recent films. Breillat is one of the most internationally renowned French women filmmakers whose notoriety is built on her explicit representation of women’s sexuality. Most of her films rely on a female protagonist’s personal and intimate search of her self, characterised by her sexual journey.
Facing censorship and controversy, Breillat’s films do not easily fit classification and place the viewer into an uncomfortable position. This study looks at Breillat as an independent cinema auteur entertaining a close relation with her films by exploring and positing women, from adolescence to adulthood, as sexual beings reflecting her films’ identity emanating from Breillat’s personal or intimate scenes.

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Luiz Renato Martins

Edited by Steve Edwards

In The Conspiracy of Modern Art the Brazilian critic and art-historian Luiz Renato Martins presents a new account of modern art from David to Abstract Expressionism. The once vibrant debate on these touchstones of modernism has gone stale. Viewed from the Sao Paulo megalopolis the art of Paris and New York - embodying Revolution, Thermidor, Bonapartistm and Bourgeois ‘Triumph' - once more pulsates in tragic key.
Equally attentive to form and politics, Martins invites us to look again at familiar pictures. In the process, modern art appears in a new light. These essays, largely unknown to an English-speaking audience, may be the most important contribution to the account of modern painting since the important debates of the 1980s.

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Mary Bergstein

Marcel Proust offered the twentieth century a new psychology of memory and seeing. His novel In Search of Lost Time was written in the modern age of photography and art history. In Looking Back One Learns to See: Marcel Proust and Photography brings to light Proust’s photographic resources and his visual imagination. This scrupulously researched book features over 100 illustrations.
Distinguished cultural historian Mary Bergstein presents various kinds of photography and photographic systems with regard to the literature of Marcel Proust, including daguerreotypes, stereoscopic cards, cartes-de-visite, postcards, book illustrations, portraiture, medical photography, spirit photography, architectural photography, and Orientalism. Photographs associated with fin-de-siècle studies of Botticelli, Leonardo, and Vermeer, are considered in terms of Proust’s tastes and the historiography of art.

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.

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.