Fall 2009

Mirrors of the World:  The Nineteenth-Century French Novel

Listed in: French, as FREN-44


Laure A. Katsaros (Section 01)


This course will trace the evolution of the novel with respect to the broad contexts of nineteenth-century French history and culture.  We will focus in particular on the rise of French realism and its relation to the development of modernity in France, examining the treatment of such themes as urban space (the street, the arcade, the barricade), revolution, the opposition between Paris and the provinces, and the formation of modern identity--along with its distinctly modern pathologies (alienation, boredom, sexual frustration).  We will pay particular attention to the rising genre of the popular novel and the "roman-feuilleton," in their connection to journalism and the theatre.  We will be reading fiction by Nerval, Balzac, Stendhal, Mérimée, Flaubert, Sand, Maupassant, Barbey d'Aurevilly, and Zola, as well as extracts from longer works by Hugo, Dumas and Sue.  To help illuminate the problem of realism in France, we will take up the question of realist representation in the visual arts, examining relevant works by such artists and photographers as Courbet, Daumier, Manet, Degas, Nadar and Atget.  We will view several film adaptations of nineteenth-century French fiction, such as Une partie de campagne and La bête humaine by Jean Renoir, as well as the timeless classic on nineteenth-century Paris, Les Enfants du Paradis by Marcel Carné.  Conducted in French.

Requisite:  One of the following--French 7, 8, 11, 12 or equivalent.  Fall semester.  Professor Katsaros

FREN 44 - L/D

Section 01
Tu 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM MERR 401
Th 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM MERR 401


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2009