Honore d'Urfe, Francois Rabelais, Charles Sorel, and Sieur de Souvigny are among the great authors from this European country. Among the groundbreaking masterpieces of French literature are "The Princess of Cleves," "The Human Comedy," and "Candide."
French writers have been important contributors to the development of world literature. Some of France's most famous writers include: Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle, Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Denis Diderot, François-Marie Arouet (also known as "Voltaire"), Jean-Paul Marat, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and Michel Foucault.
France has had a long tradition of literary creativity. The first written words in Europe appear in French texts dating back to about 2500 BC. One of the oldest surviving books in the world is the "Legend of Gauisinde," which dates back to about AD 300. It is a copy of a work originally written in ancient Greek.
This tradition continues today with notable authors including Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Louis Aragon, Paul Éluard, Robert Desnos, Jacques Prévert, Samuel Beckett, and Jean Genet.
About 77 million people speak French as their first language, making it the largest native language family in Europe.
Famous French writers include Cyrano de Bergerac, Albert Camus, Gustave Flaubert, Jules Verne, Victor Hugo, and Alexandre Dumas, the most widely read French novelist in history! Other notable writers include Michel de Montaigne, who pioneered the essay style of writing; Jacques-Louis David, one of the founders of modern art; and Émile Zola, one of the pioneers of naturalism in literature.
France is a large country with several cultural regions. Paris is the capital city of France and also its largest metropolis with more than 13 million people. It is a powerful force in politics and business and has the reputation of being the center of entertainment for artists from all over the world. Literature is one of France's strongest cultures and has produced many great writers over the years.
The best known authors in France are probably those that have been popularized through film or television. These days you can find characters by Marcel Aymé or Alain Delon used to sell products. But it is not only celebrities that are successful on bookshelves, unknown authors can reach a large audience too. One example is Marie-Claire Blais, who wrote under the pseudonym Victoria Strauss. She was very popular in France during the 1980s.
Romanticism dominated French literature in the first half of the century, and is connected with authors like as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Pere, Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand, Alphonse de Lamartine, Gerard de Nerval, Charles Nodier, Alfred de Musset, Theophile Gautier, and Alfred de Vigny.
The movement's characteristics include emphasis on emotion, imagination, and spirituality in place of reason and logic; admiration for ancient Rome and Greece; longing for eternal values in an age of revolution and materialism; protest against established institutions and political power; and desire to break free from the constraints of classical form.
French Romantic writers were influenced by English poets such as Byron, Shelley, and Keats. They also had contacts with other European countries' literatures: Germany's romantic movement was known as "Der Geiste des Landes" (The Spirit of the Country). France and Germany both became countries after they defeated their absolute rulers in a series of revolutions.
In addition to protesting against the Revolution and wars, many French and German poets were interested in folklore, mythology, astrology, and other occult topics. These subjects are reflected in some of their poems.
One poem that's often included in textbooks is "La lyre à fourchette" (The Guitar) by Alfred de Musset. It was inspired by Marie-Antoinette's inability to play the guitar.
D'Urfe, Honore d'Urfe, d'Urfe In France, the origins of modern fiction assumed a pseudo-bucolic shape, and the famed L'Astree (1610) by Honore d'Urfe (1568–1625), the first French book, is properly characterized as a pastoral. It was followed by several other novels in France during the early 17th century.
The first French novel was written in 1612 by an Italian scholar named Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). He called his work Decameron, which means "diary" in Latin. The Decameron is actually ten short stories about seven married people who live in a small town in Italy. Each story is told by a different person and covers one week in the life of the fictional family. The most interesting thing about the Decameron is that it was the first novel ever written by a major European author. Before this date, books were mainly composed of poems or essays, but Boccaccio combined these elements into one complete work. His novel influenced many writers in Europe, including Thomas More (1478–1535) and Matteo Maria Boiardo (1330–1396).
In England, George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) has been credited with being the first true novelist. His works, which include back in 1872 What Is History? And in 1880 Caesar and Cleopatra, are considered important examples of the social novel.
Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870) is often regarded as the greatest French writer of all time. Dumas was a mixed-race man whose grandmother had been a slave in Haiti and whose father was a Napoleonic officer. His works have been made into approximately 200 films since the early twentieth century.
He started writing at the age of 31 for two magazines, La Caricature and Le Rire, and soon became one of the most popular authors in France. His novels were very successful and are still read today; they include The Three Musketeers, Monte Cristo, and The Count of Monte Cristo.
Dumas' novels are characterized by their attention to detail and his ability to create realistic characters. He also did some work for the theater, including organizing several famous plays such as La Dame aux Camélias (The Lady of Shallot).
In addition to being a writer, Dumas was also an actor, director, and producer. At the age of 52, he founded his own printing house which published many books by other writers. In 1873, he became editor of a new magazine called "La Presse" and managed to get money for it from its publisher, Charpentier & Cie. This allowed him to live well and travel extensively.
At the age of 64, he went to America to visit his son who was studying medicine at Harvard University.