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Aspects of French Literature

Tutor: Professor Susannah WIlson

Term 2 (wks 3-5, 7-10) & Term 3 (wks 1-?)

French Lectures: Wednesday 9am
Room:Millburn House A1.28
Seminars: Wednesday 10-1, also in A1.28


Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary (1856)

Gide, André. The Immoralist (1902)

Proust, Marcel. Combray (1913)

Sartre, Jean-Paul. Nausea (1938)

Camus, Albert. The Plague (1947)

Course Plan:

Week Three, Term 2: Course overview. Modernism and an introduction to Madame Bovary

Week 4, Term 2: Madame Bovary

Week 5, Term 2: Gide, The Immoralist

Week 6: Reading Week

Week 7: Gide, The Immoralist, continued

Week 8: Proust, Combray

Week 9: Combray continued

Week 10: Sartre, Nausea

Week 1, Term 3: Camus, The Plague

Week 2, Term 3: Camus, Sartre and the Absurd

Module Description

This module (re)introduces students to some of the most important prose works of the French literary canon of the first half of the twentieth century. Keeping in mind that labels such as “the canon” and “modernity” are fluid, we will pay special attention to where the texts appear to break with literary or cultural norms of the time.

We will investigate how these authors use form, style, and other literary techniques to convey meaning as well as what sorts of philosophical, social, or political factors may have motivated them. In other words, we will approach these texts in two different manners. At times, you will be asked to perform close readings of literary works where meaning is found within the text itself. At others, you will carry out contextual research which places the texts in their broader cultural significance.

Module Objectives

In this module, you will undertake study of Modern French culture and literature as well as developing your mastery of textual analysis and written organization of ideas. You will leave this class having attained a competence in critical analysis that is appropriate to a first-year Film and Television Studies student. By the end of term, you will have gained a better understanding of the culture of the early 20c in France and, more generally, will have improved your ability to construct valid arguments when speaking and writing about literature.

Formative and Summative Essay Questions 2016-17:

Formative Essays FR109

Summative Essay Titles

Further Reading:

Reading List FR109

Seminar Plan and handouts 2016-17:

Flaubert Seminar Week One

Flaubert Seminar Week Two

Gide Seminar One

Gide Seminar Two