French And Italian | Studies in Seventeenth-Century French Literature
F630 | 2438 | Hinds
Le Roman au dix-septième siècle This course constitutes a
survey of the history of French narrative prose from the 1620s to the 1670s.
Readings represent significant sub-genres leading to the development of the
modern French novel: the tradition of histoires comiques, libertine
novels, collaborative fiction, narratives of preciosity, the Classical
nouvelle, and pseudo-autobiography. We will read Charles Sorel's
Histoire comique de Francion as one of the first histoires
comiques written in response to libertine ideas and narrative conventions.
We will examine satires of literary and social movements at the time of la
Fronde in Le Parasite mormon, whose composition arose from the
collaboration of Paul Scarron, l'abbé François la Mothe le
Vayer, and Sorel. We then turn to burlesque narrative in Scarron's Roman
comique, which relies heavily upon parody and theatricality. Extracts
from Madeleine de Scudéry's Clélie, histoire romaine
will help students understand Scarron's object of parody and the ideological
backlash of a failed proto-feminism in the précieux salons.
The course culminates in a careful examination of rhetorical elegance, moralist
thought, politics, social mores, and literary reception of la nouvelle
under Louis XIV in Madame de Lafayette's La Princesse de Clèves.
We will finish the semester by taking into account the counter-current of
women's libertine and picaresque fiction in Madame de Villedieu's
Mémoires de la vie de Henriette-Sylvie de Molière. Grading
will be based on student participation, a mid-semester essay, and a final
paper, although students may enhance their performance with an optional oral
Prerequisite: Students who have not taken F523 French Classicism
I are recommended to read Gérard Genette's edition of Honoré
d'Urfé's L'Astrée (This can be found in the Reserve Room
of the Undergraduate Library under the call number: HINDS FRIT PHD.EXAM Copy 1).