Paris: Myth and Reality in the 20th century - FR594

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) DR LE O'Meara


Students registering for this module will need to have proficiency in the target language at level B1/B2, as the module is taught partly in the target language


This module is not available as a wild module.



Among the capital cities of Europe, Paris has a particularly rich and exciting history. It played, for example, a key role during the revolution of 1789 and subsequent political upheavals in the course of the 19th century. This module follows on from FR593 – 'Paris: Myth and Reality I' (which is NOT a prerequisite for FR594). It explores the different and evolving representations of Paris of the 20th century in the context of modernity and postmodernity. Although the main focus of the course will be literary, including poetry and fiction, there will also be examination of the changing landscape of the capital as mediated through film.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

One weekly one-hour lecture and one weekly one-hour seminar for 10 weeks

Method of assessment

60% Coursework, 40% Exam

Preliminary reading

Indicative Reading:

Apollinaire, Guillaume. Alcools (Paris: Gallimard, 1966)
Gary, Romain. La Vie devant soi (Paris: Gallimard/Folio, 1982)
Truffaut, François. Les 400 coups (1959)
Modiano, Patrick. La Petite Bijou (Paris: Gallimard/Folio, 2002)
Jeunet, Jean-Pierre. Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001)
Various directors, Paris je t'aime (2006)
Nimier, Marie. Les Inséparables (Paris: Gallimard/Folio, 2010)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete the module will:

(a) have gained a critical appreciation of a wide range of literary and filmic works produced in France during the twentieth century;
(b) have explored the literary, filmic and historical background of the works studied, and have assessed and critically analysed the complex links between Paris as a real city and its representation by writers and filmmakers;
(c) have developed their analytical skills relating to close reading and evaluation of literary texts;
(d) have developed their reading speed in French.

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.