French 470

FREN 470: Masterpieces of French Literature

Prerequisite: FREN 300

Credit Hours: (3 or 4) Three or four hours lecture

A critical study of masterpieces of French literature by genre. May be taken twice for credit.  All work conducted in French.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The content of this course will vary according to the genre being taught. The course will focus on developing an appreciation of the evolution of the genre by studying selected masterpieces dating from the seventeenth century to the present day.

The three main genres which are taught in this course are: poetry, the novel, and the theater. Students read selected works of most of the following:

1. Poetry: La Fontaine, Manvaux , Voltaire, Lamartine, de Vigny, Hugo, Musset, Baudelaire Verlaine, Rimbaud, Malarmé, Valery, Apollinaire, Saint-Jean Perse, Aragon, Eluard, and Prévert.
2. Novel: Mme. de La Fayette, l’Abbé Prévost, Rousseau, Hugo, Stendhal, Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, Proust, Gide, Camus, and Robbe-Grillet.
3. Theater: Comeille, Moliere, Racine, Beaumarchais, Hugo, Giraudoux, Cocteau, Sartre, Genet, and lonesco.

Critical methods for discussing the genre will be taught so that students will be able to read, discuss and analyze from a critic’s point of view.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be conducted entirely in French and requires active class participation. Students will give weekly oral presentations (exposés) and bi-weekly written analyses (explications) of the textual material. They will also be required to write a 12-15 page term paper.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of the genre, its development, and its masterpieces.
2. Students will develop critical methods enabling them to analyze a literary text.


Assessment Measures

Class participation, “exposes”, “explications de texte”, a mid-term examination, the term paper, and the final examination.


Other Course Information

Students will be encouraged to participate in or attend literary conferences.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews
September 2001 Reviewed Janet Wagner