Introduction to French Literature and Culture II - FR302

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 3)
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4 15 (7.5) DR L O'Meara







This module is designed to introduce students to the range and variety of French literature by the close study of a number of short fictional texts from the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The authors studied use short fiction to explore a wide variety of themes: philosophical, political, and social questions will be examined as they are raised in each text. Students will undertake close readings of the primary texts and will make connections with broader political, social and cultural issues.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

A one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar per week, for ten weeks.

Method of assessment

Essay (1,500 words) – 40%
Presentation (15 minutes) – 20%
Examination (2 hours) – 40%

Indicative reading

Aymé, M. (2008) [1943] Le Passe-muraille. Paris: Gallimard; (2012) The Man Who Walked Through Walls. London: Pushkin Press.
Balzac, Honoré de. [1831] 'Le Réquisitionnaire' / 'The Conscript' [any edition]
Beauvoir, S. de (1973) [1967] La Femme rompue. Paris: Gallimard; The Woman Destroyed [any edition].
Camus, A. (2013) [1957] L’Exil et le Royaume. Paris: Gallimard; (2006) Exile and the Kingdom: Stories [any edition]
Graffigny, F. de [1747] Lettres d’une Péruvienne [any edition]; Letters of a Peruvian Woman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009
Maupassant, Guy de. [1884] ‘La Parure’ / ‘The Necklace’; ‘Un Duel’ / ‘A Duel’ [any edition]
Sebbar, Leïla. (1996) La Jeune Fille au balcon. Paris: Seuil

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- Demonstrate an appreciation of the variety and richness of the French narrative tradition from the eighteenth century to the present day;
- Demonstrate analytical skills for the study of structure, narrative technique and treatment of key themes in the French narrative fiction studied, and ability to evaluate and describe examples of French narrative fiction;
- Demonstrate skills relating to close reading and evaluation of literary texts;
- Plan and write an essay analysing cultural and historical questions as they are articulated in short narrative fiction.

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