This volume is intended to map out the critical reception of Stendhal's two most widely read novels, "The Red and the Black" ("Le Rouge et le Noir") and "The Charterhouse of Parma" ("La Chartreuse de Parme"), since their publication in 1830 and 1839 respectively. Part 1 offers a selection of extracts from well-known and representative 19th-century responses to these works, while part 2 presents a cross-section of critical discussion since 1945. The introduction gives an overview of this reception (including during the period 1900-1945) and highlights aspects of the two novels which have given rise to particular controversy. Constituting the major part of the volume, part 2 consists of chapters, articles, essays, or book extracts from some of the leading critics who have written on Stendhal during the last 50 years. The principles of selection have been, first, to reproduce "classic" statements of critical position which have influenced subsequent discussion of the novels and, second, to illustrate the main literary-theoretical perspectives from which Stendhal and world literature in general have been viewed in recent decades.
The order of presentation is largely chronological, and French, British, German and American writings all finds itself represented.
Roger Pearson is Professor of Frenchat the University of Oxford and a Fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford He is a Fellow of the British Academy and Officier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques