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Reviews1 95 Les dictionnaires Larousse: Genèse et évolution. 2005. Monique C. Cormier and Aline Francoeur, eds. Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal. Pp. 323. o; in the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the first edition of Le 'Petit Larousse illustré (PL), first published in 1905 (though dated 1906), this volume brings together a dozen scholars from both sides of the Atlantic to celebrate the life and work of Pierre Larousse, the relatively unknown man behind the famous family of dictionaries. Ironically, Pierre Larousse would never know the PL, the most well-known product of the lexicographic tradition which bears his name, since it would not come along until several decades after his death. Today, the PL and its major competitor, the Petit Robert, are the two major monolingual single-volume dictionaries of French, one or the other of which is found in nearly every francophone household the world over. The PL is generally regarded as the more encyclopedic of the two, interested in informing the reader about things as well as about words. In keeping with this mission, whereas the Petit Robert is filled with literary citations , analogical cross-references, and no proper names (it handles these in a companion volume) , the PL has long been noted for its colorful illustrations and the treatment of proper names and common nouns in the same volume, albeit in separate nomenclatures. These are traditionally separated from one another by the famous pages roses ('pink pages') which house expressions of Latin and foreign origin. This celebratory volume brings together articles on the following seven topics: Pierre Larousse the man and the entrepreneur; the lexicographic landscape of Larousse's own time; the place of the Larousse dictionaries among pedagogical dictionaries; illustrations, science, and francophonismes in the PL; and the story of the PL in Quebec. The first two articles, both by J. Pruvost, outline the life of Pierre Larousse (1817-1875) and situate his work in the context of 19th century French lexicography. A native of Burgundy and son of a blacksmith and an innkeeper, Pierre Larousse began his career as a schoolteacher in his native village of Toucy, where he was appalled at the lack of good materials for teaching vocabulary to children. Moving to Paris at the age of 23, he took a position at a school in the Marais, where he was to write his first book, La kxicologie des écoks primaires. It was a desire to avoid dealing with a publisher that ultimately led him, together with Augustin Boyer, erstwhile schoolteacher turned businessman , to open up a small bookstore and publishing company, the Librairie Larousse et Boyer, in 1852. The firm would publish a number of dictionaries by other scholars, notably the first Dictionnaire analogique de la languefrançaise, by Prudence Boissiere in 1862, but Larousse would turn increasingly to writing lexicographic works himself. From his first modest but highly successful Dictionaries:Journal oftheDictionary Sodety ofNorth America 28 (2007), 195-198 1 96Reviews dictionaries, which were pedagogical in nature, to the major Grand Dictionnaire Universel du XIXe siècle, published from 1866-1876, Larousse's story is one of a driven man. He not only had an intense intellectual desire to promote learning and make knowledge accessible to the masses — he saw as his mission in life "to teach everyone about everything ( instruire tout k monde sur toutes choses) " — but also a keen business sense. Ultimately his surname would become a synonym of dictionnaire well into the beginning of the 20th century. Pruvost's account of Larousse's life brings out the lexicographer's intellectual debt to the work of his predecessors, in particular the monumental 18th century Encyclop édie (1751-1780) of Diderot and d'Alembert. Three articles in the collection discuss pedagogical dictionaries and the significant contribution of Larousse products to this field. Boulanger's first article traces the history of school dictionaries in the period starting just before the publication of the Grand dictionnaire. He distinguishes three periods. The first, 1856-1923, was characterized by significant competition between the Larousse dictionaries and those edited by Théodore Bénard, Augustin Gazier, and the duo Larive and Fleury. The second period, 1924-1965, saw the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5076
Print ISSN
0197-6745
Pages
pp. 195-198
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
N
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