French-Language Literatures


Beugnot, B., and J.-M. Moureaux. Manuel bibliographique des études littéraires: Les bases de l’histoire littéraire, les voies nouvelles de l’analyse critique. Paris: Nathan, 1982. 478 pp. Nathan-Université. Z6511.B48 [PN544] 016.809.

A guide to reference works (through c. 1980) important to the study of French-language literature. The approximately 3,400 entries are listed by publication date within extensively classified divisions: general reference works (with sections for general works, bibliographies, periodicals, surveys of research, and textual criticism and major editions), literary history and criticism (history of criticism, literary history, literature and other arts, ideas and themes, genres, poetic theory, imagery and myth, literature and psychoanalysis, and literature and sociology), and new areas of study (French-language literature outside France and children’s and popular literature). Few entries are annotated, but each division, section, and subsection is preceded by a brief overview of reference works. Two indexes: scholars (at the end of the book); subjects (at the beginning). This is the fullest guide to reference works on French literature, but users would benefit from more annotations.

Although more selective, Fernande Bassan, Donald C. Spinelli, and Howard A. Sullivan, French Language and Literature: An Annotated Bibliography (New York: Garland, 1989; 365 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 954), is an important complement since it covers publications through early 1988 and offers brief—but generally adequate and accurate—descriptive annotations for more than 1,250 reference works and critical studies. Even more selective—but also more current—is Michel Brix, Guide bibliographique des études d’histoire de la littérature française, 3rd ed., rev. and augmented (Namur: Bibliothèque Universitaire Moretus Plantin, 1992; 138 pp.; Bibliothèque Universitaire Moretus Plantin 2).

A judiciously selective, evaluative guide to bibliographies is Richard Kempton, French Literature: An Annotated Guide to Selected Bibliographies (New York: MLA, 1981; 42 pp.; Selected Bibliogs. in Lang. and Lit. 2), which includes brief sections on French Canadian and other French-language literatures.