French and Italian | Reading and Expression in French
F300 | 5845 | Prof. Eric MacPhail


This course serves as an introduction to the study of French
literature. We will begin by studying French prosody and reading a
selection of lyric poems from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
Each student will select one poem from the reader on which to give a
class presentation and write a short essay. Students will have the
opportunity to rewrite their essays so that they make sense. Then we
will study the narrative genre represented by Balzac’s Colonel
Chabert. Students will take an essay exam on the story after
preparing the essay questions together in class. Next we will read a
play, La Guerre de Troie n’aura pas lieu by Jean Giraudoux,
and again we will take an essay exam in class on questions discussed
in a prior class meeting. To conclude, we will do some “travaux
pratiques de néo-français” based on excerpts from the works of
Raymond Queneau to help us think about the difference between spoken
and written language. We will also test Queneau’s peculiar
conviction that this difference is much greater in French than in
English.