Black and white photograph of Les Halles market taken by Robert Doisneau
Mythologies of the Modern City
119A :  Nineteenth Century Literature
Spring 2024
Class No: 31054
Liesl Yamaguchi
2:00 PM - 3:29 PM

All Work for This Class Conducted in French; Completion of FR102, Placement Exam, or Native Language Fluency Required for Enrollment. « Vers le but inconnu sans cesse elle s’avance. / On la nomme PARIS, le pivot de la France. » - Alfred de Vigny, « Paris » (1831) Why is it so impossible to think of Paris as anything other than a center, even the center, of all things French? While the construction of Paris as a metropole long predates the modern period, it was the nineteenth century that transformed the city into one we can recognize as the Paris of today: in terms of both its physical structure and its mythological status. In this course, we will study the literary construction of Paris as the center of the world, reading major novels, poems, and critical works that participated in crafting the mythology of the modern city. We will read texts by, amongst others, Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Charles Baudelaire, Émile Zola, Walter Benjamin, Edgar Poe, and Roland Barthes.

Conducted in French. Pre-requisite courses: French 102 or permission of the instructor. This course satisfies one “Literature/Genre” or one “Elective” course requirement in the French major; Satisfies one course requirement in the French minor; Satisfies L & S breadth requirement in Arts and Literature.