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

Reforming French Culture: Satire, Spiritual Alienation, and Connection to Strangers by George Hoffmann
English | December 7, 2017 | ISBN: 0198808763 | PDF | 280 pages | 1.5 MB

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.

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