Proust, Swann’s Way
Shakespeare, selected sonnets
Saint Vincent Millay, selected sonnets
Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse
Lamartine, Poetic Meditations (“Isolation”, “The Valley”, “The Lake”, “Autumn”)
Baudelaire, Flowers of Evil (“Exotic Perfume”, “Head of Hair”, “‘I love you as I love…’”, “Spleen (II)”)
Critical articles on “Sylvie”
When we think of Romantic literature, we often think of a lofty ideal of love. But the fact is that here, as elsewhere, love rarely appears in an unalloyed form. As in life, perhaps, love is often accompanied and motivated by other emotional and psychological phenomena. In this course we’ll be interested in what various loves in the Romantic tradition are about, in addition to “love itself.” We’ll explore how amorous desire is influence by both memory and the imagination, and look for ways that certain states of mind like expectance and curiosity create conditions that allow love to emerge. We’ll wonder about what inspires love, what motivates it, what keeps it alive (sometimes in spite of itself), and what puts an end to it, through readings of poems by Shakespeare, Millay, Lamartine, and Baudelaire; fiction by Constant, Nerval, Proust, and Breton; and essays by Barthes.
French R1B satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH.