Questions of Influence in Modern French Literature (BOK)
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What is meant by 'influence' in the realm of literature, art, music or ideas? How is it related to concepts such as pastiche or parody? Self-evidently, our understanding of any 'past' work depends on contemporary methods of reading; but does it makes sense, therefore, to claim that influence can be retroactive? Harold Bloom used the term 'the anxiety of influence' as the title of a famous study, but his is only one of many theorizations that span the modern era. This collection of essays examines a variety of texts written in French from the eighteenth century onwards, together with a number of visual and musical works. (All quotations in other languages are followed by translations in English.) The contributors elucidate, question and/or draw on major theories of influence, in new readings of well-known works. Whilst all engage with French and/or francophone culture, the works examined open cross-disciplinary perspectives.