Across Texts
Essays on Different Forms of French Textuality

Keith Reader

Selected Essays 13


10 December 2021  •  252pp

ISBN: 978-1-781888-06-3 (hardback)  •  RRP £85, $115, €99

ISBN: 978-1-781888-10-0 (paperback, 19 February 2024  )

ISBN: 978-1-781888-14-8 (JSTOR ebook)

Access online: Books@JSTOR


The essays grouped together here reflect a career-long preoccupation with aspects of modern French culture. These range from the canonical (no French or indeed European film-maker is more universally admired than Renoir; few screen actresses have aroused such strong feelings as Arletty), by way of the ascetically philosophical (whereof it would be difficult to find a more striking example than Simone Weil) to the basely if not gluttonously material (the regional cooking of Lyon). The fait divers ¬— the Papin sisters’ crime ¬ rubs shoulders here with the ideological spat — the querelle between Badiou and Marty — in a collection whose unifying theme, paradoxically, may be said to be its eclecticism.

Keith Reader was an undergraduate student at Cambridge and was awarded his DPhil at Oxford, for a thesis on Stendhal. He spent three-and-a-half years in France, deepening his knowledge of the country and its culture. There followed a long period in post at Kingston Polytechnic-then-University, where he had the opportunity to develop pioneering courses in theory and cinema. Professorial appointments followed at the universities of Newcastle and Glasgow. Keith Reader is currently Visiting Emeritus Professor at the University of London Institute in Paris.


  • ‘An anthology of some of Reader’s most vital essays, all of which demonstrate his careful erudition and distinctive writerly voice, tending towards digression but never lapsing into indulgence... Above all, these essays are humane, and touching when the neutral, analytical voice gives way to Reader’s personal accounts: his anxieties about his masculinity, his fascination for language and, ultimately, his love of France.’ — Russell Williams, Times Literary Supplement 14 October 2022
  • ‘What is all the more remarkable is that a scholar such as Reader masters so many varied discourses and manages to tie them together with his characteristic incisive style and biting wit. As a pioneering figure in French Cultural Studies in the UK, Reader helped open up the study of cinema, of literary theory, and of gender for countless new scholars, yet it would be difficult to find many who can match the breadth of his work or the verve of his writing.’ — Patrick Bray, H-France 23, April 2023, no. 69

For a contents listing, see this volume at JSTOR.

Bibliography entry:

Reader, Keith, Across Texts: Essays on Different Forms of French Textuality, Selected Essays, 13 (Legenda, 2021)

First footnote reference: 35 Across Texts: Essays on Different Forms of French Textuality, keith Reader, Selected Essays, 13 (Legenda, 2021), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Reader, p. 47.

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

Bibliography entry:

Reader, Keith. 2021. Across Texts: Essays on Different Forms of French Textuality, Selected Essays, 13 (Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Reader 2021: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Reader 2021: 21.

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

This title is distributed on behalf of MHRA by Ingram’s. Booksellers and libraries can order direct from Ingram by setting up a free ipage® Account: click here for more.

Permanent link to this title: