Joie de Vivre in French Literature and Culture: Essays in Honour of Michael Freeman (Faux Titre 331)
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The apparent self-sufficiency of joie de vivre means that, despite the widespread use of the phrase since the late nineteenth century, the concept has rarely been explored critically. Joie de vivre does not readily surrender itself to examination, for it is in a sense too busy being what it is. However, as the essays in this collection reveal, joie de vivre can be as complex and variable a state as the more negative emotions or experiences that art and literature habitually evoke. This volume provides an urgently needed study of an intriguing and under-explored area of French literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era. While the range and content of contributions embraces linguistics, literature, art, sport and politics, the starting point is, like that of the term joie de vivre itself, in French language and culture. This volume will be of special interest to researchers across the full range of French studies, from literature and language to cultural studies.
It will be of direct appeal to specialist readers, university libraries, graduate and undergraduate students, and general readers with a lively interest in French literature and culture of the medieval, early modern and broad modern periods. This book's fresh perspectives on the theme of joie de vivre and its relation to questions of privacy, contemplation, voyeurism, feasting and nationhood will also be of relevance to researchers in comparative and cognate disciplines.
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