In this Book

summary
This is the first book to study the middlebrow novel in France. Middlebrow is a derogatory word that connotes blandness, mediocrity and a failed aspiration to ‘high’ culture. However, when appropriated as a positive term to denote that wide swathe of literature between the challenging experimentalism of the high and the formulaic tendency of the popular, it enables a rethinking of the literary canon from the point of view of what most readers actually read, a criterion curiously absent from dominant definitions of literary value. Since women have long formed a majority of the reading public, this perspective immediately feminises what has always been a very male canon. Opening with a theorisation of the concept of middlebrow that mounts a defence of some literary qualities disdained by modernism, the book then focuses on a series of case studies of periods (the Belle Époque, inter-war, early twenty-first century), authors (including Colette, Irène Nemirovsky, Françoise Sagan, Anna Gavalda) and the middlebrow nature of literary prizes. It concludes with a double reading of a single text, from the perspective of an academic critic, and from that of a middlebrow reader.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. ii-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. 1. Reclaiming the Middlebrow
  2. pp. 5-31
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  1. 2. The Birth of French Middlebrow
  2. pp. 32-59
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  1. 3. Colette: The Middlebrow Modernist
  2. pp. 60-90
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  1. 4. Interwar France: The Case of the Missing Middlebrow
  2. pp. 91-125
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  1. 5. The ‘little world’ of Françoise Sagan
  2. pp. 126-149
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  1. 6. Literary Prizes, Women and the Middlebrow
  2. pp. 150-177
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  1. 7. Realism, Romance and Self-reflexivity: Twenty-first-century Middlebrow
  2. pp. 178-206
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  1. Conclusion: Marie NDiaye’s femme puissante – a Double Reading
  2. pp. 207-222
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 223-238
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 239-248
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781786949523
Related ISBN
9781786941565
MARC Record
OCLC
1084270115
Pages
256
Launched on MUSE
2020-02-01
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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