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FRN Literature

French Classical Literature (17th century) - Le grande siecle

Classical Movement 17th century. Classical ideal of order, clarity, proportion, and good taste. (Baroque movement in the arts) Rude noble transformed to the ideal of "honnete homme" with virtues of eloquent speech, dance, manners, artistic appreciation, platonic love.
Academie Francaise Est by First Minister to Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu. Exists in present day. Maintains standards of literary taste. Membership limited to 40. Acts conservatively % opposes innovations in content/form but it did include most of the great names.
Madame de Rambouillet Noble hostess of salons. Influenced development of literature in first half of 17th. Nobles & educated men mingled as equals at her salons. Many imitated her. Salons emphasized refinement and delicacy of thought/expression.
La préciosité movement Litrary style birthed in the salons that emphasized the preciseness of words.
Honoré d'Urfé Préciosité Movement. Pastoral romances very popular in 17th and inspired later writers. Classicism introduced desire for moral analysis and refinement. Wrote L'Astrée, masterpiece of genre.
L'Astrée D'Urfé's magnum opus. Lives of love obsessed shepherds/shepherdesses. Astrée & Céladon unable to marry because of families' mutual enmity. Modeled from Spanish & Italian Romances. Stylized manners, conventional settings, contrived plot.
Madame de La Fayette Friends w/Rochefoucald. Masterpiece is La Princesse de Clèves, set in mid 16th with contemporary manners. France's first "historical" novel. Launched novel of character & influenced course of French fiction. Psychological portrait of thwarted love.
Madeleine de Seudény Novelist & Socialite. Published novels under brother's name, the dramatist Georges de Scudéry. In 1640 replaced Rambouillet with her own salon, Société du Samedi. Work based on important society figures of time, including herself as Sappho.
François de Malherbe Opposed the Pléiade. Insisted on strict form, restraint, & purity of diction. Paved way for French Classicism. Owes place in history to critical doctrine he imposed on his fellows. Made French poetry elegant, refined, but unimaginative.
Théophile de Viau(d) Antithesis of Malherbe, poet & dramaticist of pre-Neoclassical period. Defended spontaneity & inspiration in poetry. Epicurean viewpoint with apocalyptic visions and thoughts of death.
Pyrame et Thisbé important tragedy, finest play of 1620s, shares fresh lyrical charm of the pastorals.
François de La Rochefoucauld Aristocrat. Active rebel of the Fronde, a series of wars (1648-1653) to check power of royal gov't with Louis XIII and Richelieu. Name came from sling game kids played in Paris streets to defy authorities. Wrote the famous Maximes.
The Maximes Principal Achievement of La Rochefoucald. 504 epigrammatic reflections on human behavior. Epigram expresses harsh or parodoxical truth with brevity. High point of French epigram, influenced Voltaire.
René Descartes Significant cornerstone to many developments. Father of Modern Philosophy. Cartesian coordinate system. Father of Analytical Geometry. Key figure in Scientific Revolution.
Meditations of First Philosophy Written by René Descartes in 17th century and still a standard test today. "Je pense, donc je suis."
Blaise Pascal Poet, Mathematician, Physicist, Religious Philosopher, and Master of Prose. Laid foundation for theory of probabilities, formulated Pascal's law of pressure. Established principle of intuitionism that impacted Existentialists.
Pensées Written by Pascal. Presents an uncompromising reminder of the spiritual values of Christian Faith. It contrasts the misery of godless man with the greatness attainable by divine grace.
Madame de Sévigné Great icon of French Literature. Aristocrat remembered for 30 years of letters to her daughter. Witty, vivid writing. Daughter published after mom's death. Played important role in Proust's work.
Jean de La Bruyère Philosopher & Moralist. Witnessed corruption & hypocrisy of Louis XIV's court. Work is combo of the Essais & the Maximes creating literary portraits. "Caractères" earned him friends and enemies.
Created by: kles