French And Italian | French Renaissance I
F513 | 2531 | Carr

No literary period has been subject to more diverse interpretations than the
Renaissance. Among the myriad definitions, some have dismissed it as nothing
more than a medieval hangover; for others it is the harbinger of classicism;
still others insist that it is the dawn of the modern era. Though no single
view is ever entirely convincing, the range of definitions does suggest the
richness and variety of that vast period of artistic creation ranging from
Petrarch to Shakespeare. In order to appreciate its complexity, the first half
of this course will examine intellectual preoccupations and assumptions of the
early Renaissance expressed by major exponents of humanism in Italy (Petrarch,
Pico, Pomponazzi) and in the north (Erasmus, Rabelais, Marguerite de Navarre).
In the second half of the semester, the period 1500-1550 will be reexamined
through an evaluation of the developments in poetic form and expression (the
Rhétoriqueurs, Marot, the Lyon poets, Du Bellay).


In addition to the assigned readings, students will be expected to familiarize
themselves with a select body of critical literature which will be on reserve.
For the final evaluation, students may elect either a final comprehensive
examination or a substantial term paper.