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Foreign Languages and Literatures

New Course in French Literature Spring 2013 - Bovary et Bovarysmes - Fren 350

October 16, 2012

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FREN 350: Bovary et Bovarysmes

Professor Molly Robinson Kelly

MWF 11:30-12:30pm

Taught in French


Bovarysme can be defined a disposition towards escapist day dreaming in which one imagines oneself as a heroine or hero of a romance and refuses to acknowledge everyday realities. In Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert’s masterpiece of 19th-century French literature, Emma Bovary’s life is gradually destroyed by the dissonance between her own pedestrian reality and her romantic notions of how her life should be. Using Madame Bovary as a framework, we will explore both the origins and legacy of bovarysme as we read a variety of texts, ranging from Marie de France’s Yonec to Charles Perrault’s La Belle au bois dormant (Sleeping Beauty), from Balzac’s La Fille aux yeux d’or and Sarrasine to selections from Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal. Although we will focus mainly on 19th-century French literature, we will take a historical perspective that reveals the power and endurance of bovarysme, even through today. Students will have the opportunity to do both analytical and creative writing in this course, which will be taught in French.


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