Category: Books

21st Century Writers – Famous and French too!

Famous French writers of the 21st century have defied all definitions of artistry by their magical use of words to communicate all kinds of hidden expressions. These notable written works have been used to convey the messages which are mostly silenced by society today. Below, we have listed the most prominent French writers of the century. Each has elegantly broken all the writing rules and succeeded in doing so!

Famous and French Writers of the 21st Century

Frédéric Beigbeder

He was born in France in 1965. Today, he is a French writer, literary critic, columnist, and executive editor. At the tender age of 24, he started out as a copywriter for the marketing and media company, Young and Rubicam.

Over the years he has worked for different companies, including filling in the position as a columnist for the Le Figaro Magazine. Today, he is now the Executive Editor for the same magazine.

Notably, he won two French literary awards; the Prix Interallié Award for his Windows on the World novel and the Prix Renaudot Award for his book, Un roman Francais.

Francois Gautier

Francois was born in 1950. He is a French political writer, journalist, historian, and columnist now based in India.

He founded an NGO called the Foundation for Advancement of Cultural Ties with the focus being on Indian history. The Panchjanya’s Nachiketa Awards awarded Francois with the monetary Bipin Chandra Pal Award which he used to donate to his NGO.

Sophie Calle

Calle was born in 1953 and is known today as a French writer, photographer, conceptual artist, as well as an installation artist. Most of her artworks have depicted various life experiences of hers using different art mediums.

In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for her book, My All, which was published by the French publishing house, Actes Sud. My All, a photo-book full of postcard photographs chronicling all 54 of her artworks.

Emmanuelle Riva

Riva was born in France in the early part of 1927. She was notably known as a very successful French actress, but also dabbled in poetry, photography, painting, and singing.

Winner and nominee of several acting awards for her success as a French actress. A notable award won for her acting work include the Volpi Cup for Best Actress in 1962 for her film, Thérèse Desqueyroux. Nominated for multiple awards in 2012 for her performance in Amour, she won a few Best Actress awards including a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Her poetry collections were released in three parts; one in 1969, another in 1975, and the last in 1982. These collections were; Juste derrière le sifflet des trains, Le Feu des miroirs, and L’Otage du dèsir, respectively. Sadly, Emmanuelle passed away in January 2017 from cancer.

Famous 21st-century French writers have dominated the writing industry. However, we chose to highlight a range of French writers from various backgrounds of the industry which have revolutionized the French literary world!

The Nobel Prize in Literature Actually Exists

The Swedish chemist and engineer, Alfred Nobel, was the man who created the Nobel Prizes by leaving $9 million in his last will and testament to annually award recognized men and women all work areas of peace, medicine, economics, physics, chemistry, and literature.

The Nobel Prizes are annually awarded by The Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Sweden. Every award ceremony takes place on the anniversary date of Alfred Nobel’s death – 10 December.

To date, 114 Nobel Prizes in Literature have been awarded since the first literary prize was awarded in 1901. Below, we look back through the timeline of notable literary writers who have won a Nobel Prize in Literature.

Nobel Prize Literature Laureates

1901 – Sully Prudhomme

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in recognition of his poetry works which greatly depicted idealism and intellect.

1907 – Rudyard Kipling

One of the youngest, Rudyard was awarded the Nobel Prize when he was 47 years old. He was well-known for his book called The Jungle Book. His work was recognized for his incredible imagination used in his works of narration.

1914-1918

There were no Nobel Prizes in Literature awarded through these four years as the academy, adhering to Mr. Nobel’s last wishes in his will, felt there were no literary figures worthy of recognition for exemplary work. The prize money was then set aside for the Special Fund of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

1935

There were no Nobel Prizes in Literature awarded in 1935. However, a third of the prize money was set aside to the Main Fund and the balance was set aside to the Special Fund accordingly.

1940-1942

No Nobel Prizes were awarded during this period due to World War 2. However, in 1943, there was yet again no prize awarded but a third of the prize money was set aside to the Main Fund and the balance was set aside to the Special Fund.

1946 – Hermann Hesse

His works were recognized for his efforts which highlighted humanitarian ethics.

1954 – Ernest Miller Hemingway

Mr. Hemingway’s recognized written works showcased brilliant narrative and exemplified his contemporary writing style.

1962 – John Steinbeck

He was awarded a Nobel Prize in recognition of his writing which revealed realism, humor, and social perceptions.

1964 – Jean-Paul Sartre

His work was recognized for the expressions used to personify the quest for freedom and truth. Unfortunately, he declined the award.

1999 – Günter Grass

Recognized for his fables of history, he made Germany very proud.

2016 – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan made traditional American music popular with his poetic writings.

2018 Nobel Prize in Literature – POSTPONED

Sadly, this year’s awards will only be announced in 2019 due to a recent sexual assault and harassment scandal.

An academy member’s husband, photographer Jean-Claude Arnault is in the center of these accusations. Until the case has been dealt with accordingly, The Swedish Academy has chosen to postpone the annual awards ceremony.

Let the legends of literature continue to strive for literary excellence!

Defining the Art of Written Works

When we think of works of art, we immediately think of paintings, sculptures, and other forms. However, art forms are defined as artistic works made using creativity, skill, and imagination to illustrate beauty and expression. Does this not mean that collections of written works are not an art form?

Writing as an art form is taking something that is one-dimensional and turning it into a three-dimensional reality through the evocative use of words, like when you rent luxury vehicles from Apex in Dubai. Imagination is capable of developing all possibilities and solutions.

Using this in the expression of written words makes a voice that loud and powerful. Figures of speech like similes and metaphors are used to transform mediocre sentences into marvelous visual imagery. Just by the phenomenal use of written words!

The normal reaction to the consideration of literary works as an art form would instantly bring poetry to mind. Definitively, it’s a literary art using creative and rhythmic language qualities to conjure colorful meanings of the ordinary transformed into extraordinary.

General Literary Works

Literature dates as far back as the third millennium BC. Isn’t it that a profound fact and thought of just how literature and literacy art forms have impacted the world in which we exist? When you consider writing as an art form, there are a number of characteristics to support this.

Prose

This is a literature genre defined as lengthy pieces of written works in the form of novels, short stories, and novellas. Examples of prose fiction books among many are The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Fiction

A literary genre by means of creating stories using one’s imagination and creativity skills. There are various types of fiction namely romance, adventure, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, crime, and thriller. Below, we have highlighted a few examples of well-known books of common genres. If you want to experience something extravagant and luxurious for your next vacation, consider a car rental to enjoy Dubai in a Porsche!

Romance has been notably expressed by Margaret Mitchell with Gone With the Wind, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

Fantasy Fiction

Famous books of fantasy include a vast selection of old and new authors. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, The Dark Tower by Stephen King, Discworld by Terry Pratchett, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien, and the most recent fantasy books which have taken the literary world by storm, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. The last notable books of fantasy that brought so much success were the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

Crime Fiction

The best crime books of all time are that of The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe, and one trilogy that highlighted many societal and political issues with literary brilliance, The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson.

Knock on the door that is the work of written arts which opens up to the literary land of endless possibilities!

Children – Development and Personal Growth Through Reading

Reading literary works of any kind plays a considerably large role in a child’s growth and personal development. Children are able to form attachments to stories and characters which stimulates their personal growth and learning process as a whole.

What Can Reading Do For A Child?

A child who reads, whether in school or at home, invariably enhances their knowledge and learning capabilities. It offers them a form of written entertainment as a recreational activity drawn from the love of literature. The visual imagery of places, different eras, people, and cultures are developed.

Skills Development

Throughout the school years of a child, they are required to read trade books. Reading of such books greatly improves their language skills. The use of sentence patterns and structure, overall word usage, and the expansion of their vocabulary increases. This includes critical thinking.

Classes in which literature is used to improve a child’s listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills are highly beneficial. Students are able to form discussions with literature based on the individual interpretation of the written text.

This in itself shows the child’s comprehension skills, reading ability, as well as visual literacy. By wholly participating in this sort of class curriculum, a child is able to create their own written stories which in turn may influence their attitude towards reading and writing.

Book Therapy

Believe it or not, there is a form of therapy today that involves the reading of books. It is called bibliotherapy. This is considered as a low-cost and adaptable form of therapy to treat a variety of psychological disorders.

There are two major forms of bibliotherapy; prescriptive and creative. Prescriptive bibliotherapy can be defined as a form of self-help treatment. Whereas creative bibliotherapy is described as a treatment aimed at self-discovery.

Prescriptive Bibliotherapy

This is when a mental health professional provides a patient with specific reading materials to aid in their treatment at home. Reading materials can be anything such as meditation techniques to aid in calming oneself.

Other specific materials used can help a patient discover their true feelings about themselves and their journey of recovery. It may also form new ideologies which are imperative in positively changing one’s way of thinking.

Creative Bibliotherapy

A mental health professional will make use of creative literature materials such as poetry, biographies, or novels. The aim is to improve the well being of the patient’s psyche through stories which the patient can relate to.

This is done in order to provide clarity and a better understanding of their own life situation. Apart from this, creative bibliotherapy aids in imparting moral values which contributes to the shaping of one’s personality. It also provides clarity on underlying themes in the literature such as love, war, tragedy, and loss. This also aids in the understanding of how society works as a whole.

Reading literature does way more than we could ever imagine. It stimulates our minds, ignites passion and creativity, and provides a power of inner healing!

The Significance of Literature in Society

Today, literature is the most symbolic form of expression in society. It is important to keep it alive as it enables us to keep learning about the past which forms the basis of history. Literature furthers our knowledge and understanding of the world in which we live in. If written works did not encourage us to ask questions, how would we continue to learn new things?

Literature in Society

Reading literary works of any kind helps us develop critical thinking skills. We learn to read in between the lines and find meaning in expressions of symbolism through story characters and depicted themes.

Without books, we have nothing to learn from about history, science, imagination, or speculation. Reading literature empowers us to learn, understand, and appreciate other cultures and belief systems formed by history, anthropology, and religion.

Literature is paramount for the stimulation of our minds and our ability to think further than societal norms. We are able to connect with our inner selves. Literary writers improve their craft by appreciating and reading literature other than their own. This is a prime example of how literature can help us grow in any way, shape, or form.

Speaking to the Masses

Books of written works – poetry, novels, prose – is a compilation of a universally understood language that is literature. For people who are afraid to speak out, the use of written words creates a voice that can be heard by many.

For those who have a message to give to the world, words are strung together to make lyrics for music. This is one of many ways which words are used for so much more than dusty old books in the school library.

We are always able to pursue studying new things every day through literature. Written works represent old and new traditions, beliefs, and cultures which we have the privilege of learning about daily. This can be in the form of magazine articles, daily newspapers, scientific journals, reports, or even literary art displays.

Embarking on Magical Journeys

Literature provides an escape for many living in society today. Reading gives a whole new level of experience for people all around the world. They are able to immerse themselves in a completely different reality to their own.

They meet new people in the form of characters of a story. These characters take them on journeys to wonderful places near and far. They follow the characters experiences which in turn make them feel real emotions such as empathy, grief, understanding, and love.

A written story, as a whole, is made up of several elements to develop either; a work of fiction or non-fiction. The essence of literature itself is the creation of written words which manifests into creative poetry, prose, novels, and much more. It is up to us to delve deeper into the different forms of literature to find our escape, the characters we most identify with, and parallel realities we find comfort in. Lastly, let literature continue to teach us new things!

The Power of French Literature

Any literature written in French, notably by French citizens, is simply called French literature. The language is derived from Latin with Celtic and Frankish influences which lead to the French language coining the term as a Romance language. That term alone is enough banter for another article for another day.

This post is about highlighting just how powerful French literature is. Especially if we look at the history behind it leading up to how it stands today. To support this, as of 2006, it was reported that French writers have received more Nobel Prizes in Literature compared to novelists and poets from any other country barring English writers. This type of Nobel Prize is thanks to the first winner of a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901, Sully Prudhomme. He was a French poet and essayist.

French Literature Pre-WW2 

The 20th century of French literature was heavily influenced by various movements namely Freudianism, Marxism, existentialism, surrealism, and structuralism.

Freudianism refers to psychoanalytic theories of literature developed by Sigmund Freud. Marxism was the economic and political theories developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Surrealism was a movement developed on the focus of producing art and literature in one’s new ideas and expressions.

Freudianism

Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist, wrote Psychopathology of Everyday Life in 1901. It was written to explain the reasons behind his belief in psychoanalytical theories. Furthermore, his investigations of such theories upon literature reveal the unconscious desires of the author.

Marxism

Karl Marx, a sociologist, and Friedrich Engels, a social scientist, developed Marxism as a means of highlighting the political and economic ideals present in society. An example of Marxism literary criticism would be of Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice where the opening line of her work indicated that the ruling class ideology would be of a rich man in want a new wife.

Existentialism

Philosophical existentialism, a movement lead by writer Jean-Paul Sartre, took the French literary world by storm. This movement was about the freedom to choose and believe in ones beliefs and values expressed through literary works. Jean-Paul Sartres belief in the movement was proven in his book, Nausea, published in 1938.

Surrealism

This movement was a powerful one in allowing new expressions of art and literature to be published freely. Guillaume Apollinaire was a perfect example of a surrealist with his first surrealism play, The Breasts of Tiresias.

From the 1950s onwards, more works of structuralism appeared more than others. Examples of this can be seen in the works of Roland Barthes, Writing Degree Zero, published in 1953.

As we have been able to confidently establish, French literature has been pivotal to revolutionizing the written works since the early 20th century. All past literary movements have only unified all writers together to create expressive literary works.

Written works which depict anything from freedom of expression and ideas to upstaging the societal norms in an ever-changing era. Today, French literature continues to stride in its revolutionary form!