French Literature 1900-1960
N.B. This course will meet two hours daily for three weeks (July 1 to July 21).
This course will examine how literature reflected the evolution of ideas and cultural and aesthetic forms amid the major crises of the first half of the century. Specifically : the emergence of a new type of writer-thinker (Zola, Barrès, Gide, Romain Rolland) and the role of the major reviews like the Mercure de France and the Nouvelle Revue française ; the crisis in aesthetic values and attempts to renew poetry (Apollinaire) and the novel (Proust, Gide) ; the impact of World War I on literature and its legacy in the 1920’s with surrealism and in the novel (Céline, Malraux, Giono). The question of meaning and the absurd in response to the rise of totalitarianism and exacerbated by World War II will be examined in the novel and essay (Sartre, Camus), and theater (Ionesco, Beckett). Finally, we will look at the development of the social sciences after the war in some of its typical texts (Lévi-Strauss, Barthes).