FREN-466 Literature of War from Charlemagne to Charles de Gaulle
Intercultural emphasis on literary and historical documents on war and its repercussions. Wars waged by knights, professional soldiers, nations, and technologies, considered across various periods. This course fulfills the upper-division post-1800 literature requirement for the French major.
FREN-466-01 20th Century French Poetry and Politics
Fall for 2016-2017
In this course, we will first study the politics of both Dada and Surrealism regarding the critique of capitalist and bourgeois society from either an anarchist or a Marxist perspective. We will start with Tristan Tzara’s manifestos that he wrote at the end of World War I. We will also pay a particular attention to André Breton’s post-World War II writings. We will emphasize in this regard his close philosophical relationship with the Utopian socialism of Charles Fourier.
This course will include texts written by poets from the Francophone world. In this regard, we will study the Manifeste du Surréalisme Révolutionnaire. This manifesto was co-authored and signed in 1947 by the most important poets and artists of the surrealist movement in Belgium and paved the way for the foundation of Cobra, one of the foremost artistic movements of the post-World War II European avant-garde. We will then study the anti-colonialist discourse of the Caribbean poet and political activist Aimé Césaire, from Martinique, who played an essential role in the definition of the modern poet as a political figure deeply involved in the life of the community and the nation.
We will also focus our attention on the Internationale Lettriste, a post-world war II avant-garde movement that helped defining a new identity of poetry in the turbulent historical and political context of the nineteen fifties and sixties in France. This identity rested upon the strong belief that the poet had to voice first and foremost his radical rejection of capitalist and consumerist society in order to assert his original literary project.
Finally, we will study more contemporary forms of political poetry, in particular L’Anti-Légende du siècle, a long poem written in 1999 by distinguished French critic and poet Jean-Clarence Lambert. In this work, the author stresses the devastating historical consequences of 20th century totalitarian ideologies, from Nazism to Stalinism, in a form that is at the same time lyrical and ironic.
Prerequisites: FREN-250, FREN-251
Other academic years
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