Hagiography

Teresa of Avila's Autobiography: Authority, Power and the Self in Mid-Sixteenth-Century Spain
Elena Carrera
Legenda (General Series) 4 February 2005

  • ‘In sum, Carrera succeeds admirably in her goal of elucidating the textual models and controversies that underlie Teresa's religious practices and her self-presentation in Vida. She provides expert guidance through the theological maze...’ — Alison Parks Weber, Iberoamericana VI, 24, 2006, 213-15

Photography

Saturn's Moons: W. G. Sebald — A Handbook
Edited by Jo Catling and Richard Hibbitt
Legenda (General Series) 6 July 2011

  • ‘An erudite and deeply engrossing Sebald compendium. It fits his oeuvre that in place of a formal biography we have this border-crossing miscellany in which comment may be free but facts are indeed sacred. Michael Hulse, his equally gifted translator before Anthea Bell, reprints the correspondence in which he asked Sebald to confirm that the quartet of exiles' testimonies so artfully braided into The Emigrants tell real stories about real people... The wonderful alchemy via which Sebald transmuted the found material of actual biography and history into fiction that kept faith with truth explains much of his appeal.’ — Boyd Tonkin, The Independent 2 December 2011, Books of the Week
  • ‘More than two-hundred pages are dedicated to a stunning bibliographic survey of Sebald... If the reader wants to see what Sebald said about, say, Theodor Adorno, Jane Austen, Henry Ford, Jean Genet, Gruppe 47, Ernest Hemingway, Adolf Hitler, Herman Melville, Virginia Woolf, animals, butterflies and moths, depression, irony, the Treblinka trials, or countless other names or topics, the index will direct you to the appropriate interviews. Two of my favorite topics in the index were: 'surgery, fear of' and 'greatest wish: to live outside of time'. Hats off to the crew who have given us this monumental bibliographic record!’ — Terry Pitts, Vertigo 24 September 2011
  • ‘Para aficionados como yo, es una Biblia.’ — William Chislett, El Imparcial 10 December 2011
  • ‘Un somptueux volume collectif – une somme de près de sept cents pages, la bible (plutôt que le modeste handbook annoncé) sur Sebald.’Norwich: du temps et des lieux 28 September 2011)
  • ‘Special mention should be made of Sheppard’s ‘index to interviews with Sebald’ and his chronology of Sebald’s life, which reconstructs in as much detail as possible the writer’s movements. As with so much of this volume (characterized by how many of its contributors knew Sebald personally), it is clear that these indexes and bibliographies are labours of love; they will stand scholarship in good stead in years to come... An invaluable resource for future research.’ — Ben Hutchinson, Modern Language Review 107.2, April 2012, 659-61 (full text online)
  • ‘Saturn’s Moons is the most significant publication on W. G. (Max) Sebald in recent time. Offering a quasi-Sebaldian reading experience of that peculiarly unorthodox kind to the general reader, it is also a tome of considerable scholarship, most particularly in the provision of two remarkable bibliographies which make it a sine qua non resource for scholars of Sebald’s work... A book which will underpin further work on his writing for decades to come.’ — Deane Blackler, German Quarterly 85.2, Spring 2012, 233-34
  • ‘How much to reveal about 'W. G. Sebald' is not a simple question. The degree to which he incorporated not just the texts, but also the lives of others into his fictions is greater than we can now... Although Sebald suggests that finding the solutions would be worthwhile, he is suspiciously vague about the effort involved. The Handbook's great value is that it does an immense amount of work for us without revealing too much.’ — Scott Bartsch, Journal of European Studies 42.2, June 2012, 210-11
  • ‘By far the most authoritative and complete guide to the literature owned, written and inspired by Sebald, and testament to some extraordinary detective work. It should immediately become the first port of call for anyone setting out to write on Sebald.’ — J. J. Long, Journal of European Studies 42.3, 2012, 17-18
  • ‘Besides essays in which Michael Hulse and Anthea Bell address the subject of translating Sebald's work and of collaborations between author and translator, readers of this journal should be intrigued by a hitherto unpublished interview conducted by Jon Cook... [Sebald] reflects on his decision to write in German rather than English.’ — Iain Galbraith, Translation and Literature 22.1 (Spring 2013), 137-42
  • ‘Und dennoch ist es nicht nur ein Buch von Freunden über einen verstorbenen Autor, sondern ein Handbuch im besten Sinne des Wortes. Auf höchstem Niveau gibt es Auskunft über Sebalds Kindheit im Allgäu und seinen akademischen Werdegang; über seine Arbeitsweise als Universitätslehrer und die polemische Stoßrichtung seiner wissenschaftlichen Veröffentlichungen; über Sebalds Umgang mit Photographien, die einen integralen Teil seines Werkes bilden; es bietet einen profunden Einblick in seine private Bibliothek und den Stellenwert, den bestimmte Autoren in ihr halten; führt in den Nachlass ein, der in Marbach liegt und verschwiegen ist wie Sebald selbst es war; gibt Schriftstellern und Dichtern das Wort, die Texte über Sebald geschrieben haben; druckt unveröffentlichte Stücke aus Sebalds Nachlass ab; enthält Bibliographien zu seinem Gesamtwerk und der dazu erschienenen internationalen Sekundärliteratur, die bis ins Jahr 2011 Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit erheben dürfen und 170 große, dichtbedruckte Se’ — Jakob Hessing, Arbitrium 34.2, 2016, 246-50
  • ‘The volume offers an abundance of previously unpublished textual and visual material — much of it from Sebald's literary estate but also photographs, letters, syllabi, and personal testimonies provided by friends and others — to offer glimpses into the author's personal and professional life and to contextualize and historicize further his work as a writer, teacher, academic, and critic.’ — Markus Zisselsberger, Monatshefte 104.4, 2012, 685-88

Survey works

Journeys of Remembrance: Memories of the Second World War in French and German Literature, 1960-1980
Kathryn N. Jones
Legenda (General Series) 23 February 2007

  • ‘A fascinating and well-structured approach to a complex subject, and its transnational focus not only provides an original insight into a range of European writers, but also shows how profitable it is to go beyond the more usual national studies of memory and war.’ — Hilary Footitt, Modern Language Review 103.3, July 2008, 817-17 (full text online)
  • ‘The study is about memories and impressions of the later years' holocaust... The striking photograph shows us an empty world with a bleak railway line and its sidetracks, making their way into the fearful forested world that was Auschwitz, practically a symbol of the Final Solution. And with this in mind, Kathryn Jones's study is a success.’ — John Dunmore, New Zealand Journal of French Studies 29.2, 2008, 65-66
  • ‘Jones departs unequivocally from Adorno's dictat on the incompatibility of art and atrocity and, through her deft presentation of a succession of more or less metaphorical journeys, she makes a good case. This valuable book for all scholars of post-war French and Ger man culture will enhance the reader’s understanding of what Paul Ricoeur once termed 'l'événement fondateur négatif' of the last century.’ — David Platten, French Studies 63.3 (2009), 370-71
  • ‘An ambitious study that succeeds in bearing out its claims about diverse yet contemporaneous literary responses to WWII. Journeys of Remembrance is a valuable introduction to a body of post-WWII French and German writing concerned with the intergenerational transmission of memory and the relation between personal identity and cultural legacy.’ — Susan Derwin, Monatshefte 102.1, 2010, 118-20
  • ‘An illuminating comparative analysis... Offers much to consider concerning the development and transmission of memory, generational continuity and rupture, and fictional representation in Holocaust literature.’ — Homer B. Sutton, French Review 82.5, April 2009, 1066-67

National and cultural identity

Mediterranean Travels: Writing Self and Other from the Ancient World to Contemporary Society
Edited by Patrick Crowley, Noreen Humble and Silvia Ross
Legenda (General Series) 26 August 2011


Gender and sexuality

German Women's Writing of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Future Directions in Feminist Criticism
Edited by Helen Fronius and Anna Richards
Legenda (General Series) 26 August 2011

  • ‘The volume will be of great use to students and researchers alike, as a source of well-written critical scholarship and of pointers to severe deficits in current research. It offers productive methodologies for taking the enquiry forward in areas vital to a fuller, more nuanced understanding of the place of women writers as part of the whole picture of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century cultural history in the German-speaking lands.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 48.4 (October 2012), 489
  • ‘Thus the book’s structure, like its title, ultimately collapses: the future has not yet happened. Yet it is glimpsed here—and it will indeed necessarily entail killing off and reviving the female author and the female reader, undoing and redoing gender, sexuality, and herstory, embracing pluralism and firing the canon. And it will only have been achieved once the gatekeepers become contributors and all critics—including men—are doing feminist criticism.’ — Robert Gillett, Modern Language Review 109.2, April 2014, 547-48 (full text online)

Photography

Regarding Lost Time: Photography, Identity, and Affect in Proust, Benjamin, and Barthes
Katja Haustein
Legenda (General Series) 30 January 2012

  • ‘Katja Haustein’s monograph charts new territory in the expanding study of autobiographical writing in the light of photography... this volume will no doubt be of great benefit to specialists of these three seminal authors, as well as to those working in comparative studies.’ — Kathrin Yacavone, French Studies 67.2 (April 2013), 271-72
  • ‘Katja Haustein undertakes a titanic task: to bring together three bulwarks of twentieth-century intellect, each one so seminal in their own right that even the thought of combining them in one study would seem quixotic. Haustein not only accomplishes the task, but manages to bring out a genuinely comparative account... it is a very useful book to have read, and one which, I am certain, I will return to again and again.’ — Eleni Papargyriou, Comparative Critical Studies 10, 2013, 407-09
  • ‘This book contains several beautiful, thoughtfully chosen illustrations, and is a useful source of information about scholarship in German on Proust... a significant and stimulating contribution to the scholarship on these three important writers.’ — Áine Larkin, Modern Language Review 110.1, January 2015, 228-29 (full text online)

The Holocaust

Jorge Semprún: Writing the European Other
Ursula Tidd
Legenda (General Series) 23 April 2014


Trauma

Traces of Trauma in W. G. Sebald and Christoph Ransmayr
Dora Osborne
Legenda (General Series) 4 March 2013

  • ‘Brought countless things to light about The Emigrants and Austerlitz that I am extremely grateful for, and I know I’ll never read either of these books again without saying a silent “thank you” to Osborne for opening my eyes to a new way of looking at them.’ — Terry Pitts, Vertigo 8 June 2013
  • ‘The detailed analyses and dynamic argumentation in addition to the illuminating introduction of the concept of ‘post-postwar literature’ make this study a significant contribution to scholarship on both Ransmayr and Sebald and to critical considerations of twentieth-century post-Holocaust literature in German more broadly.’ — Lynn L. Wolff, Modern Language Review 111.1, January 2016, 294-96 (full text online)
  • ‘Osborne has done a great service in awakening Sebald scholars to a kindred spirit in Ransmayr with a long-overdue systematic comparison of “traces of trauma” in the works of both immensely important writers, one a storied member of the literary establishment, one who will remain, even posthumously, an outsider looking in.’ — Mark R. McCulloh, Monatshefte 108.1, 2016, 150-52

Photography

Photobiography: Photographic Self-Writing in Proust, Guibert, Ernaux, Macé
Akane Kawakami
Legenda (General Series) 4 December 2013

  • ‘An important addition to literature on the subject. Kawakami’s conclusion is that we are entering a new age of writing about ourselves photographically. Researchers exploring the self-perceptions that are made available in the lens-inflected self-narratives of this new age will surely gain from setting their findings into context by reading this extremely rewarding study.’ — Shirley Jordan, French Studies 68.4, October 2014, 580-81
  • ‘All in all, this study brings a new perspective to bear on the study of autobiography that is in keeping with the times both thematically and theoretically. The photobio- graphical text reveals dimensions of personal experience that engage both text and image, reality and fantasy, writer and reader.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.4, October 2014, 508
  • ‘This volume provides a readable introduction to photobiography and faithful syntheses of the texts. With its wealth of bilingual quotation, its consistent clarity, and a particularly strong chapter on Ernaux, Kawakami has fashioned a volume that could also work extremely well as a course book.’ — Paul Edwards, Screen 79, Summer 2014, 65-66
  • ‘Among the strengths of Photobiography, I would point to her use of the first person in her own prose, her very complete use of relevant criticism, and her mastery of works of differing if overlapping genres.’ — Ralph Sarkonak, Modern Language Review 110.2, April 2015, 550-51 (full text online)
  • ‘Kawakami’s lively new study of a particular brand of contemporary photo-textual practice signals a photographic turn in narratives of the self... Kawakami compellingly considers how Guibert, Ernaux, and Macé use photography to complicate the already ambiguous generic status of their texts, which hover on the border between document and fiction.’ — Ari J. Blatt, French Review 89.1, 2015, 228

The City

The Made and the Found: Essays, Prose and Poetry in Honour of Michael Sheringham
Edited by Patrick McGuinness and Emily McLaughlin
Legenda (General Series) 25 May 2017

  • ‘Micky’s words return here in all their felicity. His appetite, brilliance, and distinct sensibility are intensely present. The editors speak of Micky ‘drawn by what was accidental, unsystematic, eccentric’ (p. ix). They see him glorying in ‘the overspill of things’. They speak of Micky as their ‘friend and colleague’ and this book is a beautiful act of camaraderie.’ — Emma Wilson, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 485-86 (full text online)
  • ‘This starry roster of writers, working in English and French, often operate along lines of creative interplay between chance and choice, the map and serendipity, walking and writing, celebrating the transition from noticing to noting and from there maybe even into actually making poetry.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 54.3, July 2018, 375
  • ‘The Made and the Found is a rich volume that will be of interest to friends of the late Michael Sheringham as well as to all those wanting to study the relation between French culture, language and the everyday.’ — Verena Andermatt Conley, H-France 18.214, November 2018

Teresa of Avila (1515-82), Spanish mystic

Teresa of Avila's Autobiography: Authority, Power and the Self in Mid-Sixteenth-Century Spain
Elena Carrera
Legenda (General Series) 4 February 2005

  • ‘In sum, Carrera succeeds admirably in her goal of elucidating the textual models and controversies that underlie Teresa's religious practices and her self-presentation in Vida. She provides expert guidance through the theological maze...’ — Alison Parks Weber, Iberoamericana VI, 24, 2006, 213-15

Michel de Montaigne (1533-92), French essayist

Montaigne in Transit: Essays in Honour of Ian Maclean
Edited by Neil Kenny, Richard Scholar and Wes Williams
Legenda (General Series) 19 December 2016

  • ‘Montaigne in Transit proves one of the finest volumes on this overworked author... In a reflective Afterword, Ian Maclean celebrates the scholarly exchanges out of which this volume grew and the generosity inherent in intellectual work. Another aspect that ties these contributions together lies in how the authors foreground the practice of close reading. Such patience with ‘slow’ reading is a welcome change from more ambitious quantifiable, contextualizing, and politicizing forms of criticism that currently dominate the field. The contributors intelligently defend their choice not as an antidote or alternative to these other approaches but as a needed counterweight and complement.’ — George Hoffmann, Modern Language Review 113.3, July 2018, 658-59 (full text online)
  • ‘In a reading of Montaigne’s classical allusions in ‘Sur des Vers de Virgile’, Terence Cave finds the essayist resurrecting the dead: ‘The quotations from Virgil and Lucretius are haptic, erotic; they come to life, become bodies. And their life flows palpably over into Montaigne’s prose.’ Cave’s is the first of several essays in the wonderful collection Montaigne in Transit to explore metaphors for Montaigne’s thought and quotation practice, and to evaluate how we study Montaigne’s relation to other texts.’ — Peter Auger, Translation and Literature 27, 2019, 353-60 (full text online)
  • ‘In sum, the journey through these essays is well worth the effort and strongly recommended to seasoned specialists and fellow travelers interested in the historical development of learned culture in Europe from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. This reviewer wishes them a bon voyage!’ — Michael Wolfe, Sixteenth Century Journal 49.3, 2018, 885-87

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), German philosopher

Proust, the One, and the Many: Identity and Difference in A la recherche du temps perdu
Erika Fülöp
Legenda (General Series) 1 June 2012

  • ‘Il trouvera une bonne place parmi les livres cherchant à éclairer la complexité du roman de Proust à partir de l’approche philosophique.’ — Pascal Ifri, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 41.3-4, 2013, 343-45
  • ‘Fülöp compellingly considers the narrator’s ‘Liminal states of consciousness’ (his experience of waking up, his observing Albertine sleeping, and his drunkenness at Rivebelle) as moments when the world’s challenging multiplicity—and that of the unknowable, plural Other as represented by his beloved Albertine—become, for a time, harmonious and manageable... Will reward readers interested in the overlap and lines of affinity between the domains of literature and philosophy.’ — Adam Watt, Modern and Contemporary France 21.2, 2013, 245-46
  • ‘This well-researched volume covers a vast territory and is a welcome contribution in a field of Proust studies that has long been exploited but is far from being exhausted.’ — Anna Magdalena Elsner, French Studies 67.3, July 2013, 428-29
  • ‘L’originalité de ce livre clair, convaincant et bien documenté consiste à offrir de la Recherche une perspective éthique au sens où le narrateur, qui dès le départ poursuit un projet littéraire, est aussi en quête d’une approche harmonieuse du monde, de la vie et de l’autre.’ — Dominique Poncelet, French Review 88.2, October 2014, 227
  • ‘L’ouvrage d’Erika Fülöp se recommande non seulement par son audace de pensée mais, presque d’avantage encore, par la clarté avec laquelle sont exposées les notions philosophiques qui servent d’instrument à la démonstration. Voué à la philosophie proustienne, cet ouvrage stimulera aussi la réflexion consacrée à la lecture (autre état de conscience liminaire), à l’animalité et à la notion d’inconscient.’ — Dagmar Wieser, Fabula 16.5, May-June 2015

Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), French poet

Intimacy and Distance: Conflicting Cultures in Nineteenth-Century France
Philippa Lewis
Legenda (General Series) 29 September 2017

  • ‘L’ouvrage ne se contente pas d’explorer les productions littéraires de l’intime (du roman intime au récit de voyage) mais s’appuie sur une belle et riche variété de formes littéraires et culturelles (journaux intimes, portraits littéraires, critique d’art) pour mettre en évidence la hiérarchie des valeurs à l’œuvre dans la notion d’intime.’ — Françoise Grauby, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 459
  • ‘Philippa Lewis’s fresh, thoughtful overview of the virtual relationships between French authors and readers between 1830 and 1870 focuses on selected works by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, Charles Baudelaire, Gustave Flaubert, Eugène Fromentin, Maurice de Guérin, and C.-A. Sainte-Beuve... She effectively synthesizes the deconstructive distinguo move of deconstruction—dissecting specious identities—with a discreet historical consciousness that alternatively discloses new ranges of possibilities and then contracts into a synthesis. Brief, thoughtful footnotes extend Lewis’s discussions in many directions, revealing her exemplary deep background.’ — Laurence M. Porter, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 47.1-2, Fall 2018
  • ‘In this thoughtful and suggestive monograph, Philippa Lewis offers a carefully historicized, thoroughly researched, and beautifully written account of the place occupied by the concept of intimacy in the literary culture of nineteenth-century France, and especially its middle decades... The book’s true point, and its greatest merit, is to get under the skin—intus, et in cute—of nineteenth-century French letters; to reanimate with a careful balance of sympathy and erudition a somewhat forgotten yet profoundly influential moment in the history of literary thought. In this respect, the book will be of compelling interest to all scholars of nineteenth-century France.’ — Andrew J. Counter, Modern Language Review 114.1, January 2019, 146-47 (full text online)
  • ‘Accompagnato da una bibliogra a veramente ricca e da un dettagliato indice dei nomi, il saggio di Philippa Lewis si occupa nella prima parte dell’Intimacy, prendendo come punto di partenza un saggio di Henry James su Sainte-Beuve, in cui l’autore mostra il carattere “intimo” della scrittura come una caratteristica di una importante zona della letteratura francese del xix secolo: «poésie intime, the roman intime, and the journal intime».’ — Maria Emanuela Raffi, Studi francesi 186, 20, 2019, 516-17
  • ‘Lewis’s convincing argument revolves around the idea that male authors writing after 1830, including both well- and lesser-known writers such as Flaubert, Euge`ne Fromentin, and above all Baudelaire, employed certain textual strategies as a result of their ambivalent feelings towards intimacy... This study constitutes a very significant addition to the existing corpus of works on the cultural and literary history of intimacy.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.1, January 2019, 119
  • ‘A very well-researched and engaging contribution to the literary history of nineteenth-century France, the social and cultural history of emotions, Baudelaire studies, and historical masculinity studies. By deprivileging distance as the primary spatial and affective metaphor for understanding post-revolutionary French society and restoring intimacy to its rightful place on the cultural and literary landscape, Lewis successfully complicates one of the foundational paradigms of nineteenth-century French studies, making her book a compelling read for all scholars in the field.’ — Jessica Tanner, H-France 19, February 2019, no. 27
  • ‘This book is written with admirable clarity and, via the lens of intimacy, offers original perspectives on some well-known and lesser-known writers, while also shedding light on the emotional history of the nineteenth century.’ — Paul Gibbard, Emotions: History, Culture, Society 3, 2019, 174-75

Gustave Flaubert (1821-80), French novelist

Intimacy and Distance: Conflicting Cultures in Nineteenth-Century France
Philippa Lewis
Legenda (General Series) 29 September 2017

  • ‘L’ouvrage ne se contente pas d’explorer les productions littéraires de l’intime (du roman intime au récit de voyage) mais s’appuie sur une belle et riche variété de formes littéraires et culturelles (journaux intimes, portraits littéraires, critique d’art) pour mettre en évidence la hiérarchie des valeurs à l’œuvre dans la notion d’intime.’ — Françoise Grauby, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 459
  • ‘Philippa Lewis’s fresh, thoughtful overview of the virtual relationships between French authors and readers between 1830 and 1870 focuses on selected works by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, Charles Baudelaire, Gustave Flaubert, Eugène Fromentin, Maurice de Guérin, and C.-A. Sainte-Beuve... She effectively synthesizes the deconstructive distinguo move of deconstruction—dissecting specious identities—with a discreet historical consciousness that alternatively discloses new ranges of possibilities and then contracts into a synthesis. Brief, thoughtful footnotes extend Lewis’s discussions in many directions, revealing her exemplary deep background.’ — Laurence M. Porter, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 47.1-2, Fall 2018
  • ‘In this thoughtful and suggestive monograph, Philippa Lewis offers a carefully historicized, thoroughly researched, and beautifully written account of the place occupied by the concept of intimacy in the literary culture of nineteenth-century France, and especially its middle decades... The book’s true point, and its greatest merit, is to get under the skin—intus, et in cute—of nineteenth-century French letters; to reanimate with a careful balance of sympathy and erudition a somewhat forgotten yet profoundly influential moment in the history of literary thought. In this respect, the book will be of compelling interest to all scholars of nineteenth-century France.’ — Andrew J. Counter, Modern Language Review 114.1, January 2019, 146-47 (full text online)
  • ‘Accompagnato da una bibliogra a veramente ricca e da un dettagliato indice dei nomi, il saggio di Philippa Lewis si occupa nella prima parte dell’Intimacy, prendendo come punto di partenza un saggio di Henry James su Sainte-Beuve, in cui l’autore mostra il carattere “intimo” della scrittura come una caratteristica di una importante zona della letteratura francese del xix secolo: «poésie intime, the roman intime, and the journal intime».’ — Maria Emanuela Raffi, Studi francesi 186, 20, 2019, 516-17
  • ‘Lewis’s convincing argument revolves around the idea that male authors writing after 1830, including both well- and lesser-known writers such as Flaubert, Euge`ne Fromentin, and above all Baudelaire, employed certain textual strategies as a result of their ambivalent feelings towards intimacy... This study constitutes a very significant addition to the existing corpus of works on the cultural and literary history of intimacy.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.1, January 2019, 119
  • ‘A very well-researched and engaging contribution to the literary history of nineteenth-century France, the social and cultural history of emotions, Baudelaire studies, and historical masculinity studies. By deprivileging distance as the primary spatial and affective metaphor for understanding post-revolutionary French society and restoring intimacy to its rightful place on the cultural and literary landscape, Lewis successfully complicates one of the foundational paradigms of nineteenth-century French studies, making her book a compelling read for all scholars in the field.’ — Jessica Tanner, H-France 19, February 2019, no. 27
  • ‘This book is written with admirable clarity and, via the lens of intimacy, offers original perspectives on some well-known and lesser-known writers, while also shedding light on the emotional history of the nineteenth century.’ — Paul Gibbard, Emotions: History, Culture, Society 3, 2019, 174-75

Maud Beerbohm Tree (1858-1937), English actress

Maud Beerbohm Tree: Lady of the Stage
Susana Cory-Wright
Legenda (General Series) 26 February 2018

  • ‘This is a beautifully presented work, with an attractive cover and illustrations... There is much emphasis upon the personal life and career of Maud, but the book is also good on the sociopolitical changes taking place in the theatre at this time, and on the role of women in society.’ — unsigned notice, The Year's Work in English Studies 98.1, 2019, 657-58

Italo Svevo (1861-1928), Italian novelist

Biographies and Autobiographies in Modern Italy
Edited by Martin McLaughlin and Peter Hainsworth
Legenda (General Series) 23 February 2007

  • ‘Hainsworth and McLaughlin open the volume with a succinct, clear and meaty disquisition on the nature of biography and autobiography. Their Introduction furnishes, in lively prose, an overview of the state of such writing in Italy... A fascinating glimpse into the life histories, and the shaping of life histories, by an eclectic group of Italians. Its chapters provide useful information on the less-known and engrossing new insights into familiar canonical figures.’ — Risa Sodi, Biography 32.3, Summer 2009, pp. 562-65
  • ‘These pieces all share John Woodhouse's sentiment that the life lived and written by an author are "mutually illuminating" and that writing loses much when "seen solely within the terms of a textual universe".’ — unsigned, Forum for Modern Language Studies 46.1, January 2010, 107-08

Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936), Italian playwright

Authorial Echoes: Textuality and Self-Plagiarism in the Narrative of Luigi Pirandello
Catherine O'Rawe
Legenda (General Series) 4 February 2005

  • ‘A short review cannot do justice to this arresting critical work. A combination of bold ideas with a meticulous attention to detail and a broad theoretical foundation characterizes O'Rawe's critical approach. Insights are always well substantiated with abundant evidence... Both a major contribution to Pirandello scholarship and a seminal challenge to narrative criticism.’ — Jennifer Lorch, Modern Language Review 103.4, October 2008, 1140-41 (full text online)

Marcel Proust (1871-1922), French novelist

Regarding Lost Time: Photography, Identity, and Affect in Proust, Benjamin, and Barthes
Katja Haustein
Legenda (General Series) 30 January 2012

  • ‘Katja Haustein’s monograph charts new territory in the expanding study of autobiographical writing in the light of photography... this volume will no doubt be of great benefit to specialists of these three seminal authors, as well as to those working in comparative studies.’ — Kathrin Yacavone, French Studies 67.2 (April 2013), 271-72
  • ‘Katja Haustein undertakes a titanic task: to bring together three bulwarks of twentieth-century intellect, each one so seminal in their own right that even the thought of combining them in one study would seem quixotic. Haustein not only accomplishes the task, but manages to bring out a genuinely comparative account... it is a very useful book to have read, and one which, I am certain, I will return to again and again.’ — Eleni Papargyriou, Comparative Critical Studies 10, 2013, 407-09
  • ‘This book contains several beautiful, thoughtfully chosen illustrations, and is a useful source of information about scholarship in German on Proust... a significant and stimulating contribution to the scholarship on these three important writers.’ — Áine Larkin, Modern Language Review 110.1, January 2015, 228-29 (full text online)

Proust, the One, and the Many: Identity and Difference in A la recherche du temps perdu
Erika Fülöp
Legenda (General Series) 1 June 2012

  • ‘Il trouvera une bonne place parmi les livres cherchant à éclairer la complexité du roman de Proust à partir de l’approche philosophique.’ — Pascal Ifri, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 41.3-4, 2013, 343-45
  • ‘Fülöp compellingly considers the narrator’s ‘Liminal states of consciousness’ (his experience of waking up, his observing Albertine sleeping, and his drunkenness at Rivebelle) as moments when the world’s challenging multiplicity—and that of the unknowable, plural Other as represented by his beloved Albertine—become, for a time, harmonious and manageable... Will reward readers interested in the overlap and lines of affinity between the domains of literature and philosophy.’ — Adam Watt, Modern and Contemporary France 21.2, 2013, 245-46
  • ‘This well-researched volume covers a vast territory and is a welcome contribution in a field of Proust studies that has long been exploited but is far from being exhausted.’ — Anna Magdalena Elsner, French Studies 67.3, July 2013, 428-29
  • ‘L’originalité de ce livre clair, convaincant et bien documenté consiste à offrir de la Recherche une perspective éthique au sens où le narrateur, qui dès le départ poursuit un projet littéraire, est aussi en quête d’une approche harmonieuse du monde, de la vie et de l’autre.’ — Dominique Poncelet, French Review 88.2, October 2014, 227
  • ‘L’ouvrage d’Erika Fülöp se recommande non seulement par son audace de pensée mais, presque d’avantage encore, par la clarté avec laquelle sont exposées les notions philosophiques qui servent d’instrument à la démonstration. Voué à la philosophie proustienne, cet ouvrage stimulera aussi la réflexion consacrée à la lecture (autre état de conscience liminaire), à l’animalité et à la notion d’inconscient.’ — Dagmar Wieser, Fabula 16.5, May-June 2015

Photobiography: Photographic Self-Writing in Proust, Guibert, Ernaux, Macé
Akane Kawakami
Legenda (General Series) 4 December 2013

  • ‘An important addition to literature on the subject. Kawakami’s conclusion is that we are entering a new age of writing about ourselves photographically. Researchers exploring the self-perceptions that are made available in the lens-inflected self-narratives of this new age will surely gain from setting their findings into context by reading this extremely rewarding study.’ — Shirley Jordan, French Studies 68.4, October 2014, 580-81
  • ‘All in all, this study brings a new perspective to bear on the study of autobiography that is in keeping with the times both thematically and theoretically. The photobio- graphical text reveals dimensions of personal experience that engage both text and image, reality and fantasy, writer and reader.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.4, October 2014, 508
  • ‘This volume provides a readable introduction to photobiography and faithful syntheses of the texts. With its wealth of bilingual quotation, its consistent clarity, and a particularly strong chapter on Ernaux, Kawakami has fashioned a volume that could also work extremely well as a course book.’ — Paul Edwards, Screen 79, Summer 2014, 65-66
  • ‘Among the strengths of Photobiography, I would point to her use of the first person in her own prose, her very complete use of relevant criticism, and her mastery of works of differing if overlapping genres.’ — Ralph Sarkonak, Modern Language Review 110.2, April 2015, 550-51 (full text online)
  • ‘Kawakami’s lively new study of a particular brand of contemporary photo-textual practice signals a photographic turn in narratives of the self... Kawakami compellingly considers how Guibert, Ernaux, and Macé use photography to complicate the already ambiguous generic status of their texts, which hover on the border between document and fiction.’ — Ari J. Blatt, French Review 89.1, 2015, 228

Childhood as Memory, Myth and Metaphor: Proust, Beckett, and Bourgeois
Catherine Crimp
Legenda (General Series) 21 December 2012

  • ‘Challenging and original, this is a study that will appeal not just to specialists of these three creative figures but also to everyone interested in narrative, metaphors, and the ways in which the image of the child simultaneously enables and challenges creativity.’ — Rosemary Lloyd, French Studies 67.4, October 2013, 584-85
  • ‘The study is informed by a wide array of philosophical and theoretical points of reference and relies especially on Maurice Blanchot’s writing to make a convincing case for the importance of childhood in the oeuvres of Proust, Beckett and Bourgeois.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 50.4, October 2014, 504

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), German philosopher

Regarding Lost Time: Photography, Identity, and Affect in Proust, Benjamin, and Barthes
Katja Haustein
Legenda (General Series) 30 January 2012

  • ‘Katja Haustein’s monograph charts new territory in the expanding study of autobiographical writing in the light of photography... this volume will no doubt be of great benefit to specialists of these three seminal authors, as well as to those working in comparative studies.’ — Kathrin Yacavone, French Studies 67.2 (April 2013), 271-72
  • ‘Katja Haustein undertakes a titanic task: to bring together three bulwarks of twentieth-century intellect, each one so seminal in their own right that even the thought of combining them in one study would seem quixotic. Haustein not only accomplishes the task, but manages to bring out a genuinely comparative account... it is a very useful book to have read, and one which, I am certain, I will return to again and again.’ — Eleni Papargyriou, Comparative Critical Studies 10, 2013, 407-09
  • ‘This book contains several beautiful, thoughtfully chosen illustrations, and is a useful source of information about scholarship in German on Proust... a significant and stimulating contribution to the scholarship on these three important writers.’ — Áine Larkin, Modern Language Review 110.1, January 2015, 228-29 (full text online)

Eugenio Montale (1896-1981), Italian poet

Biographies and Autobiographies in Modern Italy
Edited by Martin McLaughlin and Peter Hainsworth
Legenda (General Series) 23 February 2007

  • ‘Hainsworth and McLaughlin open the volume with a succinct, clear and meaty disquisition on the nature of biography and autobiography. Their Introduction furnishes, in lively prose, an overview of the state of such writing in Italy... A fascinating glimpse into the life histories, and the shaping of life histories, by an eclectic group of Italians. Its chapters provide useful information on the less-known and engrossing new insights into familiar canonical figures.’ — Risa Sodi, Biography 32.3, Summer 2009, pp. 562-65
  • ‘These pieces all share John Woodhouse's sentiment that the life lived and written by an author are "mutually illuminating" and that writing loses much when "seen solely within the terms of a textual universe".’ — unsigned, Forum for Modern Language Studies 46.1, January 2010, 107-08

Nathalie Sarraute (1900-99), French novelist

Consuming Autobiographies: Reading and Writing the Self in Post-War France
Claire Boyle
Legenda (General Series) 14 November 2007

  • ‘Perhaps the most effective chapter is on Genet’s Miracle de la rose, Notre-Dame-des-Fleurs, and Journal du voleur, where resistance to a subjectification threatened by both social and literar y institutions (the prison and the confessional mode, respectively) is sought by tactics of abjection geared (not entirely successfully, Boyle argues) towards thwarting readerly identification.’ — Ian Maclachlan, Modern Language Review 104.4 (2009), 1154-55 (full text online)
  • ‘Attempts at writing autobiographies in the second half of the twentieth century, Claire Boyle shows in her concise, precise and deftly argued essay, have been subject to a curious paradox... The discrediting of autobiographical attempts has been paralleled by an increasing demand for first-person testimony narratives.’ — Karlis Racevskis, French Review 82.5, April 2009, 1065
  • ‘Une épreuve de force: le moi autobiographique, est-il contrôlé par l'autobiographe estimant que ce moi ne peut pas être entièrement connu, ou par le lecteur qui le 'consomme' afin de pouvoir s'identifier avec une personne supposée réelle?’ — Jeanette den Toonder, French Studies 65.2, April 2011, 269
  • ‘Boyle’s thoughtful and sophisticated study of autobiography brings an original focus on the role of the reader, and on the ways in which readers are interpellated and caricatured by, or even excluded from, certain forms of autobiographical writing... If we had thought that autobiography had had its day, Boyle demonstrates both that the genre itself is dynamic in ways we might not have previously imagined, and that the theory of autobiography continues to evolve in challenging and provocative ways.’ — Jane Hiddleston, Biography 31.4, Fall 2008, 763-65
  • ‘This is a well researched and broad-ranging work, and is a useful discussion of the survival of the autobiographical impulse despite the critical death of traditional autobiography... a stimulating study, which lucidly applies key theoretical concepts of 20th century French thought.’ — Dervila Cooke, Modern and Contemporary France 17.1, 2009, 83-121