Fall 2007

Modern French Autobiography

Listed in: French, as FREN-52


Leah D. Hewitt (Section 01)


This course studies the tortuous relationships between fact and fiction as famous French writers focus on their own lives. We will study how identities are constructed through gender, class and race, and will discuss identity formation (and its breakdown) through certain literary and philosophical theories (existentialism, New Novel theory, modernism, Marxism, postmodernism, postcolonialism). After briefly considering passages from Rousseau's model autobiography, Les Confessions, we turn our attention to twentieth-century authors such as Marguerite Duras, Nathalie Sarraute, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Michel Leiris, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maryse Conde, Roland Barthes, and Louis Althusser. Assignments will include one creative essay in which students write on a personal experience using narrative strategies discussed in class. Conducted in French. Requisite: One of the following-French 07, 08, 11, 12 or equivalent. First semester. Professor Hewitt.