Initially introduced into France by Claude Lévi-Strauss and Tzvetan Todorov, Russian formalism is recognized as one of the most important sources for French contemporary poetics and literary theories. The legacy of Russian formalism is reflected in French poetics in mainly three aspects. First of all, Propp’s research on the basic structure of folk tales and his interpretation of the concept of function, Tomas?evskij and other formalists’ distinction between the concept of fabula (Story) and Sjuzhet (Plot) and their discussion of the relationship between these two terms largely inspired French scholars and laid the ground for the establishment of structuralist narratology by offering perspectives of both narrative structure and narrative discourse. Secondly, the Russian formalists’ reflections on the nature and function of literature were always carried out within a certain literary genre. On the one hand, supported by the concept of system, they tried to logically classify literary genres. On the other, in their studies of prose, they focused primarily on the organization of the plot. By delineating the distinctive features of this genre, they managed to produce the first narrative studies. Their theory and points of view inspired the French scholars, especially Todorov in his research of literary genres, leading to progresses that could not have been accomplished by classical poetics. Finally, a prominent feature of French contemporary poetics is the centrality of the notion of “literariness” which was then vigorously explored, but French scholars’ use of the term “literariness” and their understanding of the concept were directly indebted to the Russian formalists, particularly from Jakobson’s research. However, the reception of Russian formalism among French scholars did not simply stop at the introduction of several terms and concepts. To delve deeper, they further developed Russian formalists’ idea to make literary studies a science. Like many Russian formalists, they borrowed numerous linguistic concepts and methods, and promoted the development of literary theory with enthusiasm and confidence. Their work established the whole conceptual framework for contemporary poetics, contributed to the change of paradigms in literary studies, and, by highlighting the importance of literary theory, made the latter one of the fundamental components of literary studies alongside literary history and literary criticism. The earliest reception of Russian formalism in France introduced new research subjects and methodologies for French poetics during the 1960s and 1970s and largely determined its orientation. Meanwhile, the research results obtained in this period have become important sources for theoretical and methodological renewals in the fields of poetics and literary studies. Their far-reaching impacts have continued to this day. With regard to the early reception of Russian formalism among French researchers on poetics, scholars within/out China usually focused more on the spread and evolution of structuralist poetics, and thus lacked an overall understanding of the general situation of such influence. This paper aims to conduct a more comprehensive examination of such a history of reception. By inventorying the French translations of Russian formalists’ works, comparing them with the works published by French scholars in the same period, and making use of researchers’ own explication of the reception as well as other scholars’ historical research, this paper attempts to find out exactly on which aspects, and in what ways the French poetics has inherited Russian formalism. The paper aims to clarify the intricate relationship between contemporary French poetics and Russian formalism, to apprehend the extension and intension of the former, to understand the applicability of its theories and methods, to grasp the roots of its problems and their possible solutions, and also in the meantime to reach a reinterpretation of Russian formalism. With all these, this paper wishes to demonstrate what French poetics and Russian formalism can offer us at the present.