Literature, Art and the Pursuit of Decay in Twentieth-Century France

Literature, Art and the Pursuit of Decay in Twentieth-Century France

by Timothy Mathews


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Timothy Mathews examines work by a range of writers and painters working in France in the twentieth century. This book engages with canonical figures—Guillaume Apollinaire, Marguerite Duras and Jean Genet, Roland Barthes, Pablo Picasso and René Magritte—as well as more neglected individuals including Robert Desnos and Jean Fautrier. Integrating theoretical and material approaches to reading and viewing, Mathews engages with the distinctive features of different literary genres and different types of painting to develop an original history of artistic ambition in twentieth-century France.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521023764
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 01/19/2006
Series: Cambridge Studies in French , #66
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.61(w) x 9.65(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Timothy Mathews is Professor in the French Department at University College London. He is the author of Reading Apollinaire: Theories of Poetic Language (1987) and co-editor of Violence, Théorie, Surréalisme (1994).

Table of Contents

Illustrations; Acknowledgements; Prologue: form and decay; 1. Looking and loving: Harlequins in Apollinaire and Picasso; 2. Signs and the imaginary: the pleasures of discontent in Roland Barthes; 3. Dreams, schemes and wordplay: the surrealism of Robert Desnos; 4. Sterility and power: on some paintings by René Magritte; 5. The offerings of decay: Jean Fautrier, Les Otages; 6. Clothed intimacy: theatre and sex in Marguerite Duras, Les Yeux Bleus Cheveux Noirs; 7. 'Des Milliers de Parisiens': conflict, community and collapse in Jean Genet, Les Paravents; Epilogue; List of works consulted; List of illustrations; Index.

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