Honors | French and Italian
S300 | 2404 | Gray
Conceived as an introduction to French literature, this course will seek
to provide a basis for further study by developing skills in literary
interpretation, as well as improving skills in spoken and written French.
We will begin with a study of the poetic tradition in France, tracing the
evolution of the love theme from the Petrarch-inspired lyrics of the
Renaissance to the great 19th-century Romantic and Symbolist poets,
concluding with a sampling from the 20th century. Turning to theater, we
will take up Jean Anouilh'sBal des Voleurs, a delightful comedy
involving less-than-expert thieves, a canny dowager, disguise, masquerade
and the inevitable outcome of such a mix: true love. We will also be
attentive, however, to the ways in which Anouilh's comedy explores the
nature of theater and the theatrical.
We will then take up a third genre, the novel; through Camara Laye's
coming-of-age narrative, L=Enfant Noir, we will retrace certain
universal experiences set in the unfamiliar context of West Africa:
childhood admiration for the father, love for the mother, school days,
friendship, first love, exposure to death, and departure from home. Such a
combination of the familiar and the exotic will shape our perspective as
we explore questions of narrative form.
We will conclude the semester with several short stories-including Camus's
searching depiction of a moral decision in a story from his collection,
L'Exil et le Royaume an appreciation of the very different esthetics at
work in shorter narratives. There will be a variety of written exercises,
including a 7-page paper, as well as midterm and final exams.
One last point: you have just had your last contact with English!