Guests, Visitors, and Other Nuisances

R1A (Section 2) :  English Composition through French Literature in Translation
Fall 2015
E. Ritchey

Readings and Films:

Rosenwasser and Stephen, Writing Analytically

Bradbury, Ray, “The Visitor”

Chrétien de Troyes, Lancelot

Homer, The Odyssey

Keats, John, “La Belle dame sans merci”

Marie de France, “Guigemar”

Moliere, Tartuffe

“Ms. Wakefield” (King of the Hill, TV episode)

Perrault, Charles. “La Belle au bois dormant”

Plantez (fabliau)

Renoir, Jean, “Boudu saved from drowning” (film)

Roblès, Emmanuel, “Le Rossignol de Kabylie”

Sweeney, Julia, “Godless America” (radio, This American Life)

Veber, Francis, “Le Dîner de cons” (film)


The figure of the visitor is one of mystery, novelty- and quite often, trouble. He or she may tell tales, offer gifts, invite self-reflection, and even become an object of love. However, the visitor may also humiliate, curse, or lead his or her host into a snare. The roles associated with giving and receiving hospitality allow the reader to better explore themes of generosity, gratitude, and betrayal. The figure transcends genres as well, from medieval verse to film, from science fiction to farce. In this course we will read, analyze, and discuss works that feature the arrival of a guest or visitor as a driver of plot and characterization. These readings and discussions will feed into the composition of several analytical papers over the course of the semester, along with other writing exercises designed to develop critical thinking, composition, editing, and presentation skills.

Additional information:

French R1A satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes