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21F.312 Basic Themes in French Literature and Culture (MIT)

21F.312 Basic Themes in French Literature and Culture (MIT)

Childhood is a source of fascination in most Western cultures. It is both a major inspiration for artistic creation and a political ideal, which aims at protecting future generations. Which role does it play in French society and in other francophone areas? Why is the French national anthem ("La Marseillaise") addressed to its "children"? This course will study the transformation of childhood since the 18th century and the development of sentimentality within the family. We will examine various representations of childhood in literature (e.g. Pagnol, Proust, Sarraute, Laye, Morgièvre), movies (e.g. Truffaut), and songs (e.g. Brel, Barbara). Course taught in French.


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