FREN-362 Lit/Soc in French Middle Ages
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This course is an introduction to French literature of the 12th-15th centuries. The literary texts you will read are the medieval equivalent of bestsellers: the epic Chanson de Roland, Marie de France’s Lais (short stories), Chretien de Troyes’ Chevalier de la Charrette (novel), the unique Aucassin et Nicolette (romance), love songs of the Mediterranean “troubadour” poets and “troubairitz” poetesses, extracts from the anonymous Lancelot en prose, and extracts from Christine de Pizan’s philosophical Livre de la Cite des Dames. By exploring the issues they raise and enriching these with critical articles, we can see the texts as windows on the society in/for which they were created. Texts are provided in “bilingual” editions (medieval French and modern French on facing pages), but you will also capture the literature as products of its medieval context by viewing it in manuscript form online, in the university Rare Books Collection, and at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. You will also be able to engage with this aspect of the literature by making your own medieval manuscript sampler.
The course is taught in French and fulfills the upper-division pre-1800 literature requirement for the French major. Cross-listed with Medieval Studies.
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