If we think about literary criticism in France and want to define its features, we have to know which criticism we are concerned with or how we define the position of the critic. It is best to look at the historical background of the origins of the literary streams in the second half of the 20th century, and particularly at the contributions of its main representatives in the terms of the bipolar terrain, i. e. in the terms of the field of tension between the journalistic and scholarly criticism. A significant breakthrough in the critical paradigm was Roland Barthes' essay 'Sur Racine' and his polemics with Raymond Picard. At the end of the '60s, French literary criticism experienced a fruitful disturbance in which Jean Starobinski played an important role with his study 'Oeil vivant'. In the '50s, Charles Mauron started with publishing the psychoanalytical studies. The French translation of Lukacs' 'Theory of the Novel' laid ground for the sociological approach, in which the main concern is about the relations between the society and the literary work. Lucien Goldman's approach was socio-critical. Pierre Bourdieu also contributed to the debate. Sociological thinking about literature gradually turned into sociological reading and reception aesthetics. In this regard, Jacques Leenhardt and Pierre Jozsa's 'Lire la lecture' was especially significant. At the same time, new criticism emerged. It was represented by Roland Barthes. The same impulses led to the formation of 'Tel Quel'. At the beginning of the '70s, a new tendency started to develop. In the literary handbooks, it has become known as genetic criticism. The journalistic criticism has always been concerned about the current events. It has been influenced by the above-mentioned streams only marginally. Besides judging a literary work, its main function is informative. It is distinct from the scholarly criticism not only in its function, but also in its language. In a time of the economic liberalism, the scholarly criticism loses its veracity by emphasizing its informative and advertising role.