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By Jennifer Birkett

This entire new consultant maps the historical past of French literature from Rabelais to Koltes. performs, poetry, and prose by way of the good writers of the French literary culture are mentioned along paintings recovered from canonical margins by way of new scholarship and diverse serious views. contains updated bibliographies.

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Extra resources for A Guide to French Literature: From Early Modern to Postmodern

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By the middle of the century, what had been relatively mixed audiences had narrowed to Vaugelas's elite of Court and Town, watching newly-formed professional troupes under royal and ministerial patronage. 6 Its ultimate codification appeared in the Art poetique (1674) of Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux (1636-1711), where the watchwords of classical theatre were presented as propriety and truth to nature. The 'nature' in question was assumed to be universally and essentially unchanging. Nature is, however, as the Romantics would later point out, a concept whose meaning is 42 The Making of the Modern Subject transformed by each generation.

Horace's murder of his sister was indeed a monstrous crime against humanity, nature and the gods. There was, however, no alternative. Servants like Horace are the necessary instruments of state power and the acts that cement that power are beyond the laws of commonplace humanity. In Cinna (staged 1640), the royal hero, identified with the State, holds the spotlight throughout. To maintain the stability of his empire, Auguste must maintain empire over himself, inventing within himself the resources to control his anger and pain at his subjects' treachery.

Catholics were assassinated, often by other Catholics (in 1588, the leaders of the Guise, by the Valois King Henri III, and in 1589, Hemi III, by an assassin of the extremist Catholic Ligue). The Edict of Nemours (1585) sent Protestants into mass exile. The closing years of the century saw the bloodiest fighting, between the Ligue and the forces of the Protestant Henri de Navarre, crowned Henri IV in 1589, inaugurating the Bourbon dynasty. The tide turned with the King's abjuration of Protestantism in 1593, rallying a 'moderate' Catholic establishment terrified by the growing number of peasant uprisings, not all religious, in the 1580s and 1590s.

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