FR 350: Bovary et Les Bovarysmes
In Spring of 2023, Professor Molly Robinson will be teaching an advanced French course on the 19th century novel Madame Bovary.
Bovarysme can be defined as 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 also 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.
Registrations for Spring 2023 will open on the 7th of November.