Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture

By Alex Hughes; Keith Reader | Go to book overview

Major works

r
Rocard, M. (1987) Le Coeur à l'ouvrage, Paris: Odile Jacob (an autobiography, followed by Rocard's political prescriptions).

Further reading

s
Schneider, R. (1987) Michel Rocard, Paris: Stock (a favourable biography by a political columnist).

Rochefort, Christiane

b. 1917, Paris

Writer

Through play with language, genre and parody, Rochefort demystifies institutions such as marriage and social services. Her feminist, humorous, utopian and anarchic vision constitutes a passionate plea for an end to exploitation of all kinds. Rochefort's 1959 The Warrior's Rest (Le Repos du guerrier), her first novel, made into a film by Roger Vadim in 1962, shocked in its portrayal of eroticism.

LYNN A.HIGGINS

See also: feminism (movements/groups); women's/lesbian writing


Further reading

c
Constant, I. (1996) Les Mots étincelants de Christiane Rochefort: langages d'utopie, Amsterdam: Rodopi (the first book on Rochefort, this studies her novels in the context of utopias; contains bibliography).

rock and pop

Since the late 1950s and early 1960s the French pop scene has seen significant developments as well as the steamrolling invasion-as everywhere else-of Anglo-American pop music in its various, successive or overlapping forms: rock and roll, rockabilly, West Coast, progressive rock, decadent rock, punk rock, hard rock, blues rock, indie pop, reggae, soul, disco, rap. As consumers of pop music, the French listen to more 'Anglo-Saxon' music than their own, which could explain the lowly status of French rock and pop.

The first French rock and roll number in France was written as a humorous parody of a genre with no apparent future by Boris Vian and performed by Henri Salvador (Rock'n'Roll Mops). But in the 1960s Elvis Presley had his followers; their temple was Le Golf Drouot in Paris. This venue saw the start of the careers of Hallyday, Mitchell and Dutronc. Rock and roll music represented a political stance for a young and largely working-class generation and a medium for individual liberation; it was cleverly harnessed by managers and producers of show business and generated the yé- phenomenon. The radio programme Salut les copains (Hello, buddies) on Europe 1 was their rallying point.

In the 1970s, rock music pervaded the sounds of the folk music revival. Pure French rock generated an extraordinary number of groups who came and went, producing endless carbon copies of British or American models. At the end of the 1970s disco music reigned-but, with a few exceptions, French rock was in the doldrums.

Since the 1980s, authentic rock groups like Telephone (highly popular at home and abroad), Starshooter, Marquis de Sade, Indochine, Les Rita Mitsouko and Les Négresses vertes have shown that French rock and pop is thriving, and have at last found international recognition even if in France itself it has generally been American and British artists who have attracted the biggest crowds. The cultural establishment gave the home product a helping hand. In 1984, Jack Lang,

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