Books on French Literature


January 9, 2023

Books on French literature

Further Reading:

842.  French drama

Samuel Beckett Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts, 1952.

Though originally from Ireland, Samuel Beckett spent most of his adult life in France. Waiting for Godot, his most famous play, takes place around two men waiting for someone named Godot. People often interpret the seeming nonsense of the drama to represent man’s search for meaning.

843. French fiction

Antoine de Saint-Exupery Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939.

Today, Antoine de Saint-Exupery is best known for his novel The Little Prince, but he was also an early pilot. This work shares his experiences after his plane crashes, first in the Libyan desert in 1935 and another in which he was seriously injured in Tierra del Fuego in Argentina in 1938. He relates his adventures in flight which combines beautiful prose with philosophy.

848. French miscellaneous writings

Alice Kaplan Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach, 2001.

Alice Kaplan tells the story of Robert Brasillach, a novelist and literary critic who was the editor of the weekly fascist paper Je Suis Partout, which denounced Jews and resistance activists. In February 1945, Brascillach was executed by a firing squad for treason. Questioning whether Brasillach was guilty of treason or was executed for his homosexuality, Kaplan delves into the ethical issues surrounding the case and brings up questions about the nature of justice.

Stacy Schiff Saint-Exupery: A Biography, 1994.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Stacy Schiff relates the influences on French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Schiff tells of his upbringing in an aristocratic family that had fallen on hard times. Later, he went to live in a plank shack in the western Sahara Desert while working for Aeropostale, the French mail service. She tells of his time in airplanes, the works he wrote, and his final disappearance at age 44 during a reconnaissance flight over southern France.

For more information on the Further Reading series, see Further Reading: Start Here.

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