French literature (MA)

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide Master students with a knowledge of some of Jean Cocteau's principal works in the narrative, theatrical and cinematographic fields. Particular attention will be paid to rewriting the myths of Orpheus and Oedipus, very present in the production of this author.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge: 1) An essential framework of French Literature, according to the periods and authors considered, 2) Understanding basic elements in order to analyse texts' structure (metrical, stylistic, narrative devices), 3) Good knowledge of spoken and written French language.
Skills. 1) Ability to identify the main expressive features (stylistic, thematic and structural) of every literary work and recognize the author's identity in it 2) Ability to date literary works in chronological and cultural connection with Italian literature, 3) Ability to use coherently critical contributions 4) Ability to read works and identify themes and formal issues.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
The course is entitled Réécritures des mythes d'Orphée et d'Œdipe dans l'œuvre de Jean Cocteau and consists of the following three teaching units, which will be addressed in sequence:
A: The myth of Orpheus from theater to cinema
B: Oedipus from myth to "complex" in Cocteau
C: Variations on myths

The course aims to introduce some of the most important works of a great twentieth-century author, Jean Cocteau, who distinguished himself in numerous literary and non-literary genres (poetry, novel, theater, cinema, dance, painting, sculpture, etc.). He was also an emblematic character of an extraordinary historical-cultural period, as he was often at the center of a network of relationships of knowledge and friendship that linked him to well-known figures such as Picasso, Proust, Colette, Stravinskij, Diaghilev , Edith Piaf, Coco Chanel, not to mention the most important ones. The criterion in the choice of texts was dictated by the fact that Cocteau made an interesting and original reinterpretation of two of the fundamental myths of classical culture: Orpheus and Oedipus. Reading the texts will almost always be completed by watching films that have been taken from the works themselves by Cocteau or by other filmmakers.

Students who intend to acquire 6 ECTS will stick to the program of units A and B; all students who intend to acquire 9 ECTS will stick to the complete program (units A, B and C).
Unit A will study the passage of themes and techniques of representation relating to the Orphic myth as it is treated by Jean Cocteau starting from the Pièce Orphée to the homonymous film, then moving on to the film Le Testament d'Orphée. In unit B we will deal with the text La Machine infernale, Cocteau's rewriting of the myth of Oedipus and we will move on to treating the Oedipus complex in the play and in the cinematographic transposition of Cocteau himself Les Parents Terribles himself. Unit C will study the transition from Cocteau La Voix humaine's piece to the film production of Roberto Rossellini's A Human Voice. Finally it will deal with the theme of 'incest' in the novel Les Enfants terribles.
The course program is valid until February 2021. The course program is valid until February 2021. From the summer session 2021 it will be possible to present yourself exclusively on the program of the academic year 2020-2021.
Prerequisites for admission
The course which is held entirely in French, the materials and the exam bibliography assume solid linguistic skills. Erasmus or other forms of mobility students are admitted, provided they have solid skills in French.
Teaching methods
The course adopts the following teaching methods: frontal lessons; reading and commenting of the scheduled works, viewing and commenting of films.
Teaching Resources
Teaching unit A: The myth of Orpheus in Cocteau from theater to cinema
Orphée, play
Orphée, screenplay for the film
Le Testament d'Orphée, screenplay for the film
The texts will be made available by the teacher. At the end of the reading of the two scripts, the respective films will be shown.
Du cinématrographe, Textes réunis et présentés par André Bernard et Claude Gauteur, Paris, Belfond, 1973: this text is present in the library of Francesistica. The Italian translation of this volume can be made available by the teacher.

Teaching unit B: Oedipus from the myth to the 'Oedipus complex' in Cocteau
The infernal Machine: the Le Livre de Poche edition is recommended.
Les Parents Terribles, the Gallimard Folio edition is recommended
The film of the same name will be screened.

Teaching unit C: Variations on myths
La Voix humaine. The text will be made available by the teacher.
Les Enfants terribles: the Le Livre de Poche edition is recommended.

The program for non-attending students is the same as that for attending students. Of course, given the greater difficulties deriving from an autonomous preparation, non-attending students are recommended to devote adequate time to the study and development of the contents of the program.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an individual interview, which includes questions asked by the teacher, interactions between the teacher and the student and the analysis and commentary of one or more themes from the scheduled works. The interview has a variable duration depending on the teaching units on which the student presents himself, and takes place in French. The interview aims to verify the knowledge of the texts read, the ability to exhibit, the precision in the use of specific terminology, the capacity for critical and personal reflection on the proposed themes. Finally, he will take into account the French language skills. The final mark is expressed in thirtieths, and the student has the right to refuse it (in this case it will be recorded as "withdrawn").
International or Erasmus incoming students are invited to promptly contact the teacher. The exam 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