FREN-461 Le Voyage Spirituel
In this seminar, we will focus on the analysis and interpretation of mystical experience in French literature. Our main emphasis will be on exploring the expression of the relationship with the Divine and the spiritual experience of transcending the self. The paradox of this type of writing lies in its attempt to express through language what lies beyond rational thought and discursive communication. We will therefore examine and discuss various ways in which language--whether it be in spiritual treatises, autobiographies, or poetry--is used and sometimes "subverted" in order to convey a sense of realities commonly deemed to be inexpressible. From a thematic standpoint, we will concentrate on two areas: the centrality of woman and the feminine in mysticism and literature, and the cross-cultural and interfaith horizons of mystical discourse. Readings will range from the late medieval to the contemporary eras, including texts by Marguerite Porete, Jeanne de la Mothe Guyon, Sainte Th?r?se de Lisieux, Louis Massignon, and Henry Le Saux. Cross-listed with Comparative Literature. This course fulfills the upper-division post-1800 literature requirement for the French major.
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