Contemporary French Literature and Culture

One notion that has come to define our times is that of truth. We are tasked, urgently, to seize what it may be and how it can be ascertained. Paradoxically, literature may contribute some of the most crucial reflections on the boundaries of truth. Indeed, writers of fiction have an intimate grasp on all shades of the real and of its representation. This appears remarkably salient in contemporary French literature, as it plays endlessly with nuances of the self, of testimony, of objectivity. We will discover how a variety of authors interpret historical reconstitution, gaslighting, confession, verisimilitude, autofiction, and more.

Our discussions and readings, as well as your work for the class, will be in French. We will explore a range of narratives, each one representing an experiment on the limits of truth and storytelling. By the end of the semester, you will possess an extended foundation in present-day literature in France.

This class aims to perfect your written and oral expression in French, as well as your critical prose and your knowledge of literary theory. You will also have the occasion to practice your creative writing skills through various assignments. 

Prerequisite: One of FREN 321, FREN 328, FREN 329 and one of FREN 225, FREN 402.

Language of Instruction: French