Belles Lettres


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Belles Lettres

 

in a broad sense, artistic literature in general; in a narrower and more widely used sense, artistic prose as distinguished from poetry and drama.

Sometimes, literature that is incomplete artistically and in ideas is included in belles lettres. The concept of belletriza-tion is widely used to designate the attempt by many authors of scholarly and scholarly artistic books to combine documentary material with elements of artistic narrative in the interests of entertainment.

References in periodicals archive ?
This first page conflates a public myth and the reference to the biblical "loaves and fishes"--a particularly Elizabethan-sounding plural--with the responsibility of the artist: I have the impression of a long body; of loaves and fishes of "belles lettres"
"Interview with Toni Morrison." Belles Lettres 10.2 (1995): 40-43.
He was appointed a chevalier des arts et des belles lettres by the French government and then co-produced raucous road movie "Airbag" -- its $6.5 million box office take placing it among the top Spanish smashes.
This means in turn, however, that I am called on -- as genres always call one -- to say something about my relation to the contemporary practice of what the original title of my chair calls rhetoric and belles lettres. I shall talk about rhetoric, later on in this lecture, by turning to the moment in which this chair was founded, the moment of the Scottish Enlightenment of which its first holder, Hugh Blair, was a central figure, the moment of a strategic cosmopolitanism in which a group of Scottish intellectuals invented the discipline of English literature; and I shall try to make parallels with the rhetorical focus that in part, and at its best, I take to characterise contemporary cultural studies.
Austen's indebtedness to the eighteenth-century rhetorician Hugh Blair has been well documented, (2) and a discussion of the sublime is a major theme in his Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. The sublime, he explains, "produces a sort of internal elevation and expansion; it raises the mind much above its ordinary state, and fills it with a degree of wonder and astonishment, which it cannot well express.
Both Poe and Twain, in pointing to examples of Cooper's faults as a writer, adhere to the fundamentals of eighteenth-century, prescriptive rules and to fundamentals of rhetoric and composition that would have been available to them in complete or in adapted editions of Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres by Hugh Blair.(11)
Bedrooms might also contain a desk where women read and wrote, thus forming a public of distant family and friends and belles lettres.