French Literature Quiz: test your knowledge of literature from France with this quiz game! Take the Test!
To be able to answer the questions in our quiz on French literature, you must be a real lover of the subject.
French literature includes all works created by French authors or in the French language. It is one of the oldest literatures in the Western world: in fact, the earliest written records in the language date back to the 9th century. More precisely, the first work of French literature - Sequence of St. Eulalia, is dated 888.
Literature has been the nerve center of all European literature on more than one occasion:
In the Middle Ages, with courtly lyricism
In the 17th century, with the codification of the rules of classical theater
In the 18th century with the Enlightenment, a movement born in France that infected all of Europe and inspired movements that had strong consequences for the political order of France and Europe.
The Chanson de Roland is the best known poem of courtly lyricism. It is an epic poem with a military subject but with a very unwieldy religious theme. The work is not only appreciated for its style and strict application of the metric of endecasyllabic, but also for its vivid and lively description of places and characters. It is considered a masterpiece of epic and its writing is traced back to around the year 1000.
In the seventeenth century, France was infected by the Italian Renaissance following King Francis I's military campaign in Italy. One of the most important fruits of this period is the codification of the rules of classical theater and the establishment of L'Académie française.
But the cultural movement that most identifies French literature is probably the Enlightenment. In the 1700s (the Age of Enlightenment) France was a powerful nation and its taste in the arts was admired and imitated throughout Europe. Underlying the Enlightenment is an extraordinary confidence in the capabilities of the human intellect. Divine influences, superstition, religion, lose their importance and technological innovation and the light of reason become the new inspirers of progress.
Voltaire, de Balzac, Dumas, and Proust are among the best-known French authors, although the best-known French author in the world is surely Victor Hugo for his work Notre Dame de Paris.
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