The bibliografting of Montolieu, village du Livre des Arts Graphiques


In 2010, Montolieu, France celebrated its twentieth anniversary as Montolieu, village du livre et des Arts Graphiques. Within two decades, this town of under 800 residents has witnessed significant economic, cultural, demographic and physical changes that have transformed it from a victim of rural exodus to an increasingly important cultural centre and tourist destination, as well as a desirable location for purchasing second residences. I begin this article by examining the conditions that prompted the rural town’s decision to adopt a new identity based on literary and print culture. I contextualize the development of this village du livre within a growing European book town trend and within a larger French fascination with literature, literary culture and literacy. I next investigate the tensions and challenges that arose in the community as the project began taking shape. Finally, I analyse how the adoption of a new identity has affected the town’s social and physical make-up, especially as evident in three local lieux de mémoire: the Musée Michel Braibant, the Manufacture Royale and the Coopérative, Centre d’Art et de Littérature.


Arts, Languages, and Philosophy

Keywords and Phrases

French Rural Tourism; Book Town; Cultural Politics; Heritage and Identity; Invented Traditions; Print Culture; Village Du Livre

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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© 2013 Intellect Ltd., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2013


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