Finding the Plot: Storytelling in Popular Fictions
Editor: Diana Holmes, David Platten, Loïc Artiaga and Jacques Migozzi
Date Of Publication: Jan 2013
“Plot”, writes Peter Brooks, “is so basic to our very experience of reading, and indeed to our articulation of experience in general, that criticism has often passed it over in silence…” (Reading for the Plot, xi). Finding the Plot both explores and helps to redress this critical neglect. The book brings together an international group of scholars to address the nature, effects and specific pleasures of consuming stories. If the central focus is on France and popular literary fiction, the book’s scope – like contemporary fiction itself – observes no national frontiers, and extends across a variety of media. The book addresses both the empirical question of which genres and types of text have been and are most “popular”, and the theoretical questions of how plots work, what pleasures they offer to readers, and why it matters that the plot should not be lost.
Diana Holmes is Professor of French at the University of Leeds. Her published work on women writers includes monographs on Colette, Rachilde, French Women Writers 1848–1994 and romance. She is also the co-author of a study of Truffaut’s cinema, and co-edits the Manchester University Press series French Film Directors. Her current research is on the poetics and practice of middlebrow fiction.
David Platten is Professor of Modern French Studies at the University of Leeds. He has published on a wide range of modern French writers, including Michel Tournier, Philippe Djian, Jorge Semprun and Jules Verne. His most recent book, published by Rodopi in 2011, is entitled The Pleasures of Crime: Reading Modern French Crime Fiction. A scholar and fan of detective and crime fiction, he has recently produced studies of the literary thriller and of the links between the media and politics in the contemporary crime novel.
Loïc Artiaga is Assistant Professor at the University of Limoges, and Associate Researcher of the Centre d’histoire culturelle des sociétés contemporaines (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines). He is a member of the executive committee of the LPCM (Association internationale des chercheurs en Littératures Populaires et Cultures Médiatiques). His publications include “Des Torrents de papier” in Médiatextes, and “James Bond: modes d’emploi (1965 – années 1990)”, in James Bond (2)007: Anatomie d’un mythe populaire. His forthcoming book, Fantômas. Figure mythique, with Matthieu Letourneux, is due out in 2013.
Jacques Migozzi is Professor of French Literature at the University of Limoges, and President of the Association internationale des chercheurs en Littératures Populaires et Culture Médiatique. His more recent publications include “Boulevards du populaire” (Médiatextes, 2005); two co-edited special issues of journals; “Storytelling: opium du peuple et / ou plaisirs du texte?” in a special issue of French Cultural Studies; and “Cet obscur objet du désir universitaire: coup d’oeil dans le rétroviseur sur 15 ans de recherches sur les fictions populaires” in Fictions populaires.