Courses available in French

Courses

Le soleil est rare et le bonheur aussi l’amour s’Ă©gare au long de la vie.

— Gainsbourg

French 260A: Studies in 20th-Century Literature: LittĂ©rature et engagement – Autour de Sartre et Camus

Readings:
Sartre: Qu’est-ce que la littĂ©rature, Le Mur, La NausĂ©e, Les Mouches, Les SĂ©questrĂ©s d’Altona, Les Mots

Camus: L’Homme RĂ©voltĂ©, L’Etranger, La Peste, Les Justes, La chute, l’Exil et le royaume, Le Premier homme

RECOMMENDED TEXTS: de Beauvoir: Le Sang des Autres, Olivier Todd: Camus, Bernard-Henri Levy: Le Siècle de Sartre

Course Description:

“L’Ă©crivain engagĂ© sait que la parole est action; il sait que dĂ©voiler, c’est changer et qu’on ne peut dĂ©voiler le monde qu’en projetant de le changer.” Sartre, Qu’est-ce que la littĂ©rature (1947)

“Par dĂ©finition, il [l’Ă©crivain] ne peut se mettre aujourd’hui au service de ceux qui font l’histoire : il est au service de ceux qui la subissent.” Camus, Discours de Suède (1957)

In this seminar, we will read the major literary works of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus with a view to recreating their dialogues, debates and differences on the relations between aesthetics, politics, history and ethics. Our readings will cover a sample of different genres (novels, essays, plays, autobiographical writings) that directly or indirectly address key historical junctures from the Occupation to decolonization: the Ă©puration, the Nazi genocide, Stalinism, the Cold War, torture and terror during the Algerian war. We will also contextualize their reception and consider the relevance of their legacy for current reflections on commitment in an age of terror.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes