Tzvetan Todorov

Tzvetan Todorov ( Bulgarian Цветан Тодоров, dt Tsvetan Todorov transcription; born March 1, 1939 in Sofia, Bulgaria) is a writer and scientist. His research activity can be assigned to the sociology, politics, philosophy, history, linguistics, literature and semiotics.


Todorov emigrated to France in 1963, he went to Paris, where he received his doctorate in 1970. He became a French citizen, he sees himself as Europeans. In 1968 he began his work at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS ) in Paris, he is since 1987 Directeur de recherche ( Research Director ).

By Todorov translated texts of Russian formalists into French and published in his book Théorie de la littérature in France in 1965, he was next to Julia Kristeva 's most important mediators of Russian literary theory in the French structuralism.

In his Introduction to the fantastic literature ( 1970) Tzvetan Todorov is employed with the genre of fantastic literature. Todorov's theory is the starting point of almost all experiments since then been imputed determination of the fantastic. The German -language discussion of this genre has been initiated only by Todorov's book.

In the work The Conquest of America. The problem of the Other ( in the original published in 1982 ), he dealt with the conquest of America and the problem of alterity, which was created by the discovery of previously unknown peoples and cultures. Todorov sat down in it so divided as to whether and how the Spanish conquerors and their scholars and clerics were trying to arrive at an understanding of the otherness of other cultures, which were the consequences of the cultural for their own identity and establishes how this " foreshadowed our present identity and " was.

Todorov's analysis of recognition is mainly for the anthropology and sociology of meaning. It contradicts the fact Niccolò Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes, who tend to consider community as a necessary evil to which man is forced out of lack. Todorov sees the community on the other hand, as a need. This relies on the psychological desire for recognition. This conception, to see the desire for recognition as the central condition of human interaction, goes back to Lacan's psychoanalysis and Kojève interpretation of Hegel.

Guest professorships led him to the New York University, Columbia University, Harvard University, Yale University and the University of California at Berkeley.

Todorov is married to the originating Canadian novelist Nancy Huston.


  • As translator and editor: Théorie de la littérature: textes of the format listes russes. Seuil, Paris, 1965 ( with a foreword by Roman Jakobson, co-founder of the Prague structuralism ) paperback edition. Ed. du Seuil, Paris 2001, ISBN 2-02-049749-2 Collection points Essais
  • La description de la signification de littérature. In: Journal Communications 4, pp. 33-39, 1964.
  • The German description of the meaning in the literature. In: Literature and Linguistics 3 Edited by Jens Ihwe, Atheneum Art Museum, Frankfurt 1971, p 120-130
  • Les categories du recit littéraire. In: Journal Communications 8, pp. 125-151, 1966
  • German The categories of literary narrative. In: The structure of the novel. Edited by Bruno Hillebrand. Darmstadt 1978, pp. 347-369, ISBN 3-534-07074-7, Translator Irmela Rehbein
  • Les anomalies sémantiques. In: Langages 1, 1966, pp. 100-123
  • The German semantic anomalies. In: Literature and Linguistics 1, edited by Jens Ihwe, Ars Poetica series 8.1. Athenaeum, Frankfurt 1971
  • Poétique. In: Quest - ce que le Structuralisme. Edited by François choice and Oswald Ducrot. Ed. du Seuil, Paris 1968
  • German: poetics. In: Introduction to structuralism. Edited by François choice. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt aM 1973, pp. 105-180, from the French by Eva Moldenhauer, ISBN 3-518-07610-8
  • Introduction à la littérature fantastique. Ed. du Seuil, Paris, 1970, ISBN 978-2-02-004374-8
  • German introduction to the fantastic literature. Trans. from the French by Karin Kersten, Senta Metz, Caroline Neubaur. S. Fischer, Frankfurt 1992, first Hanser, Munich 1972, ISBN 3-446-11632- X
  • Grammaire du " Décaméron ", Mouton, Frankfurt 1969, here coined Todorov the term " narratology ".
  • Poétique de la prose. Éd. du Seuil, Paris 1971, ISBN 2-02-002037-8
  • German poetics of prose, Atheneum Art Museum, Frankfurt am Main 1972, from the French by Helene Müller, ISBN 3-7610-9241-5.
  • Théories you symbols. Éd. du Seuil, Paris 1977, ISBN 2-02-004606-7
  • German symbol theories. From the French by Beat Gyger. Series: Concepts of Language and Literature 54, Niemeyer, Tübingen, 1995 ISBN 3-484-22054-6.
  • Symbolisme et interprétation. Éd. du Seuil, Paris 1978, ISBN 2-02-004999-6
  • Symbolism and Interpretation. Translation Catherine Porter. Cornell UP, Ithaca 1982 ISBN 0-8014-1269-2
  • Les genres du discours. Éd. du Seuil, Paris, 1978 ( Coll. Poétique. ) ISBN 2-02-005000-5
  • Genres in Discourse. Trans. Catherine Porter, Cambridge UP, Ithaca, 1990, ISBN 0-521-34249- X
  • Dictionnaire des sciences du langage encyclopédique. Oswald Ducrot. Éd. du Seuil, Paris ISBN 2-02-014437-9
  • German: Encyclopedic Dictionary of Linguistics. Übers Micheline Theune- Baube and Arno Ros, Athenaion, Wiesbaden 1975, ISBN 3-799-701621
  • English Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Sciences of Language. Trans. Catherine Porter, Johns Hopkins UP, Baltimore ISBN 0-8018-2857-0
  • Mikhail Bakhtine, le principe de suivi dialogique Écrits du Cercle de Bakhtine, Éd. du Seuil, Paris 1981, ISBN 2-02-005830-8
  • Mikhail Bakhtin English, The Dialogical Principle. Series: Theory and History of Literature, Vol 13, Translator Wlad Godzich, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1984 ISBN 0-8166-1291-9
  • La conquête de l' Amérique: la question de l' autre. Éd. du Seuil, Paris 1982, ISBN 2-02-012576-5
  • The German conquest of America. The problem of the other. Translator's Wilfried Böhringer, 8th edition. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 2002, ISBN 3-518-11213-9
  • Récits Aztèques de la conquête. Text choisis et prÃ. par Georges Baudot et Tzvetan Todorov; Traditional you Náhuatl par Georges Baudot et de l' espagnol par Pierre Cordoba; annotes par Georges Baudot. Éd. du Seuil, Paris 1983, ISBN 2-02-006628-9.
  • Fréle bonheur. Essai sur Rousseau. XXe Siècle text you, Hachette, Paris, 1985, ISBN 2-01-011213- X.
  • English Frail happiness: an essay on Rousseau. Translated by John T. Scott and Robert D. Zaretsky. Pennsylvania State Univ. Press, University Park, Pa. , 2001. Xxxii, 70 pp., ISBN 0-271-02110-1.
  • Critique de la critique: un roman d' apprentissage. Éd. du Seuil, Paris 1984 ISBN 2-02-008510-0.
  • English Critique de la critique: Literature and Its Theorists: A Personal View of Twentieth Century Criticism. Translated by Catherine Porter. Cornell UP, Ithaca and Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1987, ISBN 0-7102-1421-9.
  • Nous et les autres, La reflection française sur la diversité humaine. Éd. du Seuil, Paris, 1989, ISBN 2-02-018217-3.
  • English On Human Diversity: Nationalism, Racism, and exotism in French Thought. Translated by Catherine Porter, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.. 1993, ISBN 0-674-63439- X
  • Les Morales de l' histoire. Grasset, Paris, 1991, ISBN 2-246-42581-6.
  • English The Morals of History. Translated by Alyson Waters, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1995, ISBN 0-8166-2298-1.
  • Face à l' extreme. Éd. du Seuil, Paris, 1991, ISBN 2-02-012884-5
  • German: Given the extreme. Translator's Wolfgang and Andreas Heuer Knop, Fink, Munich 1993, ISBN 978-3-7705-2855-4.
  • English Facing the Extreme: Moral life in the concentration camps. Übers Arthur Denner and Abigail Pollak. Henry Holt, New York 1996, ISBN 0-8050-4263-6
  • Éloge du quotidien: essai sur la peinture hollandaise du XVII siècle, Adam Biro, Paris 1993, ISBN 2-02-031198-4.
  • Une tragédie française - Eté 1944 scènes de guerre civil. Éd. du Seuil, Paris 1994, ISBN 2-02-067920-5.
  • English: A French Tragedy: Scenes of Civil War, Summer 1944 Übers Mary Bird Kelly, Richard J. Golson. . University Press of New England, Hanover, 1996, ISBN 0-87451-747-8.
  • La vie commune. Essai d' anthropologie générale. Paris 1995.
  • German adventure of living together. Attempt at a general anthropology. Klaus Wagenbach, Berlin 1996/ 1999 Fischer TB
  • Benjamin Constant. La passion démocratique. Hachette, Paris 1997, ISBN 2-253-13071-0
  • English A Passion for Democracy: Benjamin Constant. Translator's Alice Seberry. Algora, New York 1999, ISBN 978-1-892941-01-5
  • Le Jardin imparfait. La pensée humaniste en France. Grasset, Paris 1998 ISBN 2-246-56981-8
  • English Imperfect Garden: The Legacy of Humanism. Trans. Carol Cosman. Princeton UP, Princeton, 2002, ISBN 0-691-01047-1
  • Les Abus de la mémoire. Arléa, Paris 1998, ISBN 2-86959-405-4
  • La fragilite du bien. Le sauvetage des Juifs bulgares. By TT compiled and annotated texts. Übers from Bulgarian and Irène Marie Vrinat Kristeva; Series: Le Grand livre du mois. Albin Michel, Paris, 1999. ISBN 2-226-11086-0
  • English The Fragility of Goodness, Why Bulgaria 's Jews Survived the Holocaust. Translated from the French by Arthur Denner. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2001, 208 pp., ISBN 0-691-08832-2
  • Éloge de l' individual: essai sur la peinture flamande de la Renaissance. Adam Biro, Paris 2000
  • Memoire du mal, tentation du bien. Robert Laffont, Paris 2000, ISBN 2-221-09079-9 English Hope and Memory: Lessons from the Twentieth Century. Übers D. Bellos, Princeton UP, Princeton, 2003, ISBN 0-691-09658-9
  • Devoirs et Délices. Une vie de passeur. Talks with Catherine Portevin, Éd. du Seuil, Paris 2002, ISBN 2-02-067912-4
  • Le Nouveau désordre mondial. Réflexions d'un Européen. Robert Laffont, Paris 2003 ISBN 2-221-10122-7 The German prevented a world power. Reflections of a European. Übers Hanna van Laak. Wilhelm Goldmann, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-442-15273-9; again at the Federal Agency for Civic Education
  • Les Aventuriers de l' absolu. Robert Laffont, Paris 2005 ISBN 2-221-09968-0
  • L' Esprit des Lumières. ibid 2006, ISBN 2-221-10666-0
  • La Littérature to péril. Flammarion, Paris 2007, ISBN 978-2-08-120189-7
  • L'art ou la vie! Le cas Rembrandt. Biro, Paris 2008 ISBN 978-2-35119-042-5
  • La Peur des barbares, Au - delà du choc of civilizations. Robert Laffont, Paris 2008 ISBN 2-221-11125-7 German The fear of the barbarians. Cultural Diversity versus clash of civilizations. Übers Ilse Utz. Hamburger Ed. , Hamburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-86854-221-9
  • La Signature humaine. Essays 1983-2008. Le Seuil, Paris 2009, ISBN 2-02-099326-0