Lettres Européennes, A History of European Literature

« L’entreprise, magistrale, est destinée à faire date  [‘the great enterprise is destined to thrive’] »

Florence Noiville, Le Monde des livres 28/09/07

A History of European Literature is the first ever book dedicated to the history of European literature. It is the collective work of over two hundred scholars from every part of Europe, and reflects the academic network’s educational ambition: is it not legitimate and necessary that the 800 million European citizens know the roots, history and current literary creations of their own continent?

The dialectical relation between tradition and modernity is never omitted: the book is introduced with such contributions as the antique, biblical, Celtic or Arab-Andalusian heritages. These legacies open the book, and find an answer in the chapter “Contemporary figures”: 46 notes are dedicated to 46 contemporary authors, living and writing the literature of today’s European continent.

Dialectics between the known and the unknown, the interweaving of History in stories, witness literature or fictional literature: today’s Europe is in harmony with the tradition of remote beings, books and ideas, all characteristic of our continent’s cultural genesis.

Guy Fontaine is a scientific expert and consultant at the Council of Europe. He is preparing the recommendation act which this institution’s Parliamentary Assembly shall vote in 2008, in favor of the teaching of European literature.

Annick Benoit is an Associate Professor of Modern Literature in Paris.

They have launched an astonishingly new concept: European literature as an academic discipline.

Alongside the international academic network Les Lettres Européennes, they foreshadowed the residence for European writers ‘Villa Mont-Noir’, within Marguerite Yourcenar’s childhood home (France). It was founded by Guy Fontaine.

table of contents

Under the direction of Annick Benoit-Dusausoy and Guy Fontaine

De Boeck Supérieur, sept. 17th 2007 – 864 pages

Polish edition  in 2009, Slowo Obraz Terytoria Publishing





Latvian edition in 2013, Janis Roze Publishing 

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