Spring 2008

Three Masterpieces of French Literature in Translation

Listed in: French, as FREN-63


Ronald C. Rosbottom (Section 01)


This course seeks to read and study in depth a small number of important narrative or poetic texts of early modern to contemporary France. The purpose is to do close readings of both the selected texts and the socio-political and other cultural trends that were dominant at the time they were written and published. One might read Laclos' Liaisons Dangereuses (1782) and delve into the currents of pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary thought and events that would place this important book in a richer context. Flaubert's Madame Bovary (1857) would allow the students to learn about the increasing cultural and financial influence of the bourgeoisie and the Second Empire's attempt to censor this novel juridically. Finally, reading Proust's In Search of Lost Time (1913-1927) permits addressing, among other social phenomena, the effects of the Dreyfus Affair and the First World War on French culture in the early 20th century. Conducted in English. (French majors who wish to count this course toward fulfillment of requirements will write some papers in French and read a portion of these works in that language.) Second semester. Professor Rosbottom.