Intro To French/Francophone Studies: The heart and its reasons (3 CR)

FRIT-F 300 — Spring 2024

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Margaret Gray
BH 139
Days and Times
TuTh 11:30a-12:45p
Course Description

Prerequisite: F250, F265, equivalent or consent of department.

"Le coeur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît pas" wrote seventeenth-century thinker Blaise Pascal in assessing the tangled relationship between love and reason. Beginning with Paul Eluard's love lyric to "Liberté," we will turn to a founding poem of 19th-century Romanticism, as well as the 20th century's post-Symbolist ironizations. Moving to a different genre, theatre, we see that Jean Anouilh's manipulation of the ideal of romantic love in Le Bal des Voleurs becomes a vehicle for powerful social critique. Along with its probing questions of class difference, however, the play offers a delightful mix of bumbling thieves attempting to get the best of a rich and canny dowager and her eligible nieces, as true love and personal honor triumph across social and economic differences. Turning next to the novel, we will study David Foenkinos's acclaimed La délicatesse with its issues of self-reconstruction after loss in a heart-warming love story; scenes from the film adaptation will be used to challenge and extend our reading. The semester will conclude with a selection of short stories illuminating thematic and formal issues, from problems of moral responsibility (Albert Camus) to voice (Henri Thomas) and point of view (Jean-Louis Curtis). Upon completion of the course, students will have a) been exposed to a variety of literary genres in French, including poetry, theatre, the novel and the short story b) developed and sharpened reading skills through practice in close reading and techniques of literary analysis c) made progress in practical skills such as aural and written comprehension, as well as oral and written expression. A variety of short written exercises will be required.

All discussion and written work will be conducted in French.

FRIT-F 300   #33474 and #36261      11:30A-12:45P         TuTh    BH 139       Gray M

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