Before the 18th century, the first-person narrative was generally perceived as self-indulgent, not to mention distasteful. Eighteenth-century readers, however, became fascinated with the looking glass of the first person, with the intimacy, immediacy, and confessional aspect of the "je" narrator. It comes as no surprise, then, that the 18th-century was the golden age of the ROMAN EPISTOLAIRE, the novel composed entirely of letters. In this class we will read epistolary novels that vary widely in both form and content: from Madame de Graffigny's critique of European society (Lettres d'une peruvienne), to Mme de Charriere's praise of female independence (Lettres de Mistriss Henley), to Laclos' portrait of aristocratic libertinage (Les liaisons dangereuses). We will also read two examples of the epistolary novel's stylistic counterpart, the roman-memoire.