The Society for French Studies has announced Patrick McGuinness, Professor of French and Comparative Literature, Sir Win and Lady Bischoff Fellow in French, Tutor in Modern Languages, as a joint winner of the R. Gapper Book Prize 2016 for for Poetry and Radical Politics in fin de siècle France: From Anarchism to Action Française (Oxford: OUP, 2015). The other winner was Neil Kenny (University of Oxford), for Death and Tenses: Posthumous Presence in Early Modern France (Oxford: OUP, 2015). St Anne's College would like to congratulate Professor McGuinness on this achievement. 

The Prize will be presented to the two winners at the Society’s annual conference, to be held at Durham University this July. The award, which is given to the best book published in 2015 by a scholar working in French studies in Britain or Ireland, is made by the Society for French Studies together with the Gapper family, representing the R. H. Gapper Charitable Trust, on the recommendation of a Prize Jury appointed by the Society. 

The jury had the following to say:

Patrick McGuinness, Poetry and Radical Politics in fin de siècle France (Oxford: OUP, 2015). Patrick McGuinness’s book is equally a work of supreme critical and scholarly distinction. The arc of the work takes us from the legacies of Romanticism, through key late-nineteenth-century literary/political movements (focusing on the Symbolist and Decadent movements and their successors) and up to fin de siècle poetry. What distinguished it for the panel was the sureness of its engagement with the range of poetic sources on which it draws, and the novelty of the approach it takes to political discourse in juxtaposing it with a highly diverse poetic tradition. The work adroitly finds ways to illuminate interactions of poetry and politics, e.g. in the place it gives to polemic. The range of sources it encompasses—manifestos, prefaces, treatises, journalism—is impressive and enlightening, while the book also succeeds in shifting our habitual angle when it comes to viewing the political significance of major poetic works, such as those of Mallarmé.

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