Literary Theory and Criticism
Numerous students enrolled in Master’s programs or preparing for the D.M.L. degree have recognized in the past the need to have courses teaching the critical methods for analyzing literary texts. This chiefly practical course attempts to address this need by presenting an overview of the existing major currents. Twenty years after the success of "new criticism," the partisan passions, excesses, intellectual terrorism, and exaggerated use of jargon seem to have subsided and it is now possible to study the different approaches from a more lucid and calmer perspective. Thanks to Antoine Compagnon, we now have an invaluable text to stimulate our reflection: his Démon de la Théorie (Le Seuil, 1998) will serve as our guide throughout the course. With this work, we will address the fundamental notions of literary theory: the specificity of literature; issues of author, reader, and style; the relationships of the text to the world; anchorage in history; the issue of literary value, etc.This approach will be completed with a general overview of the main French literary movements from the Renaissance to surrealism, existentialism and “nouveau roman”.
Conducted in a discussion and dialogue format, this presentation of critical methods will quickly reveal that knowledge and the love of literature are inseparable.
Antoine Compagnon : Le Démon de la théorie- Littérature et sens commun (Le Seuil, col. Points, Essais 1998) ISBN: 2020490943
Yves Stalloni : Ecoles et courants littéraires (Armand Colin, 2009) ISBN :978-2-200-35499-2