European Literary History : An Introduction book cover
1st Edition

European Literary History
An Introduction

ISBN 9781138886735
Published March 6, 2018 by Routledge
392 Pages

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Book Description

This clear and engaging book offers readers an introduction to European Literary History from antiquity through to the present day. Each chapter discusses a short extract from a literary text, whilst including a close reading and a longer essay examining other key texts of the period and their place within European Literature. Offering a view of Europe as an evolving cultural space and examining the mobility and travel of literature both within and out of Europe, this guide offers an introduction to the dynamics of major literary networks, international literary networks, publication cultures and debates, and the cultural history of 'Europe' as a region as well as a concept.

Table of Contents

List of illustrations

List of contributors

General Introduction

Maarten De Pourcq



André Lardinois and Claire Stocks

1.1 Introduction

André Lardinois and Claire Stocks

1.2 Travelling in Greek and Roman Literature

Rebecca Armstrong and Katherine Clarke

Homer, Odyssey

1.3 Experiencing Life and Love

Ellen Greene and André Lardinois

Sappho, "Sappho’s Prayer to Aphrodite"

1.4 Performing Culture

Bernhard Zimmermann

Sophocles, Antigone

1.5 Making Literature

Koen De Temmerman and Bé Breij

Horace, Ars Poetica

1.6 Remembering the Past

Nita Krevans and Ruth Scodel

Horace, Ode 3.30


Middle Ages

Frank Brandsma and Erik Kooper

2.1 Introduction

Frank Brandsma

2.2 Desiring

Roy Rosenstein

Jaufre Rudel, "Vida"

2.3 Searching for the Grail

Frank Brandsma

Chrétien de Troyes, Le Conte du Graal

2.4 Reaching Salvation

Roberto Rea

Dante Alighieri, Commedia

2.5 Telling Tales

Erik Kooper

Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales

2.6 Self-Fashioning

Madeleine Jeay

Christine de Pizan, Le Livre de la Cité des dames


Early Modern Period

Nina Geerdink and Alicia C. Montoya

3.1 Introduction

Nina Geerdink and Alicia C. Montoya

3.2 Staging

Nina Geerdink and Yolanda Rodríguez Pérez

Joost van den Vondel, Palamedes, oft vermoorde onnooselheyd

3.3 Reading

Robert Folger and Konstantin Mierau

Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

3.4 Exploring new worlds

Konstantin Mierau, Alicia C. Montoya and Catriona Seth

Luís Vaz de Camões, Os Lusíadas

3.5 Corresponding

Catriona Seth

Choderlos de Laclos, Les liaisons dangereuses

3.6 Educating

Alicia C. Montoya

Marie Leprince de Beaumont, Magasin des enfants


The Long Nineteenth Century

Marguérite Corporaal and Lotte Jensen

4.1 Introduction

Marguérite Corporaal and Lotte Jensen

4.2 Feeling

Anke Gilleir

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Die Leiden des jungen Werther

4.3 Defining the Nation

Lotte Jensen

Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe

4.4 Circulating Traditions

Marguérite Corporaal and Raphaël Ingelbien

Hans Christian Andersen, Snedronningen

4.5 Selling Literature

Chris Louttit

Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret

4.6 Emancipating

Marguérite Corporaal and Sophie Levie

Lev Tolstoy, Anna Karenina


The Modern Era

Helleke van den Braber, Sophie Levie and Mathijs Sanders

5.1 Introduction

Helleke van den Braber, Sophie Levie and Mathijs Sanders

5.2 Breaking Boundaries

Sophie Levie

Gabriele d’Annunzio, Il Piacere

5.3 Ordering Chaos

Kai Evers

Franz Kafka, In der Strafkolonie

5.4 Marketing Literature

Helleke van den Braber and Mathijs Sanders

D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

5.5 Writing the City

László Muntéan and Pedro Lange

Heinrich Böll, Der Engel schwieg

5.6 Changing Europe

Theo D’haen

Zadie Smith, White Teeth


Index of terms

Index of authors and works

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Maarten De Pourcq is Professor of European Literature at Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Sophie Levie is Professor emeritus of Literary and Cultural Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands.