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World Languages and Literatures

Literary Quests - French 350, Spring 2014

October 16, 2013

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    Detail of a miniature of Sir Galahad and his companions on the Quest for the Holy Grail, (Queste del Saint Graal): France, c. 1315-1325 (London, British Library, MS Royal 14 E. iii, f. 133v).

From Homer’s Odyssey to the The Lord of the Rings, great quests have shaped and structured the narrative forms that we listen to, read, and (in more recent times) watch. In French literature, from medieval Arthurian legends of Holy Grail up until the present day, the notion of a quest has proved to be an extremely durable generator of narrative interest. This course will examine literary quests from various angles, beginning with Chrétien de Troyes’s 12-century Perceval ou le Conte du Graal and going right up to Xabi Molia’s 2011 novel Avant de disparaître. Quests can take a wide variety of forms, from the deeply personal to the overtly political, and in addition to Chrétien de Troyes and Xabi Molia, authors and filmmakers to be studied may include Georges Perec, Lydie Salvayre, and Céline Minard, among others.


Spring 2014

11:30-12:30 MWF, 4 credits

Professor Philippe Brand,

Counts toward the French Studies major and the Foreign Languages major

(French as a primary or as a secondary language)


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