In conjunction with the Society for French Studies, we are expanding our Research Monographs in French Studies series from AY 17/18. The RMFS titles, in their distinctive red livery, go back to 1996 and have a formidable reputation. Edited in turn by Michael Moriarty, Ann Jefferson and now Diana Knight, the series has specialised in shorter, highly focused monographs. We plan now to raise the capacity of the series, which currently runs at about 4 titles per year, to allow us to accept more material, and some of that expansion will include the acceptance of longer monographs (of up to 85,000 words). Proposals from authors are welcome.

Jonathan Long, general editor of Legenda, writes:

We are delighted to be continuing and developing our long-standing relationship with the Society for French Studies, and look forward to working with the RMFS editors to publish more of the outstanding research for which the series has become known.

Book coverAnd with that announcement made, today we can also announce the forthcoming publication of Laforgue, Philosophy, and Ideas of Otherness, by Sam Bootle. This will be RMFS 54, which may not sound like a milestone sort of number, but it will be a significant moment all the same: it's the first longer RMFS title. It is also, we believe, the first full-length study of Laforgue in English for 25 years, and rather than being Laforgue-west (influence on Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, etc.), here we have Laforgue-east. It's sometimes forgotten that Laforgue spent five years in Berlin in the 1880s: considering that he died at just 27, this period was in fact most of his creative lifetime. It was in Germany that he contracted the disease of philosophical pessimism, or so it would have seemed to some of his French contemporaries.

So it's good to have a dynamic cover image. Schopenhauer, or at any rate a thinly disguised fictional Schopenhauer, is either louchely sprawled across the floor or else falling headlong from the sky. Some suggestion that he may be a lecherous old goat is provided by the other legs in frame, which — but perhaps it's unfair to draw conclusions. As Suzanne Vega once put it,

Over there the petticoats of ladies of virtue,
You can hardly tell them from the petticoats of sin.

The caricature is from a playbill for a play called 'Lulu' by Felicien Champsaur (1858–1934). As Sam comments, cartoons or drawings of Schopenhauer are surprisingly hard to find now, and in spite of the great man's demonisation, it's not easy to find a demonic portrait. But I think this qualifies.

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