Questions of General and Comparative Literature

lfial2230  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Questions of General and Comparative Literature
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
5 credits
22.5 h
Main themes
1. Introduction to the history of the discipline, its theoretical framework, methodologies and subfields through the teaching of specific research instruments.
2. Provide an example of a completed study in comparative literature.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


Analyze one period and one or more streams of European literature using a comparative perspective. Provide students with a basic understanding of this period and streams of literature, placing the latter in the broader context of the connections that European culture has progressively established across different countries, constituting a unique civilization sharing common evidence, references and connivances. Familiarize students with the aims, essence and methodologies of comparative research, and introduce them to the theoretical foundations of the comparative approach. Students are expected to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills taught during the course and that they have mastered the historical background and literary material characterizing the period and the streams of literature analyzed throughout the course. 


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”.
What is interpretation? Is there a “good” or “bad” way to interpret literary texts? How has literature reflected upon interpretation and why? This course aims to answer these and other questions starting with four literary works that hold (sometimes implicitly) the theme of interpretation at the heart of their stories. In examining the way fiction thinks about interpretation (its construction and its limits), this course will enrich the study of literary works with a theoretical and hermeneutical reflection on the production of meaning beginning with these texts, thus clarifying our own interpretive gestures.
Teaching methods
This course will combine lectures and literary interpretation where students will be asked to discuss the texts.
Evaluation methods
Students will write an essay at home at the end of the semester. Specific instructions will be provided at the first lesson.
  • Miguel de Cervantès, Don Quichotte. Nouvelles exemplaires, trad. Jean-Raymond Fanlo, Le livre de Poche, Paris, 2008. ; Don Quijote de la Mancha I y II, Cátedra, Madrid, 2005 [1605, 1615]. (Chapitres : I, 1-7, 33-35 ; II, 1-3, 22-24).
  • Franz Kafka, Le Procès, trad. par Georges-Arthur Goldschmidt, Pocket, Paris, 1995 ; Der Proceß, Fischer Verlag, Francfort, 2008 [1925].
  • Pierre Jean Jouve, Hécate suivi de Vagadu, Gallimard, Paris, 2010 [1931].
  • Thomas Pynchon, Vente à la criée du lot 49, trad. par Michel Dory, Points, Seuil, 2000 ; The Crying of Lot 49, Penguin, London, 1996 [1966].
Une bibliographie critique et théorique sera mise à disposition par l’enseignante.
Teaching materials
  • Les quatre oeuvres du corpus et les notes de cours. L’enseignante mettra à disposition des é des textes théoriques et critiques.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Translation

Master [120] in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : French as a Foreign Language

Master [120] in Modern Languages and Literatures : German, Dutch and English

Master [120] in Ancient and Modern Languages and Literatures

Certificat universitaire en littérature

Master [120] in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : General

Master [120] in Modern Languages and Literatures : General