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The Business of Letters: The French Epistolary Novel
FREN 273
Fall 2021 not offered

Before the 18th century, the first-person narrative was often perceived as self-indulgent, not to mention distasteful. Eighteenth-century readers, however, became fascinated with the intimacy, immediacy, realism, and confessional aspect of highly charged first-person perspectives. It comes as no surprise, then, that this was the golden age of the ROMAN EPISTOLAIRE, the novel composed entirely of letters. In this class we will read a number of epistolary novels that allowed for the development of highly subjective, and often challenging, points of view. Sample works include Madame de Graffigny's critique of European society (LETTRES D'UNE PERUVIENNE), Mme de Charriere's praise of female independence (LETTRES DE MISTRISS HENLEY), Montesquieu's political satire of French life (LETTRES PERSANES), and Laclos's tale of seduction and aristocratic libertinage (LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES). We will also read one example of the epistolary novel's stylistic counterpart, the ROMAN-MEMOIRE.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RLAN
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode:
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARHA)(CGST-MN)(COL)(FRST-MN)(FRST)(RMST)

Last Updated on JUL-24-2024
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