Expressivism
The Vicissitudes of a Theory in the Writings of Proust and Barthes

Johnnie Gratton

Research Monographs in French Studies 6

Legenda

1 March 2000  •  134pp

ISBN: 1-900755-26-2 (paperback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

FrenchCriticismFiction


Expressivism was the first European theory of art significantly to challenge the imitation theory rooted in Greek antiquity. Modern expressivism places the focus on the individual human subject as committed to finding 'les mots pour le dire', such that art becomes the most privileged means of self-realization. In his wide-ranging survey of modern theories, Gratton reveals both the instability of the concept 'expressivism', and its continuing relevance in the contemporary world. In Proust, the movement of textualization radically unsettles the 'official' aesthetic programme of A la recherche du temps perdu, while in Barthes the move from a firmly anti-expressivist discourse to a more personalized writing manner unexpectedly allows a version of expressivism to gain a foothold in the postmodern context.

Johnnie Gratton is Head of the Department of French at University College, Dublin. He has also written on surrealism, modern fiction and autobiography.

Reviews:

  • ‘Refreshing... This book is a must for graduates coming new to this debate and to these authors, and for the wider reader it is an engaging and polished addition to an excellent series.’ — Timothy Mathews, French Studies LVI.3, 2002, 421-2
  • ‘Gratton's conclusion is that we should remember that words have matted, contradictory histories, to guard ourselves against believing wholeheartedly in unmediated expression... Repays attentive reading.’ — Ingrid Wassenaar, Fabula April, 2001
  • ‘Nel corso della sua attenta analisi.’ — Antonella Arrigoni, Studi francesi XLVI, 2002, 2

Bibliography entry:

Gratton, Johnnie, Expressivism: The Vicissitudes of a Theory in the Writings of Proust and Barthes, Research Monographs in French Studies, 6 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2000)

First footnote reference: 35 Johnnie Gratton, Expressivism: The Vicissitudes of a Theory in the Writings of Proust and Barthes, Research Monographs in French Studies, 6 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2000), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Gratton, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Gratton, Johnnie. 2000. Expressivism: The Vicissitudes of a Theory in the Writings of Proust and Barthes, Research Monographs in French Studies, 6 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Gratton 2000: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Gratton 2000: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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