Courses available in French

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— Baudelaire

French 270B: Literary Criticism — What Literary Form Can Do — Bourdieu, Sartre, and Genette with Flaubert, MallarmĂ©, and Proust

Required Readings: 

Pierre Bourdieu, Les règles de l’art, Seuil-Points Essais, ISBN: 978-2020349758

Gustave Flaubert, L’Ă©ducation sentimentale, Flammarion, ISBN: 978-2080711038

Marcel Proust, A l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, Gallimard Folio Classique, ISBN: 978-2070380510

Marcel Proust, Contre l’obscuritĂ©, Editions La Nerthe. ISBN: 9782916862323

Marcel Proust, Du côté de chez Swann, Gallimard Folio Classique, ISBN: 978-2070379248

Jean-Paul Sartre, Questions de méthode, Gallimard-Tel.  ISBN: 978-2070707676

 

Recommended Readings: 

Pierre Bourdieu, La distinction, Minuit, ISBN: 978-2707302755

Jacques Dubois, Pour Albertine: Proust et le sens du social, Seuil, ISBN: 2020300559

Pascal Durand, Mallarmé: Du sens des formes au sens des formalités, Seuil, ISBN: 9782020654319

Gérard Genette, Figures II, Seuil-Points Essais, ISBN: 978-2020053235

GĂ©rard Genette, Figures III, Seuil, ISBN: 978-2020020398

Course Description:

How and why do we relate to culture and to cultural objects?  What do culture and its objects do for us? Bourdieu once said in an interview when speaking about La distinction that “dans un post-scriptum où je me réfère à Proust . . . j’évoque à la fois les jouissances spécifiques que donne le rapport à la culture et les souffrances spécifiques que procure le désenchantement culturel.  Proust, qui était un admirable sociologue avait dit avant moi mais dans son langage – c’est-à-dire que personne ne l’a entendu – ce que dit La distinction.” In this seminar we’ll have a chance to look in some detail at both Bourdieu’s Les règles de l’art and La distinction, two of the most imposing works of twentieth-century French critical thought, as part of an effort to understand what literary works do, how, via the work of form, they become instruments of analysis that provide us with a critical experience both of language and of the world.  We’ll juxtapose Bourdieu’s approach to cultural objects with that of Sartre and of Genette in order to give ourselves a wider sense of the competing impulses that have shaped recent French critical thought about cultural objects, and about literature specifically.  Texts by Mallarmé, Flaubert, and Proust, as well as some recent criticism of those authors. You might like to have read Mallarmé’s “Crise de vers” and “Le Mystère dans les lettres” before the start of the seminar.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes