French Authors / Texts - Chronological

This is the same data as posted before (link), based on Oxford's Very Short Introduction. 67 entries below. (Unfortunately, the italics for book titles are gone as I copy and paste; oh well.)


Life of Saint Alexis (c. 1050)
Song of Roland (12th c., epic)
Chretien de Troyes - Erec and Enide (c. 1170) and other 4 romances
Marie de France (c. 1168-80, author of Lais - a sort of romance?) -  Bisclavret
Romance of the Rose (long verse narrative in 2 parts - first by Jean de Lorris towards 1230; longer second part by Jean de Meung towards 1275)
Rutebeuf (c.1245-85, poet)
Christine de Pizan (c. 1364-c.1434, poet) - Christine's Vision (1405); Mutation of Fortune (1403)
Villon (c. 1431-63, poet)
Rebelais (c.1490-1553, novelist) - series on Gargantua and Pantaguel (1532-1552)
Marot (1496-1544, poet, brought Petrarchan sonnet to France in 1530s)
Sceve (16th c., poet) - Delie, object of the highest virtue (1544)
Marguerite de Navarre (d. 1549, author of short stories collection) - L'Heptameron (published 1558)
Ronsard (1550s, poet) - Second Book of Sonnets for Helene
du Bally (16th c., poet) - Regrets (1558); Defense and Illustration of the French Language (1549)
Montaigne (16th c., prose) - Essays (1580; revised 1582, 1588 and posthumous edition 1595)
Sorel (17th c., novelist?) - Histoire comique de Francion (1623-33)
Corneille (17th c., dramatist)- Horace (1640); Medee (1635); Rodogune, princesses des Parthes (1644)
Pascal (17th c., prose) - Pensees
La Rochefoucauld (17th c., moralist prose author) - Maxims (1664)
Moliere (17th c., dramatist) - Misanthrope (1666); Tartuffe
Racine (17th c., dramatist) - Andromaque (1668); Britannicus (1669); Phedre
La Fontaine (17th c., author of fables) - Le Loup et le chien (1668)
Lafayette (17th c., novelist)- La Princesse de Cleves (published 1678)
La Bruyere (17th c., moralist prose author) - Caracteres, ou les moeurs de ce siecle (1688)
Marivaux (1688-1763, dramatist) - Game of Love and Chance (1730)
Prevost (18th c., novelist) - Manon Lescaut (1731)
Voltaire (18th c., prose author / novelist)- Candide (1759)
Rousseau (18th c., prose) - Confessions (1769, published 1782); Emile ou De l'education (1762); Reveries of the Solitary Walker
Beaumarchais (late 18th c., dramatist, literary theorist)- Eugenie (1767); Moderate Letter ; Barber of Seville (1775); Marriage of Figaro (1778)
Laclos (18th c., novelist)- Liaisons dangereuses (1782)
Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737-1814, novelist) - Paul et Virginie (1788)
Sade (1740-1814, novelist) - Justine (1791)
Chateaubriand - Rene (novella, published as part of The Genius of Christianity, 1802)
Duras, Claire de (short story writer)- Ourika (1823)
Stendahl (1783-1842, novelist) - Red and Black (1830)
Hugo (19th c., poet, dramatist, novelist, literary theorist)- Cromwell (1827, drama); Notre de Dame de Paris (1831, novel)
Musset (19th c., dramatist) - Lorenzaccio (1834)
Vigny (19th c., dramatist) - Chatterton (1835)
Sand (19th c., novelist) - Consuelo (1842)
Balzac (19th c., novelist)- The Human Comedy
Flaubert (19th c., novelist)- Madame Bovary (1856)
Baudelaire (19th c., poet, literary critic)- Le Spleen de Paris (1869); The Swan (1860); To a Woman Passing By
Zola (1840-1902, novelist) - J'Accuse! (editorial piece, 1898); L'Assommoir (1877); La Bete humaine (1890)
Mallarme (19th c., [prose?] poet)- A Roll of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance (1897); Igiture, ou la folie d'Elbehnon (~1870)
Proust (1871-1922, novelist)- In Search of Lost Times (1913-27)
Valery (1871-1945, poet) - Footsteps (1921); Graveyard by the Sea (1920)
Gide (1869-1951, novelist) - Counterfeiters (1925)
Breton (20th c., "novelist" )- Nadja (1928, revised 1962); Surrealist Manifestos (1924, 1928); Magnetic Fields (1919, poetic prose)
Celine (1894-1961, novelist) - Journey to the End of Night (1932); Death on the Installment Plan (1936) 
Martin du Gard (20th c., novelist) - L'Ete 1914 (1936,part of tlonger work Les Thibault, 1922-40)
Sartre (1905-80) - Nausea (1938)
Desnos (1900-1945, poet) - Rrose Selavy: Precision Oculism, Complete Line of Whiskers and Kicks (1939)
Camus (1913-1960, novelist)- Myth of Sisyphus (essay); Stranger (1942, novel); Caligula (play)
Nemirovsky (20th c., d. in Auschwitz, author of novellas) - Suite Francaise (published in 2004)
Ionesco (20th c., dramatist)- The Bald Soprano (1950)
Beckett (20th c., dramatist, novelist)- Waiting for Godot (1952); Unnameable (1953)
Bonnefoy (20th c., poet) - On the Motion and Immobility of Douve (1953)
Butor (1926-, novelist) - Second Thoughts (1957)
Robbe-Grillet (20th c., novelist) - Jealousy (1957)
Duras, Marguerite (1914-1996; screenplay writer)- Hiroshima mon amour (1959 film; 1960 book)
Le Clezio (20th/21st c., novelist) - Interrogation (1963); Desert (1980); Prospector (1985); Onitsha (1991); Quarantine (1995); Wandering Star (1996); Ourania (2006); Refrain of Hunger (2008)
Sarraute (1900-1999, novelist) - Golden Fruits (1963)
Conde (1930- , novelist)- I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem (1987)
Darieussecq (1969-, novelist) - Pig Tales (1996)  
Houellebecq (novelist)- Atomised (1998)
Nothomb (20th c., novelist) - Fear and Trembling (1999)
Littel (1967- , novelist) - Les Bienveillantes (2006)



At least based on what was given by the Oxford booklet, it is also clear how genre evolved in French literature: starts with A) Poetry (since 12th c. Song of Roland), then B) Prose (late 16th c., Montaigne), then C) Drama (17th c., Corneille, followed by Moliere), then D) Novel (starts early with Rebelais in early 16th c., but really entered its Golden Age in the century between Voltaire's Candid (1759) through Flaubert's Madame Bovery (1856), and continues to be the dominant genre for French literature till today).


With this view, in my List of 150, where I included Chretien de Troyes' Arthurian Romances, Montaigne's Essays, Hugo's Les Miserables as representative French literature, I was in fact representing it fairly well through across genres / time periods. I didn't include Drama, as Moliere is probably too close to Shakespeare (same century) in the Western tradition. I also included Voltaire through his history works Essays on Manners. Of course, the exclusion of Song of Roland is a hard choice to make, but I think there are already too many Epics throughout the list, and thus the preference for de Troyes' romances. Choosing Hugo over Flaubert is because Hugo is both dramatist, novelist and poet all in one person.

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