Marie NDiaye: Inhospitable Fictions
Shirley Jordan
Research Monographs in French Studies 3829 September 2017

  • ‘An excellent addition to the growing corpus of NDiaye scholarship... As Jordan also convincingly highlights throughout her study, NDiaye’s work is profoundly ethical, never cynical. Her inhospitable universe challenges us to look for our own ethical compass—not a ready-made hospitality manual. And the merit of Jordan’s study is to help us chart a course. Her readings create, in our encounter with NDiaye’s text, a welcoming critical third space, a hospitable space where writer, critic, and reader read and orient themselves together.’ — Elisabeth Arnould-Bloomfield, H-France 18.154, 2018
  • ‘Shirley Jordan focuses her exploration in an admirably sharp and focused manner on the problem of hospitality as it arises again and again across NDiaye’s oeuvre... Jordan’s achievement is remarkable... The reader emerges from Jordan’s analysis somewhat humbled by such sustained exposure to a scholarly voice that attempts truly to put into practice its chosen theme of ethical hospitality towards its subject.’ — Andrew Asibong, French Studies 72.4, October 2018, 635 (full text online)
  • ‘Inhospitable Fictions will interest all who have read NDiaye and all those working on her. Whether or not a reader accepts that a concern for hospitality is what ultimately drives NDiaye’s work, it will be difficult to dislodge the way in which Jordan has read her with that particular driver in mind. This monograph adds the philosophical and the anthropological lens to the psychoanalytical lens in its reading of NDiaye, introduces women into the traditionally male-based discourse on hospitality, innovatively draws our attention to the Odyssey as NDiaye’s core intertext on hospitality, and tellingly relates the repressed domestic and familial traumas that surface in her texts to the multiple inhospitalities of colonialism and post-colonial France.’ — Pauline Eaton, Modern and Contemporary France 26.4, Autumn 2018, 431-37 (full text online)
  • ‘Jordan successfully highlights how the theme of inhospitality can work as a master key to unlock NDiaye’s eclectic textual experimentations. Because it surveys such a wide variety of the author’s texts, Jordan’s monograph can serve as an excellent introduction to NDiaye’s work.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.1, January 2019, 118-19
  • ‘In this monograph Shirley Jordan undertakes a consummate examination of the theme of inhospitality which permeates the œuvre of the critically acclaimed French author Marie NDiaye... Jordan’s exceptional work makes a vital contribution to NDiayean scholarship.’ — Alison Marmont, Modern Language Review 115.1, 2020, 185-86 (full text online)

The French Art Novel 1900-1930
Katherine Shingler
Research Monographs in French Studies 4319 December 2016

  • ‘An extremely informative and enjoyable study, which takes the reader on a rich and detailed tour of the early twentieth-century French artist’s world, “far beyond the form and concerns of the genre’s nineteenth-century foundational texts”. Clear, compelling, lucid, well researched, and beautifully written, Shingler’s book is an important and welcome sequel to scholarship written on the romantic art novel.’ — Dominique Jullien, H-France 18, May 2018, No. 111
  • ‘Shingler uncovers an approach to twentieth-century novels that bears pursuing further. Shingler investigates gender issues thoroughly and with great clarity, but she also locates other anxieties in the work of these writers.’ — Alexander Dickow, French Studies 72.2, April 2018, 305–306 (full text online)
  • ‘Il genere letterario dell’art novel viene de nito da Katherine Shingler come un genere in cui la nzione è strettamente connessa all’arte, nel senso che il focus della narrazione è rivolto a problematiche legate alle arti visive e i personaggi, perlopiù nel ruolo di protagonisti, sono degli artisti.’ — Michela Gardini, Studi francesi 185, 2018, 356-57
  • ‘A well-documented volume offering in-depth analyses of a well-chosen corpus, which comprises the expected classics as well as less familiar novels. The book will be useful and illuminating for readers of art novels and for literature and art students and scholars alike.’ — Emilie Sitzia, Modern Language Review 113.4, October 2018, 879-80 (full text online)

Accent, Rhythm and Meaning in French Verse
Roger Pensom
Research Monographs in French Studies 4430 September 2018

  • ‘With his passing, we have lost an indispensable and challenging voice in the ongoing dispute about the nature of French metricity, a voice that has restored to the debate, with impressive scholarship, the claims of the pre-modern and early modern periods, a voice that has tirelessly made the very necessary case for accent, and tellingly revealed the shortcomings of too purist a version of isosyllabism.’ — Clive Scott, Modern Language Review 114.4, October 2019, 875-76 (full text online)
  • ‘This highly detailed, technically demanding book is not one that undergraduates will be expected to read, but its findings should unquestionably be one’s starting point in introducing them to French verse.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.4, October 2019, 497 (full text online)
  • ‘The legacy of this book, and of its author’s life’s work, does not have to be, indeed, does not deserve to be, relegated to the lone furrow which he sometimes suggests he is ploughing. There is ample proof here to suggest that the accentual has a vital role to play within the metrical, that the peculiar tensions and hesitations of verse rhythm are produced, precisely, by the interplay between the two... Pensom’s work makes a welcome and valuable contribution.’ — David Evans, H-France 19.239, November 2019

Broken Glass, Broken World: Glass in French Culture in the Aftermath of 1870
Hannah Scott
Research Monographs in French Studies 4619 December 2016

  • ‘Perhaps due to glass’s ubiquity in the urban landscape, Parisians did not fully realize its fragile underpinning of Paris until Prussian bombing quite literally shattered glass’s transparency as urban phenomenon. It was through glass’s destruction that it became a privileged object manifesting the devastation of the année terrible for Parisians. Scott’s ingenuity lies in making glass visible, but especially in proposing broken glass as another ruin of Paris that both fascinated and disturbed contemporaries.’ — Colin Foss, H-France 18, March 2018, no. 53
  • ‘Scott’s incredible historical precision within a compact monograph has tremendous benefits to the field and raises even larger questions about the relationship between the Third Republic’s emphasis on glass and the social roles played by glass today, especially in the ecological arena. One wonders how the windowpanes, glass aquariums, and wine glasses of the post-industrial era gave way to the plastic wrapping and electronic screens that now serve as barriers between ourselves, the rest of humanity, and the planet as a whole.’ — Claire Nettleton, Nineteenth-Century French Studies 46.3-4, 2018
  • ‘This book is an outstanding contribution to an increasingly important field of study: the activating relationship between material culture and literary texts. Substantial and innovative chapters are devoted to Zola, Maupassant, and Huysmans, prefaced by a richly informative account of the proliferation of glass objects and structures, from the monumental to the miniscule, in nineteenth-century France.’ — Robert Lethbridge, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 456-57
  • ‘This engaging and perceptive monograph is a significant contribution to the growing body of scholarship that resituates nineteenth-century literature within its material environment... A remarkably original work, one which is grounded in material research but which manages, nonetheless, to be rightly a work of primarily literary criticism.’ — Natasha Ryan, Modern Language Review 113.3, July 2018, 661-62 (full text online)

Southern Regional French: A Linguistic Analysis of Language and Dialect Contact
Damien Mooney
Research Monographs in French Studies 4719 December 2016

  • ‘Encapsulates both the challenges and the promise of linguistics for history... the kinds of suggestive connections between linguistic form, social identity, and cultural context traced in chapter six hint at the considerable possibilities for integrating a substantive study of language into cultural history. It is to be hoped that more historians will take up this challenge.’ — Paul Cohen, H-France 18, February 2018, no. 5
  • ‘Un travail de grande qualité et sera une référence incontournable pour tous les dialectologues, phonologues et sociolinguistes qui s’intéressent à la variation phonologique en français.’ — Julien Eychenne, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 484-85

Pascal Quignard: Towards the Vanishing Point
Léa Vuong
Research Monographs in French Studies 4819 December 2016

  • ‘Léa Vuong’s succinct and insightful book addresses the work of French writer Pascal Quignard through the lenses of absence and disappearance. As Vuong argues, the reception of Quignard in the Anglo-Saxon world remains somewhat limited, while his work within the Hexagon has been the subject of extensive discussions and wide critical recognition. This first thorough study of Quignard’s work in the English language fills a gap while offering a perspective that connects Quignard to a constellation of structuralist and poststructuralist thinkers, in particular with the work of Jacques Lacan and Maurice Blanchot.’ — Étienne Lussier, Modern and Contemporary France 4 Oct 2017 (full text online)
  • ‘A well-written, well-documented analysis that manages to give a good glimpse into a voluminous literary production (Quignard’s publications are now nearing eighty books), while reporting on several important, and less studied, aspects of Quignard’s oeuvre.’ — Jean-Louis Pautrot, H-France 17, December 2017, no. 236
  • ‘Both specialists and those not very familiar with Quignard will find something of value here... the range of texts considered, which help the author trace broad points of commonality across an immense and still growing body of work, and the generally compelling characterization and descriptions of the text, will be helpful to those seeking an introduction to Quignard.’ — Joseph Acquito, Modern Language Review 113.3, July 2018, 664-66 (full text online)
  • ‘Di questo dibattito, l’autrice traccia nella «Conclusio- ne» un lucido bilancio, tra accuse di parisianisme e riconoscimento in patria, moltiplicarsi delle traduzioni e interesse ancora limitato da parte della critica in altre lingue, sottolineando la sotterranea portata sovversiva di una scrittura che ostenta la propria inattualità, che ritorce il fascino esercitato dal linguaggio contro il potere euristico della parola, che ingloba il meta-discorso che suscita, condannando talora il commentatore alla parafrasi o all’imitazione.’ — Stefano Genetti, Studi francesi 185, 2018, 367-68

France, Algeria and the Moving Image: Screening Histories of Violence 1963–2010
Maria Flood
Research Monographs in French Studies 4926 February 2018

  • ‘Combining scholarly precision with formal concision, Flood’s volume ranges widely and innovatively across the highlighted representations of Franco-Algerian violence from the colonial period to the present, providing valuable insights into the broader landscape of relations between the two countries, and specifically the violence, both punctual and systemic, that has historically underpinned them. In the process, it justifies her foundational argument, namely the capacity of the imagined spaces of cinema not only to reflect critically on the colonial past and the postcolonial present, but also actively to imagine alternative futures, in France, Algeria, and beyond.’ — Philip Dine, French Studies 73.3, July 2019, 494-95 (full text online)

Balzac's Love Letters: Correspondence and the Literary Imagination
Ewa Szypula
Research Monographs in French Studies 5219 December 2016

  • ‘Balzac the inveterate re-reader forces his own readers into their own, creative, re-readings of his texts. How fortunate, then, that so many of Balzac’s own letters, not least those to Mme Hanska, have been preserved for our own reading and re-reading, and are thus able to give rise to this subtle, sophisticated, original — and eminently readable — new study.’ — Owen Heathcote, H-France 17, November 2017
  • ‘On en saluera en n l’originalité, la nesse d’analyse, et l’attention subtile prêtée à l’écriture de Balzac, à ses tactiques comme à son tact, à sa volonté de maîtrise comme à sa délicatesse.’ — Thomas Conrad, Studi francesi 185, 2018, 335-36
  • ‘Szypula treats the letters as texts in their own right, arguing persuasively that they can be analysed in much the same way as we might read and interpret Balzac’s fiction... As Szypula argues compellingly, the themes of writing and rereading assume special importance in the 1844 novel Modeste Mignon, in which Balzac can be seen to reflect on the limitations of rereading, particularly when a letter-writer is insincere. The study concludes with an Afterword that examines Mme Han ska’s attempts at revising Balzac’s letters following his death, a process that shows — as Szypula does so refreshingly in this volume — that this correspondence has never truly closed, but instead remains intriguingly open to rereading and re-interpretation.’ — Andrew Watts, French Studies 72.4, October 2018, 610-11

Saints and Monsters in Medieval French and Occitan Literature: Sublime and Abject Bodies
Huw Grange
Research Monographs in French Studies 5317 May 2017

  • ‘The author moves with an impressive lightness of touch across a huge range of versions of four saints’ lives — those of Margaret, George, Honorat, and Enimia — covering verse and prose, and Latin, French, and Occitan, in mostly unpublished manuscript versions... a considerable accomplishment.’ — Luke Sunderland, French Studies 72.3, July 2018, 428-29
  • ‘This well-crafted book captures the goodwill of its audience from page one. Its author, Huw Grange, makes a simple inversion that rights a chronological wrong: saints are not the comic-book superheroes of the Middle Ages; rather today’s superheroes continue in the medieval saints’ tradition of extraordinary corporality... Saints and Monsters is what one would hope for a book of its kind insofar as its sophisticated engagement with theory is everywhere also an engagement with the literary object.’ — Brian J. Reilly, H-France 18.175, August 2018
  • ‘Grange’s final words affirm that the lives he’s described “want to live,” and in that want lies his book’s central thesis; but it is just possible that these saints are, thanks in part to Grange’s efforts at telling their stories, still living; and it is just possible that so are we.’ — Cary Howie, Speculum 95.1, January 2020, 249-50

Laforgue, Philosophy, and Ideas of Otherness
Sam Bootle
Research Monographs in French Studies 5425 May 2018

  • ‘This is the first full-length study of Laforgue to be published in English since Anne Holmes’s Jules Laforgue and Poetic Innovation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993). For all that anglophone scholarship has contributed in the intervening twenty-five years to the critical picture of a poet best known for his pioneering vers libre, it has lacked the sustained depth and breadth of attention that Sam Bootle’s excellent monograph offers... Through its own openness to Laforgue’s intellectual eclecticism, this book offers a necessary and compelling account of a poet far more widely recognized for his formal experimentation than for his very particular brand of culture critique.’ — Claire White, French Studies 73.3, July 2019, 471-72 (full text online)
  • ‘Ecco qui la monografia di un giovane ricercatore incentrata sulla presenza della filosofia tedesca e orientale nella produ- zione di Jules Laforgue. Lo studio è così convincente che un suo capitolo, volto in lingua francese, è entrato a far parte di un recentissimo numero (2, 2017) della “Revue d’Histoire littéraire de la France” coordinato da Henri Scepi e dedicato a Laforgue, Poésie et Philosophie. A fine volume, l’indice dei nomi, concetti e titoli evi- denzia che, in questo luogo, l’indagine è di più ampio spettro, coinvolgendo sia l’opera in versi che l’opera in prosa di Jules Laforgue.’ — Alessandra Marangoni, Studi francesi 188, 2020, 383
  • ‘Bootle’s fine monograph brings us fresh and valuable perspec- tives on Laforgue’s infinitely intriguing poetry, prose, and, above all, philosophical engagement with the world.’ — Alexandra K. Wettlaufer, Modern Language Review 115.3, July 2020, 726-27 (full text online)