Contemporary French Fiction
Our program will be to read and review 6 of the most interesting books published in French in the last 5 years.
Each reading will be paired with a movie, affording us an opportunity for critical examination of another medium.
The goal of this course is to help you become a better critic. You will publish your own reviews of the books and the movies on the course blog. You will edit your classmates’ pieces and provide constructive comments. By writing and editing reviews in various formats, you will hone skills needed beyond college and beyond literary studies.
In the process, you will acquire: A broad and up to date picture of the current French literary and cultural scene; A grounding in the theory of fiction and the novel; An understanding of the social, historical and political issues percolating through the literary texts.
The choice of books should afford us insight into some of the issues France is currently facing: the aftershocks of recent social dislocations; the scars of a violent European history and of brutal colonization and decolonization processes; the reconfigurations of love, family, identity; the impact of globalization, financial capitalism and new media.
How is contemporary literature dealing with the dislocations of the present, the ghosts of the past and the invention of a future? How and where are these books reviewed? What space and what places do they occupy in the media (old and new) landscape? What can and what should a book or movie review communicate?