It is commonly accepted that identity or a sense of self is constructed by and through narrative – the stories we tell each other and ourselves about our lives. This module explores the complex relationships that exist between memory, nostalgia, writing and identity in a range of twentieth-century autobiographical and first- and third-person fictional works in French. These texts foreground issues of childhood, memory, history, and trauma in the construction of identity.
Total Contact Hours: 20
Method of assessment
Critical Writing Exercise (500 words) – 20%
Essay (2,400 words) – 60%
Presentation (15 minutes) – 20%
Indicative Reading List:
Ernaux, A. (2007). La Place. Paris: Gallimard.
Germain, S. (2001). L'Enfant Méduse. Paris: Gallimard.
Kofman, S. (2005). Rue Ordener, rue Labat. Paris: Galilée.
Perec, G. (2001). W ou le souvenir d'enfance. Paris: Denoël.
Proust, M. (2001) Combray. In: Du côté de chez Swann. Paris: Gallimard.
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Explore in depth a range of twentieth-century literary works in French that reflect on the nature of childhood, memory, and memories of childhood;
Reflect critically on the role and significance of memory and childhood in a variety of literary genres;
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the narratological import of the relationship between the fictional and the autobiographical;
Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the ways in which memory can bear upon literary form;
Demonstrate confident analytical skills for the study of narrative technique and structure;
Demonstrate their ability to read in French.
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