Professor of French Studies
Acting Department Head

M.A., University of Toronto
Ph.D., University of Toronto

After completing his B.A. degree at the University of Victoria, Ralph Sarkonak studied at the Institut des professeurs de français à l’étranger, Paris III. He did his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. After teaching at Yale University, he joined UBC. He has published on Claude Simon, Roland Barthes, Hervé Guibert, and Renaud Camus.


UBC Killam Teaching Prize, 2011.

UBC Killam Research Prize, 1999.


  • 20th C. French novel
  • Claude Simon
  • Marcel Proust
  • Hervé Guibert
  • Renaud Camus
  • Literary theory: Roland Barthes


L’archive du réel.

Editor of the journal “Claude Simon” published by Les Lettres Modernes.



Angelic Echoes: Hervé Guibert and Company. Toronto: U of Toronto Press, 2000.

Les Trajets de l’écriture chez Claude Simon. Toronto: Paratexte, 1994.

Understanding Claude Simon. Columbia, S.C.: U of South Carolina P, 1990.

Claude Simon: les carrefours du texte. Toronto: Paratexte, 1986.

Edited books:

Claude Simon 6 : “La Réception critique”. Ralph Sarkonak ed. Caen, Lettres Modernes Minard, 2012. Coll. « La Revue des lettres modernes ». Un volume broché, rogné 19 cm. 302 p. 25 € ISBN 978-2-256-91167-5III.

Les Spirales du sens chez Renaud Camus. Amsterdam: Rodopi, coll. “Faux titre”, 2009.

FRANCE / USA: The Cultural Wars. New Haven, Yale UP, 2001.

Lectures d’Histoire. Paris: Lettres Modernes, 2000.

L’Ecriture du féminin / masculin. Paris: Lettres Modernes. 1997.

Le Corps textuel d’Hervé Guibert. Paris: Lettres Modernes, 1997.

Same Sex/Different Text? Gay and Lesbian Writing in French (with Brigitte Mahuzier, Karen McPherson, and Charles Porter). New Haven: Yale UP, 1996.

À la recherche du référent… Paris: Lettres Modernes, 1994.

Writing … in Stereo: Bilingualism in the Text, Visible Language (with Richard Hodgson) 27.1-2, 1993.

Le Roman québécois contemporain (1960-1986) devant la critique, OEuvres et critiques (with Richard Hodgson) 14.1. 1989.

The Language of Difference: Writing in QUEBEC(ois). New Haven: Yale UP, 1983.

Articles and book chapters:
“Renaud Camus, wordsmith à l’oeuvre” in Les Spirales du sens chez Renaud Camus. 11-24.

“La chute dans la folie” in Les Spirales du sens chez Renaud Camus. 41-67.

“Interview avec Alain Finkielkraut” in Les Spirales du sens chez Renaud Camus. 273-90.

“Claude Simon et la Shoah”, Claude Simon 5 (2008): 209-26.

“L’oeuvre fantôme de Renaud Camus”, TEXTE 39/40: 119-70.

“L’effet d’archive”, Claude Simon 4 (2005): 5-28.

“Just how wide is the Atlantic anyway?”, Yale French Studies 100 (2001): 1-10.

“Les quatre saisons au Jardin des Plantes”, Claude Simon 3 (2000): 191-214.

In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust” in Encyclopedia of the Novel. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998. 591-95.

“Traces and Shadows: Fragments of Hervé Guibert”, Yale French Studies (1996): 176-202.

Winter 2016

FREN420S Selected Topics in French Literature and Culture - TPCS FREN LIT Sections

Course content will vary. May be taken up to 3 times, with different content, for a maximum of 9 credits.

Winter 2016

FREN514B Problems Relating to the French Novel - PROBS FR NOVEL Sections