General and Comparative Literature : Methods and Practices

lfial1330  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

General and Comparative Literature : Methods and Practices
5.00 credits
30.0 h
This course completes the introduction to European literature begun in course LFIAL 1130, which is a prerequisite.
Main themes
Starting from a specific theme, which may change from year to year, this course aims to introduce the comparative study of literatures through several works gathered around a common theme. The study of the works will be complemented by a transversal approach in which literature will be related to other arts and disciplines. This course offers an in-depth study of different literary works from different countries, but also an understanding of how literary phenomena interfere with contemporary artistic movements and currents of thought. In addition, this course also aims to introduce notions and tools of literary theory that will be mobilised for the analysis and understanding of the works.
Learning outcomes

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

As far as practice is concerned, this course focuses on the comparative method in the study of literary works. Through this systematic introduction to the discipline, the student acquires the tools for reading it, and in particular learns how to write written work in the field of comparative argumentation (comparative commentary, comparative dissertation).
As far as content is concerned, the student will be able to understand how the world's literatures feed off each other, to form a dynamic, unified and diverse network. The specific literary training of each student will be enriched by the establishment of a broad framework involving several languages, countries, arts and disciplines.
This course offers an introduction to modernist literature by taking the process of the interior monologue in its different forms and variations as our main focus. The writers studied, through this narrative technique, renew the novelistic aesthetics and break with the representation of the reality in traditional novels. This literary renewal must be understood within the particular historical, cultural and intellectual moment of the early twentieth century in Europe. Artistic vanguards, Freud’s discovery of the unconscious as well as phenomenology in philosophy, place experience, and more broadly the subject, are all at the heart of these investigations. The literature of this time seeks a form able to authentically reflect the interiority of the subject and its intimate way of thinking, feeling and perceiving the world. This course, in addition to the in-depth literary study of the four works in the corpus, will make it possible to understand literary phenomena in relation to the artistic movements and currents of thought contemporary to them.
Teaching methods
This course will combine lectures and literary interpretation where students will be asked to discuss the texts.
Evaluation methods
The students will have to write a “reading journal” where they will give an account of their reading of the works in the program. At the end of the semester there will be a written evaluation.
  • Édouard Dujardin, Les lauriers sont coupés, Flammarion, Paris, 2001 [1887].
  • Knut Hamsun, La faim, Le livre de Poche, Paris, 1989 [1890], trad. du norvégien par Georges Sautreau ; Knut Hamsun, Sult, Nabu Press, 2010.
  • Arthur Schnitzler, Mademoiselle Else, Stock, Paris, 2002 [1924], trad. de l’allemand  par Dominique Auclères ; Fräulein Else, Reclam, 2017.
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway, Folio Gallimard, Paris, 1994 [1925], trad. de l'anglais par Marie-Claire Pasquier ; Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway, Penguin, 2000
Une bibliographie critique sera mise à disposition par l’enseignante.
Teaching materials
  • Les quatre oeuvres du corpus et les notes de cours. Ponctuellement des textes théoriques seront mis à disposition par l’enseignante pour compléter la compréhension des œuvres.
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures : General

Certificat universitaire en littérature

Minor in French Studies

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures: German, Dutch and English

Bachelor in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : General

Minor in Literary Studies