'Scott M. Powers has brought together an original and brilliant collection of essays on the representation of evil in contemporary French literary texts by a range of international writers from diverse traditions inside and outside the French Hexagon. Contributors to Evil in Contemporary French and Francophone Literature explore the multi-faceted, complex and often paradoxical nature of this concept from psychological, linguistic and ethical perspectives. The success of the collection can be measured in the way each contributor has identified a different dimension to the concept of evil (evil as necessity, as recuperation of a right, as silence, as (mis)communication, as intentionality, including the tensions in the binary of good and evil) and mapped its respective significance within the literary production of a key novelist. This collection is a living testament to the relevance of evil as a meaningful source of inquiry at the centre of the French literary mindset in the twenty-first century.' --Dr Enda McCaffrey, Reader in French Studies, Nottingham Trent University, UK
Confronting the twentieth century of the Christian Era, a century of horrors and marvels, Scott Powers has assembled a diverse group of young scholars to explore literary representations of evil in the French language, beginning with Jean-Paul Sartre but global in its perspective. Works studied include French, Belgian, Algerian, and Guinean writers, ending with two major chapters on The Kindly Ones, the controversial prize-winning masterpiece of the Franco-American Jonathan Littell, the Holocaust being the prime test for the adequacy of verbal narrative. Urgently relevant for its moral scope, taking into account poststructuralist/postmodern theories, and quite readable, Evil in Contemporary French and Francophone Literature is a book of wisdom, courage, and lucid interpretation. --Edward K. Kaplan, Brandeis University
About the Author
Associate Professor of French at the University of Mary Washington, Scott Powers has authored several articles on evil, secularization, and religion in the writings of Baudelaire, Zola, Celine, and Beigbeder. His most recent essay, 'Writing Against Theodicy: Reflections on the Co-Existence of God and Evil in Baudelaire's Poetry and Critical Essays,' has been published in the journal Nineteenth-Century French Studies. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled The Secularization of Evil and the Return of the Religious in Modern French Literature.