‘I want to produce such an impression of utter weariness and ennui that my readers will imagine the book could only have been written by a cretin,’ Flaubert wrote.
Photo by Nadar / ullstein bild via Getty Images
Is a 19th-century French author’s cosmic joke turning into a real-life global nightmare?
The poet in a picture by Gustave Courbet.
His legacy connects a great swathe of modern popular culture.
April 15, 2019, 7:34 p.m.: Notre-Dame de Paris in flames.
The fire that devastated the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral on April 15 is a historic event that reminds us of the symbolic power of national monuments.
Booker-listed Annie Ernaux.
Her latest English translation, Happening, has come to be seen as one of the great pieces of writing about abortion.
An emerging genre of fiction in France is providing an unlikely brand of escapism.
Colette, photographed by Henri Manuel.
The French writer's work and life make perfect cinematic subjects.
A signed copy of Marcel Proust’s ‘Du cote de chez Swann’ . Proust highlighted France’s bitter debate about the Dreyfus affair.
EPA/Christophe Petit Tesson
Proust's masterpiece À La Recherche du Temps Perdu reveals how people's irrational beliefs become entrenched.
Chawton House Library
Two women writers died in July 1817. One was Jane Austen. The other was much more famous.
Mme Soazig de la Moissonniere/Elysee.
Macron's portrait and taste in literature are full of political symbols to be sussed.
Diane de Joannis de Châteaublanc, Madame de Ganges, the original Beauty.
There was more than meets the eye to one of the most famous versions of Beauty and the Beast.
Though sharing with Fifty Shades the overall themes of sexual domination and submission, Story of O remains a work of substantial literary merit.
© Musée des lettres et manuscrits, Paris
When translating The 120 Days of Sodom, we had a duty to be just as rude, crude, and revolting as Sade.
Mourners gather at a memorial for victims of the Nice, France attacks.
The French novel uniquely blends social critique, personal struggle, entertainment and aesthetics – underpinned by an irony that winks at human weakness. Can it help us in these dark days of extremist violence?
A dead formula.
The original book is one of the most influential French crime novels, but the film is an utter flop.
Award-winning French author Michel Houellebecq is no stranger to controversy.
When gunmen (thought to be radicalized Muslims) burst into the offices of Charlie Hebdo on the morning of January 7, the front page of the satirical newspaper’s most recent edition featured a caricature…
Three works by the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez are suggested for Spanish A Level.
As part of its revamp of the A Level curriculum, the government has launched a consultation on the way modern languages are taught at sixth form. If introduced, the changes herald a real boost to the teaching…
Rumours of an affair have raised Hollande’s dander.
AP Photo/Francois Mori
Liberté, égalité, infidélité. The three stout pillars of the French constitution. Mitterrand, Chirac, Sarkozy, and now François Hollande: it’s a grand tradition – and if you tot their conquests up they…