French Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

French Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

French Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

French Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

Synopsis

Fifty-one essays cover the lives and works of the most important women writers in the history of French literature with an emphasis on their experiences as writers, a discussion of their major themes, and brief surveys of critical reactions. Each essay is followed by a bibliography of primary works, a list of titles translated into English, and a selection of critical studies. An additional essay describes the trobairitz, the women troubadours of the 12th and 13th centuries. The volume ends with a chronology featuring the dates of events and trends of special significance to French women.

Excerpt

Dorothy Wynne Zimmerman

Eva Martin Sartori

This contributor volume aims to acquaint the reader with the lives and works of some of the most important women writers in the history of French literature. Like the other bio-bibliographical source books published by Greenwood Press, it is intended for the general reader as well as for students and scholars. Fifty‐ one of the chapters cover the lives and works of individual writers with an emphasis on their experiences as writers, a discussion of their major themes, and brief surveys of critical reactions. Each is followed by a bibliography of primary works, a list of titles translated into English, and a selection of critical studies. An additional chapter describes the trobairitz, the women troubadours of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Too important to exclude, they were too numerous and our knowledge of their lives too fragmented to justify a chapter on each. The volume ends with a chronology featuring the dates of events and trends of special significance to French women. The chronology serves also to place their writings in the context of important literary movements and alongside the productions of their usually better-known male contemporaries.

The names of many of the writers included here will be familiar to students of literature, for they have long been included in the French literary canon— indeed, they are part of the literary canon of Western civilization. But some of these writers will be recognized only by students of French literature, while others will be unknown even to the specialist. Both those long canonized and those emerging from obscurity have been reread by our contributors, who have brought to their readings new perspectives and have included in their reviews of the criticism summaries of the work of other contemporary critics. From these new perspectives, the contributors have examined the manner in which these authors have used traditional genres and probed the influence of gender on the choice and handling of themes.

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