Occupation and Resistance in the French Novel - FR598

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
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5 15 (7.5)
Canterbury Spring
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5 15 (7.5) MS SL Cooper


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



This module will examine ways in which this turbulent and divisive period of French history is reflected in imaginative writing. Some texts are nearly contemporaneous with events; others reflect collective memory of the Occupation across generations. Questions raised will include: problems of realistic description and of narrative technique; the relationship of the individual to events beyond his/her control; conflicting loyalties and responsibilities; Resistance and occupation as metaphor; the mode rétro in French fiction since the 1960s. A certain amount of historical background reading will be essential.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

One weekly two-hour seminar for 10 weeks

Method of assessment

100% Coursework

Preliminary reading

Indicative Reading:

Vercors 'Le silence de la mer' (in : Le Silence de la mer)
Camus Lettres à un ami allemand
Modiano Livret de famille
Duras La Douleur
Germain Nuit-d'Ambre

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:

1. have gained a critical appreciation of a range of literary works inspired by the period of the Occupation and the Resistance in France;
2. have explored the literary and historical background of the works studied, and have assessed and critically analysed the complex links between events and the fiction itself;
3. have developed their analytical skills relating to close reading and evaluation of literary texts;
4. have developed their reading speed in French.

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