French And Italian | The French Renaissance
F413 | 2296 | Mac Phail


This course will study some of the most original and enduring
works of French Renaissance literature.  The readings will be
divided into three chronological sections covering the reign of
François I, the French experience in the New World, and
the Wars of Religion.  From the era of François I we will
read some verse epistles of Clément Marot and a large
selection of short stories from Marguerite de Navarre's
Heptameron.  Students will write and revise a five page
essay on a story of their choice from the Heptameron.
For the second section, we will view some of the items from the
extraordinary collection of New World chronicles and travel
accounts in the Lilly Library, and we will read Jean de
Léry's history of his encounter with the Tupinamba tribe
of Brazil, which Claude Lévi-Strauss recognized as the
founding document of modern ethnography.  The class will take a
test on Léry's Histoire. For the final section,
we will read Agrippa d'Aubigné's epic of religious war,
Les tragiques, which is one of the most remarkable
achievements in narrative poetry in any language.  The final exam
will cover d'Aubigné.  Cannibalism, apocalypse, rime
équivoque: all the highlights of the Renaissance are
here.