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Literature and Nation in the Sixteenth Century: Inventing Renaissance France

A study of the problem of "national community" in early modern France. The book studies the intersection between debates about French identity and Christian identity and a series of literary encounters between the French and the non-French "Other" (Turks, Americans, Italians, etc.). The topic of community is understood as a problem of literary genre; crisis of community is depicted in literature through moments of generic breakdown or transformation. Detailed studies of works by, among others, Rabelais, Montaigne, Du Bellay, Marguerite de Navarre, and Corneille. (Cornell University Press, 2000).

"Here is a historian scrutinizing literature, drawing out linguistic transformations and distortions and explicating them via politics. It is a remarkable achievement, offering many excellent analyses of which perhaps the most compelling is Montaigne's retelling of the first encounter of Spaniards and Americans. . . This quality of reading and writing is found everywhere in Hampton's book."- Times Literary Supplement