Some thoughts on the present state of the French novel

With nearly 600 new novels published every year, to talk of recurrent themes or preoccupations in recent years is at best hazardous if not a waste of time. There is the usual cry that the vast sprawling novels of the nineteenth century and the masterpieces of the twentieth requiring the reader’s time and patience are still to be regretted, and that the impact of the visual—notably television and the comic strip—has encouraged a taste for instant consumption. That various aspects of contemporary politics and society have drawn novelists’ attention is clear; at the same time well-established concerns such as the Occupation or memory and history or the role of women, for example, continue to inspire some writers and satisfy their editor’s commercial ambitions.

Prof John Flower is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Kent.  He has held professorial posts at Exeter UK and in France at Paris X-Nanterre and Bordeaux. He has published extensively on French literature, culture and politics since the early twentieth century, notably on the work of François Mauriac. He was founding editor of the Journal of European Studies and until 2021 its general editor.

COVID safe event: Social distancing / masks mandatory / COVID safety officer

Online: Zoom Meeting ID: 861 8419 0389 / Password: 2022

Date & time

Thu 13 Oct 2022, 4.30–6pm


A.D. Hope Building Rm. G28


Prof John Flower, University of Kent


Russell Smith


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