France culture and civilization ppt to pdf

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French Traditions and Culture

French literature , the body of written works in the French language produced within the geographic and political boundaries of France. The French language was one of the five major Romance languages to develop from Vulgar Latin as a result of the Roman occupation of western Europe.

Since the Middle Ages, France has enjoyed an exceptional position in European intellectual life. In medieval times, because of the far-reaching and complex system of feudal allegiances not least the links of France and England , the networks of the monastic orders, the universality of Latin, and the similarities of the languages derived from Latin, there was a continual process of exchange, in form and content, among the literatures of western Europe.

The evolution of the nation-states and the rise in prestige of vernacular languages gradually eroded the unifying force of these relationships.

From the early modern period onward, France developed its own distinctive and many-stranded cultural tradition, which, while never losing sight of the riches of the medieval base and the Judeo-Christian biblical tradition, has come chiefly to be thought of as Mediterranean in its allegiance , rooted in the imitation of Classical models as these were mediated through the great writers and thinkers of Renaissance Italy. In this version, French culture prizes reason, formal perfection, and purity of language and is to be admired for its thinkers as much as for its writers.

Other aspects of this legacy—the skepticism of Descartes, calling into question authoritarian axioms; the violent, self-seeking intensity of Racinian passion, fueled by repression and guilt; and the abrasive irony that Voltaire turned against established bigotry , prejudice , and injustice—were less well viewed in the circles of established order. Frequently forced underground, these and their inheritors nevertheless gave energy to the revolutionary ethos that constituted another, equally French, contribution to the radical traditions of western Europe.

The political and philosophical revolutions installed by the end of the 18th century, in the name of science and reason, were accompanied by transformations in the form and content of French writing. Over the turn of the 19th century and beyond, an emergent Romantic sensibility challenged the Neoclassical ideal, which had become a pale and timid imitation of its former self. The new orthodoxy asserted the claims of imagination and feeling against reason and of individual desire against social and moral convention.

The syllable alexandrine that had been used to such effect by Jean Racine remained the standard line in verse, but the form was relaxed and reinvigorated; and the thematic domain of poetry was extended successively by Victor Hugo , Alfred de Vigny , Charles Baudelaire , and Arthur Rimbaud.

All poetic form was thrown into the melting pot by the Modernist revolutions at the turn of the 20th century. As the novel overtook poetry and drama to become the dominant literary form in the 19th century, French writers explored the possibilities of the genre and, in some cases, reinvented it.

In the work of other writers, such as Stendhal , Gustave Flaubert , and Marcel Proust , each following his own distinctive path, a different kind of realism emerged, focused on a preoccupation with the analysis of individual action, motivation, and desire as well as a fascination with form. Between them, the 19th-century French novelists traced the fate of the individualistic sensibilities born of aristocratic and high bourgeois culture as they engaged with the collectivizing forms of a nation moving toward mass culture and the threshold of democracy.

During the first half of the 20th century, Paris remained the hub of European intellectual and artistic life. Its position was challenged from the s, and especially after World War II , by Anglo-American writers, many of whom honed their own skills within its culture and its borders; but it still continued to generate modes of thinking and writing that others followed. From the s, proponents of the nouveau roman , or New Novel , mounted a radical attack on the conventions of the genre.

At the same time, boulevard drama felt on its neck the breath of the avant-garde; and from the s onward French writers began stimulating new approaches to almost every field of rational inquiry. The international status of the French language has declined steadily since World War II, with the rise of American market hegemony and, especially, with the rapid spread of decolonization. The contribution of Francophone authors outside its borders to the renewal of French literary traditions has become increasingly significant.

This article focuses on French literature produced within the Hexagon, as the country of France is often called because of the configuration of its boundaries, from the 9th century to which the earliest surviving fragmentary texts belong to the present day.

Literary works written in French in countries outside the Hexagon, including former dependencies, are discussed under the appropriate national entries. For the French literature of Belgium, for example, see Belgian literature: French. Other related entries of significance are Anglo-Norman literature and African literature: Modern literatures in European languages. French literature Article Media Additional Info. Article Contents. Table Of Contents. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.

Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires login. External Websites. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.

See Article History. Britannica Quiz. Exploring French Literature Quiz. The roots of French literature can be traced, arguably, to the Roman occupation of western Europe. Take it and learn where it does go.

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Culture and Civilization

French literature , the body of written works in the French language produced within the geographic and political boundaries of France. The French language was one of the five major Romance languages to develop from Vulgar Latin as a result of the Roman occupation of western Europe. Since the Middle Ages, France has enjoyed an exceptional position in European intellectual life. In medieval times, because of the far-reaching and complex system of feudal allegiances not least the links of France and England , the networks of the monastic orders, the universality of Latin, and the similarities of the languages derived from Latin, there was a continual process of exchange, in form and content, among the literatures of western Europe. The evolution of the nation-states and the rise in prestige of vernacular languages gradually eroded the unifying force of these relationships. From the early modern period onward, France developed its own distinctive and many-stranded cultural tradition, which, while never losing sight of the riches of the medieval base and the Judeo-Christian biblical tradition, has come chiefly to be thought of as Mediterranean in its allegiance , rooted in the imitation of Classical models as these were mediated through the great writers and thinkers of Renaissance Italy.


PDF version; Print Presentation. Learning French also entails exploring all aspects of French culture. That is why we offer each semester over 30 courses covering French culture and civilization. France's great authors • Paris, past and.


French Culture, Customs and Etiquette

In particular, France is internationally recognized for its fashion, cuisine, art, and cinema. Understanding French culture and traditions can help you better understand your family heritage if you have French ancestors. French culture was historically shaped by Celtic, Roman, and Germanic cultures.

French national identity is based on the historical origins of the nation in Celtic, Gallo-Roman, and Frankish cultures. The name "France" originally was used to refer to several peoples in the lower Rhineland. It gradually was introduced as a more widespread term to denote that territory, formerly known as Gaul, after the Frankish invasion and the retreat of the Romans.

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