The French Love Story


How does love signify in the life, image and identity of the French? How is a privileged relationship to a seeming universal claimed by this culture, dissected in its critical thinking, and represented in its fiction? A history of the representation and social structuring of affective relationships in France, and a close analysis of some of the key tales the French tell themselves. Is there one plot or are there many? How do women authors tell the story/ies? How do men? Does their view of love truly set them apart, or is the "French Love Story" a myth? If the latter, how has it come to be, and who is invested in its perpetuation? Readings from classical texts (Plato), literary criticism (Rougemont and Girard), psychoanalysis (Freud, Lacan), and contemporary theory (Barthes); and the novels of Mme de LaFayette, Constant, Flaubert, Proust, Colette, and Duras in English. There will be one oral presentation, a midterm exam, a final paper (due in 3 installments). There may be quizzes as necessary. The final grade will be based on the regularity of attendance, the quality of participation, the grades assigned for the oral presentation, the midterm, and the final paper. In English with French preceptorial available for majors and minors.

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Crosslisting Numbers

GSF 208, LIT 262

Curriculum Codes