Madame de Lafayette

Campbell, J. (2011) Madame de Lafayette. French Studies, 65(2), pp. 225-232. (doi: 10.1093/fs/knq249)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/fs/knq249

Abstract

When, in 2007, the French President scorned the idea that budding public servants should be required to read La Princesse de Clèves, the ensuing protests, whatever their purely political dimension, were a reminder of this work's iconic status. Naturally enough, perhaps, this spotlight left in the shade the other works attributed to Mme de Lafayette. There was also scant reference to the messy question of attribution. With no manuscript in existence the present attribution of La Princesse de Clèves was made ‘definitively’ only a century after its publication in 1678: for example, the 1764 reprint of the 1704 Paris edition cites La Rochefoucauld, Mme de Lafayette, and Segrais as co-authors. Does this matter? True, we would still watch Hamlet if it were performed by the Royal Bacon Company. However, in the case of Mme de Lafayette, biographical details are still often used to shore up critical hypotheses. At the outset, therefore, one issue deserves attention: what does ‘Mme de Lafayette’ now imply?

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Campbell, Professor John
Authors: Campbell, J.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > French
Journal Name:French Studies
ISSN:0016-1128

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