French literature 1

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Starting from exemplary authors and novels and particularly insisting on narrative structures and thematic structures that show and reveal their writing choices, the course aims to identify how to follow some stages of the evolution of the French novel. At the same time, the student must learn to read and interpret the literary text by introducing to him the basic tools of narratology and their application.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: students will learn what is a course of literary history and how to define it, starting from the works and the historical, cultural and artistic framework of a defined period. They will also acquire basic tools of narratology that allow them to analyse the literary text avoiding impressionistic readings.
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: ability to draw critical interpretation and interpretative autonomy of medium level applicable to the literary text of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Ability to set transversal readings in the cultural, artistic and social-historical framework, going beyond the impression that art moves in a watertight compartment.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
The title of the course is : The great illusion of reproducing the world. French narrative between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and it is divided into three teaching units that will be carried out in sequence:
Unit A: "Au Vrai par le Beau": Flaubert's realism. Reading and analysis of "Madame Bovary".
Unit B: Science to read the world: Zola and Naturalism. Reading and analysis of "The Assommoir".
Unit C: A new balance between truth and fiction, reality and lies: André Gide. Reading and analysis of "Les Faux-Monnayeurs".

Starting from Unit A, we will show that the mimesis of the real, its "faithful" reproduction knows different declinations between the 19th and 20th centuries. Each of these signals a change of vision of the world and a change of conception of the function exercised by the narrative in the reproduction (always and in any case critical and subjective) of the world. Starting from three exemplary authors and particularly insisting on narrative structures and the thematic structures that characterize and reveal their writing choices, the course aims to follow some stages of the evolution of the French novel from the moment of the definitive overcoming of romanticism and the revolution of Flaubertian fiction (Unit A), passing through the prevailing scientism of the fin-de-siècle that feeds the Zola's Naturalism (Unit B) to get to the answers given to the crisis of the genre that coincides with the change of century, a novelty of which Gide is a remarkable exemple (Unit C).

The course is aimed exclusively at the first-year students of the CdS in Foreign Languages and Literatures who have chosen French as their first or second three-year language.
The course program is valid until February 2022.
Prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
The course adopts the following teaching methods: frontal lessons; reading, translation and commentary of passages taken from the works belonging to the program; viewing and commenting on images and short films.
Teaching Resources
The course has a site on the online Ariel platform, to which we refer for further details and any other materials provided by the teacher. Here below are the mandatory reading works for the various teaching units and the critical reference bibliography. The entries preceded by an asterisk are additional and mandatory (in addition to the others) for non-attending students.

General Bibliography
- Antoine COMPAGNON, La littérature, pour quoi faire?, Paris, Fayard, 2007
- Lionello SOZZI (ed.), Storia europea della letteratura francese - volume 2, Torino, Einaudi, PBE, 2013
- Loredana CHINES, Carlo VAROTTI, Che cos'è un testo letterario, Roma, Carocci, 2015.
Unità didattica A
- Gustave FLAUBERT, Madame Bovary, Paris, Folio-Classique Gallimard, available edition or any other complete edition in French.
- Gustave FLAUBERT, Écrire "Madame Bovary", Paris, Folio-Plus Classique, 2016.
*Pierre-Marc DE BIASI, Flaubert l'Homme-plume, Paris, Gallimard, "Découvertes", 2002
Unità didattica B
- Émile ZOLA, L'Assommoir, Paris, Folio-Classique, available edition or any other complete edition in French.
- Students are supposed to read the essay Le roman expérimental in the volume of the same title by Zola available on Gallica site:…
- Structure scheme of L'Assommoir: cfr. "Vedi file allegati" at the end of the screenshot PROGRAMMA DI LETTERATURA FRANCESE 1 on Ariel site of the University of Milan.
*Isabelle GUILLAUME, Étude sur "L'Assommoir" - Zola, Paris. Ellipses, 2015.
*Henri Mitterrand, Zola tel qu'en lui-même, Paris, PUF, 2009.
Unità didattica C
- André GIDE, Les Faux-Monnyeurs, Paris, Folio, available edition.
- Gian Luigi DI BERNARDINI, "Les Faux-Monnayeurs" di André Gide. Lettura guidata, Milano, Mimesis, 2016.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an individual interview which opens with the reading, translation and interpretative comment of a passage, chosen by the student. The interviews continue with questions asked by the teacher, interactions between the teacher and the student and the analysis and commentary of the other works at program. The interview has a variable duration, but it lasts an average of twenty minutes and usually takes place in Italian. It can be taken in French at the choice of the student. The interview aims to verify the knowledge of the works read and the texts assigned in the bibliography, the ability to contextualize authors and works, the ability in the exhibition, the precision in the use of specific terminology, the capacity for critical and personal reflection of the student. The final grade is expressed in thirtieths, and the student has the right to refuse it (in this case it will be verbalized as "withdrawn").
International or Erasmus incoming students are invited to contact the teacher promptly. The examination procedures for students with disabilities and/or with DSA must be agreed with the teacher, in agreement with the competent Office.
Unita' didattica A
L-LIN/03 - FRENCH LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-LIN/03 - FRENCH LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-LIN/03 - FRENCH LITERATURE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Wednesday, 10am-12am; 02.30pm-03.30pm, even by Teams (setting up an appointment previously) or any other day at any other time, via Teams (fixing previous appointment required). See also Ariel page.
Department of Foreing languages and literatures; 1, S. Alessandro Square, Milan