Let's Go Special Pack

Reforming French Culture: Satire, Spiritual Alienation, and Connection to Strangers

ISBN : 9780198808763

George Hoffmann
288 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Reforming French Culture is a ground-breaking work on the literary genre of Reformation satire-colloquial, obscene, scatological-designed to mock the excesses as well as the essence of the Roman Catholic rite and hierarchy. Enticingly, Hoffmann proposes that while romance, with its episodic, heroic narrative, is the literary genre of Counter-Reformation, satire is the genre of Reformation. This minor category of Renaissance French literature is an unstudied continent that plays a key role, not only in French literature, but also in French history, and in the evolution of French culture more generally. From this deceptively small focus, the volume opens up huge vistas: on the Reformation, on French history, and on the symbiosis of spirituality and estrangement to which it views modern French culture as heir. Rather than using literature to illustrate history, or contextualizing literature through historical background, this book brings literary understanding (what satire is and what it does) to bear on historical understanding. Situated at the crossroads of religion, literature, and cultural history, it explores how France, in this period, became a culturally Protestant country while remaining confessionally Catholic.


1 Background: Purging an Unreformed Past
2 Becoming Religious Foreigners
3 The Devotional Force of Incredulity
4 Pilgrims of Satire: To Go Home
5 Noplace Anywhere: 'Observation' as Worship
6 From Communion to Communication
7 The Legacy of French Reformation Satire


George Hoffmann is Professor of French at the University of Michigan in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. He is the author of Montaigne's Career (OUP, 1998) and several articles such as 'Was Montaigne a Good Friend?' in Men and Women Making Friends (Ashgate, 2015), 'Self-Assurance and Acting in the Essais' in Montaigne Studies (2014), and the Oxford Bibliographies Online entry for Montaigne. In addition, he has edited an issue devoted to Les Biographies de Montaigne in Montaigne Studies (2008) and contributed several articles to the Dictionnaire Montaigne, edited by Philippe Desan (Champion, 2007).