French literature 1 LM. Forms, genres, and critical approaches (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Stefano Genetti, Paola Perazzolo
Stefano Genetti
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Sep 30, 2019 al Jan 11, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

In the context of the theoretic and critical investigation of French literary studies provided in the two-year master’s degree program, this course aims at developing both historical and methodological competences. The course aims at presenting an in-depth critical analysis of a given theme throughout French literature from the 16th to the 21st century. Moreover, students will be provided with the theoretical and methodological tools for the literary and linguistic analysis of the texts taken into consideration. The lessons will be held in French, with the purpose of improving the students’ linguistic level as well. The courses will consist in lectures and seminars. At the end of the course, students shall therefore acquire overall knowledge of the history of French literature, along with critical competences and the capacity of developing in-depth and comparative analysis of the texts the course deals with. Moreover, they will be expected to be able to present the topics of the course in French.


In the company of Don Juan

This course deals with the lasting fortune of Don Juan in French literature. Besides Molière’s masterpiece, the “catalogue” of the works taken into consideration includes texts by Musset, Baudelaire, and Verlaine, by Balzac, Mérimée, and Barbey d’Aurevilly, as well as Twentieth-Century rewritings by Apollinaire, Colette, Camus, Montherlant, and Schmitt, among others. Some related literary characters such as Dorante (Marivaux), Casanova, Valmont (Choderlos de Laclos) will also be presented. By comparing different literary genres (drama, novel, essay and autobiography) and critical perspectives, this course focuses on the evolution of a major modern literary myth.

Selected bibliography
Enea Balmas, Il mito di Don Giovanni nel Seicento francese, Roma, Lucarini, 1986.
Pierre Brunel (sous la direction de), Dictionnaire de Don Juan, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1999.
Delia Gambelli, Introduzione, in Molière, Don Giovanni, traduzione di Delia Gambelli e Dario Fo, Venezia, Marsilio, 2003, pp. 9-35.
Giovanni Macchia, Vita avventure e morte di Don Giovanni, Torino, Einaudi, 1978.
Michele Mastroianni (a cura di), Don Giovanni nelle riscritture francesi e francofone del Novecento, Firenze, Olschki, 2009.
Axel Preiss, Le mythe de Don Juan, Paris, Bordas, 1991.
Jean Rousset, Le mythe de Don Juan, Paris, Armand Colin, 1976.

This course will be entirely held in French. Besides reading Molière’s Dom Juan, each student must present to the class two papers concerning at least one chosen literary work: one mid-term paper (general presentation) and one final paper (critical interpretation). The final oral exam will certify the overall knowledge of the program.
A detailed program, a selection of texts and precise information concerning individual further readings will be given at the beginning of and during the course.
Students unable to attend the lessons are requested to contact the teachers.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Pierre Brunel (sous la direction de) Dictionnaire de Don Juan Robert Laffont 1999 9782221078662
Molière Dom Juan GF Flammarion 2013 9782081309371

Assessment methods and criteria

The final evaluation will be the result of the following steps, which will all be in French:
a) mid-term and final papers and oral presentations concerning a chosen work (2/3 of the evaluation);
c) oral exam concerning the general knowledge of the program (1/3 of the evaluation).