French and Italian | Reading and Expression in French
F300 | 3166 | Calhoun, Alison


Exploring the Self

From the skeptical subject in Montaigne’s Essais to the doubled,
dialogical child in Nathalie Sarraute’s Enfance, the exploration and
construction of the self in literature will be at the center of this
introduction to French reading and expression. Through close readings
from varying genres (poem, essay, dialogue, novel, play), we will
attempt to move beyond the broad and often misunderstood term
“autobiography” by considering issues of subjectivity,
self-expression, authorial voice, dialogue, self-portraiture, life
writing, and authority.  Texts we will study include: Montaigne’s
Essais, Molière’s Le Malade imaginaire, Rousseau’s Confessions,
selected poems from Ronsard, Baudelaire and Rimbaud, Proust’s Combray,
and Nathalie Sarraute’s Enfance.  Grading: two in-class essays (open
book); three short essays with re-writes; class participation
(includes reading responses, group work, discussion leading).