French Humour: Papers Based on a Colloquium Held in the French Department of the University of Bristol, November 30th 1996

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John Parkin
Rodopi, 1999 - Fiction - 232 pages
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French humour is examined in a number of contexts: literary, filmic, linguistic, propagandistic and theoretical. The fields of study vary from medieval narrative to the contemporary detective novel, via Renaissance fiction, seventeenth-century satire, nineteenth-century polemic, and French New Wave cinema. Specific chapters are dedicated to Rabelais, La Bruyere, Bergson, Beckett and San-Antonio. The volume employs a flexible approach aiming to re-examine and question such established preconceptions as the decadence of fifteenth-century humour, the philosophical pre-eminence of Bergson, the originality of Truffaut, Chabrol and Godard, and the very existence of a French humour which is definably different from that of other European and American trends. Conversely, the themes of sexual and marital humour, Rabelaisian bawdy, intellectualised and irreverent wit, le comique (as contrast l'humour), political satire and black humour emerge repeatedly as characteristic, if not definitive, of the French comic tradition.

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