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Politics and the French Novel, 1850-1945
FREN 308
Fall 2008
Section: 01  

While examples of committed writing may be found throughout literary history, this course will focus on the period from 1885 to 1945, during which the idea of the writer as intellectual took root in France. In his 1885 novel GERMINAL, Zola denounced the violent repression of a coal-miner's strike. In 1898, during the Dreyfus Affair, he was brought to trial for publishing an open letter to the president, "J'ACCUSE." Céline's VOYAGE AU BOUT DE LA NUIT (1932) brings to light the inhumanity of the First World War, and in the 1920s, of colonial Africa, industrial America, and urban France. Malraux's LA CONDITION HUMAINE (1933) is set in a cell of revolutionaries in 1927 China. Sartre, the best-known theorist and apologist of committed literature in the '30s and '40s, deals, in LE SURSIS (1945), with the Munich accords of 1938 during the build-up to the Second World War. From the excesses of the Industrial Revolution to the nihilism and new conflicts of post-World-War Europe, the authors we will study this semester were all aware of the direct relationship between individual destinies and the larger movements of history. Their works challenged their audiences to confront the political and moral debates of their eras. If the historical and social contexts are different for these four major novels, each provides a different response to the question FAUT-IL S'ENGAGER?

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RLAN
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (FRST)(RMST)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUL-25-2024
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