French and Italian | Great Novels of the 19th Century
F443 | 29660 | Valazza, Nicolas


Topic: The Figure of the Painter in the 19th Century French Novel

In this course, we will read some key novels of the 19th century—Le
_Chef-d’œuvre inconnu_ by Balzac, _Manette Salomon_ by the Goncourt
brothers, _L’Œuvre_ by Zola and _À rebours_ by Huysmans—focusing on
the figure of the painter as a literary character. The purpose of the
course is to show how the art of painting unveils some unexpected
aspects of the art of the novel, while also unfolding some essential
literary issues of the century: the status of the artist in society,
the role of the woman in the novel, the Orientalist fascination,
realist and naturalist esthetics, the emergence of symbolism and the
question of decadence, etc. Our readings will be enlightened by
visual examples taken from painters that are somewhat hidden behind
these characters: Manet, Cézanne, Moreau among others. The course
will be conducted in French. Above class carries COLL A & H
distribution credit.