Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Modern Languages and Literatures

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Kathleen Loysen

Committee Member

Elizabeth Emery

Committee Member

Lois Oppenheim


Written in French, this thesis examines literary censorship in France from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century. Specifically, the thesis centers on the tangible manifestations of censorship imposed on authors and literary works during this time period. Across four case studies, the tangibility—that is, an effect of censorship that can be observed, quantified, or otherwise measured—is determined through exploration of specific examples of censorship.

To add to the existing discourse on literary censorship during the time period in question, the idea of censorship itself is also further scrutinized. Through this line of inquiry, a generic idea of censorship is refined and we are left with three distinct categories of censorship: direct censorship, indirect censorship, and self-censorship. Throughout the thesis, each of these categories is put in its historical and literary context, with specific regard for the manner in which each unique category tangibly impacts the authors and literature associated with them.

Often, what is discovered is that the practice of one of the three forms of censorship impacts not only the author or literary work, but also the manner in which the literary work is received or appreciated by the reading public. Examples of this effect are described through an analysis of the paratextual or epitextual nature—that is, the events or writings related or inherent to the text that are not part of its actual plot— of the literary works and the censorship imposed upon them.

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