- To achieve a grounding in basic knowledge by means of a chronology shared by the different disciplines being taught (archaeology, history, history of art, literature), in order to improve students' general understanding of culture so that they can take specialist courses offered by the Faculty;
- To understand and apply the concepts, methods and practices for analysis which are particular to literary studies.
- To create links within the discipline and between the different disciplines in the shared semester, using the various approaches proposed by the teams of professors and the tutor;
- To handle, in an appropriate and efficient manner, the different devices and tools for work made available by the instructors and tutor, in order to make their learning more successful and promote their chances of passing.
The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
The primary aim of this course is to provide a broad introduction to European literatures, both in terms of texts and major periods, and in terms of methods of literary analysis. The course is designed to give the students an overview of historical developments in European literature by discussing the authors, works and currents that are deemed indispensable for a student in the Arts Faculty, and more generally, for the cultural background of all students.
Students will discover various approaches to literary texts, including the comparative method, applied to the major European authors and works of literature, without excluding in principle any language or period. The complex itinerary of this course will start at the origins of western culture (the Bible and Greek and Latin literature) and end in the 20th century, dealing along the way with the medieval and humanist traditions, the artistic and literary Renaissance, the Baroque, the Enlightenment and the 19th century. Some authors and some comparisons between texts will be studied more in depth.
The course is taught by a team of four lecturers, each belonging to a separate discipline, i.e. Classical studies (Prof. Paul-Augustin Deproost), General and Comparative literature (Prof. Erica Durante), English literature (Prof. Guido Latré) and German literature (Prof. Hubert Roland). This diversity in the composition of the team of teachers will allow the students to become familiar with different approaches to literary studies.
Following a chronological structure from antiquity until the 20th century, and taking into account their own areas of specialisation, each lecturer will concentrate on one or more periods in the history of European literature, applying their own methods of presentation and evaluation, which may be different from those of their colleagues.
Within this general framework of European writing, the members of the team will draw the students' attention to literary works that are considered to have had profound influence on the development of European literature. In order to facilitate this task, they have made obligatory the reading of five literary texts that are representative of the different genres, periods, languages and cultures. The four teachers will devote a part of their lectures to comment on this required reading. However, students are also expected to complement these comments with in-depth knowledge of the contents of these works, in order to prepare themselves properly for the exam.
The assessment of this course consists of 3 written tests :
- a multiple choice exam based on Prof. Erica Durante and Prof. Hubert Roland's lectures and on 4 of the 5 required readings (all readings, except William Shakespeare's Hamlet, see below # 3);
- an open question on Prof. Paul-Augustin Deproost's lectures;
- an open question on Prof. Guido Latré's lectures and on William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Required reading (2015-2016)
1) Virgil's Aeneid
- Recommended edition : Virgile, L'Enéide, a translation from the Latin into French by Paul Veyne, Paris, Albin Michel ' Les Belles Lettres, 2012, 784 pp.
- Paperback edition : Virgile, Enéide, translated from the Latin into French and edited by Jacques Perret, Paris, Gallimard, 1991 (Folio classique, n° 2225), 512 pp.
- An online translation with comments, by Anne-Marie Boxus and Jacques Poucet on the website of Bibliotheca classica selecta à l'adresse : http://bcs.fltr.ucl.ac.be/Virg/VirgIntro.html
2) Tristan and Isolde
- Recommended edition : Tristan et Iseut (Les poèmes français, La saga norroise), edited and translated by Daniel Lacroix and Philippe Walter, Paris, Le Livre de Poche, 1989 (Lettres Gothiques), 640 pp.
3) Shakespeare's Hamlet
- Recommended French translation : William Shakespeare, Hamlet, translated from the English by Jean-Michel Déprats, Paris, Gallimard, 2005 (Folioplus classiques, n° 54), 304 pp.
- Recommended original text : William Shakespeare, The Oxford Shakespeare. Hamlet edition by G. R. Hibbard, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008 (Oxford World's Classics), 416 pp.
- Versions for the screen : Hamlet directed by Gregory Doran, 2010 (no French subtitles available) and Hamlet, directed by Kenneth Branagh, 1996 (French subtitles available).
4) Dostoyevsky's The Double
- Recommended edition : Fédor Dostoïevski, Le Double, traduit du russe par Gustave Aucouturier, Paris, Gallimard, 1980 (Folio), 288 p.
5) Césaire's Cahier d'un retour au pays natal
- Recommended edition : Aimé Cesaire, Cahier d'un retour au pays natal, Paris, Présence africaine éditions, 2000 (Poésie), 92 pp.
* As regards the bibliographical reference to Hamlet, students have a choice between either reading the original text, or reading the French translation, or reading both. Watching a film or television version is likewise strongly recommended.