Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
FREN 6624 - Myth of Paris in French Lit
This course will examine the different aspects and the numerous meanings of the literary image of Paris in French literature from its medieval origins to its contemporary achievement. We will find the first occurrences of this image in François Villon’s poetry at the end of the Middle Ages, and, two and three centuries later, in Boileau’s Satires and Prevost’s and Diderot’s novels. The literary image of Paris reached its full development in the 19th century in the fiction of Balzac, Hugo, Flaubert and Zola and in Baudelaire’s poems: we will analyze the various moral, aesthetic, political, ideological components which make up the complete image. We will follow its evolution, fifty years later, in early 20th century poetry (Apollinaire, the Surréalistes) and then, before World War II, in Celine’s novels. On the way, we will explore other kinds of arts and artists, painters, singers, photographers, filmmakers, who, like writers, contributed to the development of a collective imaginary picture of the city —the myth of Paris.Literature
Summer 2013, Summer 2014 Language Schools
FREN 6672 - Landscape in 19&20C French Lit
Landscape in 19th and 20th Century French Literature / le paysage dans la literature des 19 et 20ième siècles
This course will explore in the poetry and the French novel aspects and the evolution of a major theme of the literary and artistic creation of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: the representation of landscape. We will look first at the romantic landscape, focusing on the contemplation of nature and the effects that this contemplation occurs on the spectator's soul: countryside (Lamartine), mountain (Senancour), sea (Hugo), exoticism (Chateaubriand ), etc.. Then we'll see how the interest of the observer moves from nature to the city, and how the birth of a city (Paris) supports the development of modernity (Balzac, Baudelaire, Zola, Apollinaris, etc..). This change is accompanied by the emergence of new landscapes: industrial landscape, landscape of ruins, war, etc.. We will study the links that the landscape has with psychological analysis (Proust), and we will show how the emergence of new forms of fiction (Céline, Giono, New Roman) causes a change in the representation of space. The thematic study of the landscape will be accompanied by the means of its literary representation in relation to painting: realism, impressionism, abstraction, etc. We will work on short extracts to be distributed to students in class.
Evaluation: each student will make a brief oral and written work of a dozen pages related to the topics covered during the course.Literature
FREN 6712 - Theory of the Novel
La théorie du roman / Theory of the Novel
N.B. This course meets from June 30 to July 20, 2 hours per day
This course will examine (thru theoretical texts such as forewords, correspondences, essays, etc.), how the French novelists of the 19th and 20th centuries considered the genre and their own craft. Balzac’s, Flaubert’s, Zola’s, Proust’s works will be studied to show how the realistic novel was born and how it evolved. Then a few attempts at renewal will be looked into : Gide’s Faux Monnayeurs, Sartre’s ‘existentialist’ novel, Robbe-Grillet’s ‘Nouveau Roman’. This course will provide a general survey of the evolution of the French novel between 1830 and 1960, with a final opening onto the next period.
The course material will be short excerpts given as handouts to students.Literature
FREN 6713 - Camus
Section A - Methodology; Section B - Literature
Albert Camus was born in 1913. In 2013 in France, one hundred years later, numerous studies take stock of an essayist, a dramatist, a novelist, a philosopher, who mattered, who weighed heavily during the second world war and in the after-war years. Through his writing and his action, he was closely involved in all the controversies and intellectual, esthetic, and political battles that defined those years. He died young, in a car accident, torn by the war in Algeria whose outcome was still uncertain in 1960. He had just received the Nobel Prize in literature. What legacy did the humanistic philosopher, libertarian, and brilliant novelist leave to today’s young generations? We will be attempting to understand as we examine two of his most significant short novels, L’Etranger and La Chute, and two of his best known and powerful plays, Caligula and Les Justes.
Required texts: 1) Albert CAMUS; L'Etranger, Folio ISBN 978 2 07 036002 4, Ed.Gallimard; 2) Albert CAMUS, La Chute Folio plus, ISBN 978 2 07 040356 4; Ed. Gallimard; 3) Albert CAMUS, Caligula Folio ISBN 978 2 07 036064 2; Ed. Gallimard; 4) Albert CAMUS, Les Justes Folio plus ISBN 978 2 07 040606 7, Ed.Gallimard
N.B. Students who choose section A can validate their credits in methodology (equivalent to 6525) or they can choose standard evaluation without validating the methodology unit.
Choice A will help social science and literary students master analytical methods and textual commentary, enabling them to construct a personal approach to reading and understanding varied texts in depth, while broadening and exercising their written skills through varied methodological exercises, summaries, technical explanations, structured commentary, the argumentative dialectical essay, or oral thematic presentations.
Choice B offers in-depth reading of the texts on the syllabus, and their context, through an approach which is historical, literary, cultural, philosophical and social."
FREN 6714 - Passion in 19 & 20C French Lit
Passion in the French Novel of the 19th & 20th centuries / La passion dans les romans des 19 et 20ième siècles
""Passion," Balzac said, "is all humanity." This course will explore different representations of the human passions in the French novel of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will first study in Stendhal's Le Rouge et le noir the conflict of love and ambition; then in La Curée by Emile Zola the portrait of speculators associated with that of the ""imperial party"" in the corrupt society of the Second Empire; in Un Amour de Swann by Marcel Proust the fine analysis of the evolution of passion and jealousy, and finally in a Un Roi sans divertissement by Jean Giono the quest for the absolute and its tragic outcome. These texts should be read in full.
Each student will make at least one oral presentation and a written work of a dozen pages related to the theme of the course.
1) Stendhal, Le Rouge et le noir, Hachette, Le Livre de poche classiques, ISBN 978 225 300 6206
2) Émile Zola, La Curée, Gallimard, Folio classique, nº 3302, ISBN 978 207 041 1412
3) Marcel Proust, Un amour de Swann, Gallimard, Folio, nº 780, ISBN 207 036 7800
4) Jean Giono, Un roi sans divertissement, Gallimard, Folio, nº 220, ISBN 978 207 036 2202
FREN 6716 - The Human Body in French Lit
Representation of the Human Body in French Literary Texts (1800-1950)
The purpose of this course is to study how the human body was represented in French literature, especially in fiction and poetry, between 1800 and 1950. First,
we’ll insist on the influence of two previous ways of representing and exhibiting the body — painting and drama. Then we’ll see how literature takes over the genre of the portrait, of men and women, in the romantic novel (Madame de Stael) and the realistic novel (Balzac). We’ll consider a special extension of the body — the voice— and we’ll study the relationship between literature and music in Balzac’s works. We’ll then emphasize the rich erotic and aesthetic meanings of the image of the body, especially in Baudelaire’s poems (Les Fleurs du mal) and aesthetic works (Le peintre de la vie moderne) about jewels, clothing and make-up. At the same time, we’ll study the influence of caricature on the popular novel, in Eugène Sue’s and Victor Hugo’s representation of poverty. In Zola’s naturalistic novel, we’ll see how the representation of the body includes disease and death (L’Assommoir), war and its horrors (La Débâcle), and we’ll extend the study to the Grande Guerre novelists (Barbusse, Dorgelès, Genevoix). We’ll then show how Balzac’s and Zola’s representations of the body are renewed in Proust’s and Celine’s works, and we’ll finally examine some texts glorifying the body through sport (Montherlant) or a euphoric relationship with nature (Gide, Camus).
No textbooks requiredLiterature
Summer 2014 Language Schools
FREN 6753 - Fiction & History in 19C Lit
Fiction and History in the 19th century (1830-1914)
The purpose of this course is to study the relationship between Fiction and History in some of the most important French novels of the 19th century. First we will examine the origins of the so-called « roman historique » around the 1830s (the influence of Walter Scott, the rise of historical drama, the development of modern historiography). We will then try to define, according to Balzac’s Avant-Propos of the Comédie humaine, what the novelist called « histoire des mœurs », taking as an example one of Balzac’s masterpieces, Illusions perdues. We will then study the main features of the historical novel —a successful genre during the whole romantic period— with for example Dumas’s Les Trois Mousquetaires. Studying Victor Hugo’s Quatre-Vingt-Treize, we will see how the historical novel deepens and assumes moral and metaphysical meanings, as it pictures the place and function of evil in history. Finally, by examining short extracts from historical texts of fiction, we will study the different ways in which history can be integrated into the novel: local color, historic scenes, representation of historic characters and facts. The relationships between historical and realistic fiction will be underlined, then we will conclude with a short survey of historical fiction throughout the 20th century.
Required text: 1) Victor Hugo, Quatrevingt-treize; ISBN 978 2070418237, Gallimard Folio classique nº 3513; 2) Balzac, Illusions perdues, ISBN 978-2-07-030989-4, Gallimard Folio classique, nº 5545Literature
FREN 6764 - French Literature 1900-1960
La crise des idées dans la literature française (1900-1960) / Ideas Challenged : French Literature 1900-1960
N.B. This course will meet two hours daily for three weeks (July 1 to July 21).
This course will examine how literature reflected the evolution of ideas and cultural and aesthetic forms amid the major crises of the first half of the century. Specifically : the emergence of a new type of writer-thinker (Zola, Barrès, Gide, Romain Rolland) and the role of the major reviews like the Mercure de France and the Nouvelle Revue française ; the crisis in aesthetic values and attempts to renew poetry (Apollinaire) and the novel (Proust, Gide) ; the impact of World War I on literature and its legacy in the 1920’s with surrealism and in the novel (Céline, Malraux, Giono). The question of meaning and the absurd in response to the rise of totalitarianism and exacerbated by World War II will be examined in the novel and essay (Sartre, Camus), and theater (Ionesco, Beckett). Finally, we will look at the development of the social sciences after the war in some of its typical texts (Lévi-Strauss, Barthes).Literature