We discuss various aspects of the spontaneous generation of magnetic fields in a Langmuir plasma. We first of all show that the correct general expression for the ponderomotive force leads to the solenoidal current responsible for the magnetic-field generation. We derive the ponderomotive-force expression and also the magnetic-field generation equations from a two-time-scale two-fluid description. We also use a kinetic approach to derive the magnetic-field generation equations. We discuss the stability of monochromatic Langmuir waves and show that they are subject to both the ordinary modulational instability and to a magneto-modulational instability. We show that the coupled nonlinear equations describing the electric field strength amplitude, the plasma density, and the self-generated magnetic field can, under certain conditions, be reduced to a generalized cubic nonlinear Schrodinger equation. We finally show, by using a virial theorem, that the self-generated magnetic field does not stabilize the wave collapse.