Critical analysis of Texts : the French Language Novel

lrom1260  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Critical analysis of Texts : the French Language Novel
5.00 credits
30.0 h + 10.0 h
Excellent knowledge of French language
Main themes
Detailed analysis of one or more novelistic works, notably by confronting some interpretations elaborated by specialists. This analysis leads to situate the text into the historical, social and cultural configuration in which it has been generated ; To isolate operating tools in order to analyse the novelistic gender ; to estimate the value and limits of the various methods and theoretical orientations in use.
Focalisation on the novelistic gender is not exclusive : in relation with the particular questions treated, works from other genders, or other arts, could also be taken in consideration.
Students will work together in small groups which will allow other texts to be examined, facilitate learning and help students to have a practical involvement in their studies.
Learning outcomes

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

1 To be able to produce a relevant and illuminating analysis, with arguments, of a poetic text ;
To situate it on stylistic, aesthetical, historical and cultural levels ;
To evaluate the crossing between methodological tools and results ;
To write an analysis.
The course will focus on the forms and transformations of the novel in the French-speaking area. First we will discuss and criticize a set of theories dedicated to the novel (e.g. Bakhtine, Lukács). Based on this theoretical framework, we will analyze various novels coming from different parts of the French-speaking world (Africa, the Caribbean, post-migrant France). While emphasizing the specificity of each work, we will also consider the general trends and features that characterize the contemporary novel written in French.
During working groups sessions (TP), students will acquire and practice a set of tools and methods required to develop a critical analysis of a novel. 
Teaching methods
The course (UE) includes formal lectures and working groups sessions (TP).
Students are required to independently read six novels to prepare formal lectures.
Students are required to submit intermediate assignments before each working groups session.
Attendance to working groups sessions is mandatory.
Evaluation methods
The final exam includes two parts dedicated to the content of formal lectures (part 1) and the tools acquired during working groups sessions (part 2). Students must past both parts of the exam to demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge and skills defined as the learning outcomes of the course. If a student fails one part of the exam, s/he will automatically fail the whole exam.
As soon as both parts of the exam are passed, the final grade is an arithmetic mean of the grades of part 1 and part 2.
Part 1 of the exam (formal lectures) is an oral exam.
Part 2 of the exam (working groups sessions) is a critical analysis of a fictional text that students must submit on the first day of the exam session. The final paper comes after an ongoing formative assessment: students are required to submit an assignment before each working groups sessions. Intermediary assignments are formative but mandatory: the non-submission of each assignment will have an impact on the grade of the final paper as the submission of all assignments is a criterion of the final evaluation.
Attendance to working groups sessions is mandatory. According to art. 72 of the “Règlement général des études et examens”, the course’s teacher can suggest the jury to refuse exam enrollment to a student who did not attend all the working groups sessions.
Evaluation methods remain the same between the January session and the September session. However, the fictional text to analyze in the final paper of the working groups exam (part 2) will be different from one session to another.
Other information
Online resources
Some documents will be available on Moodle.
Lectures obligatoires :
- Fatou Diome, Le Ventre de l'Atlantique, Paris, Librairie générale française, 2005 (Le Livre de poche).
- Alain Mabanckou, Mémoires de porc-épic, Paris, Points, 2017.
- Ahmadou Kourouma, Les Soleils des indépendances, Paris, Points, 1995.
- Patrick Chamoiseau, Un dimanche au cachot, Paris, Gallimard, 2009 (Folio).
- Faïza Guène, La Discrétion, Paris, Pocket, 2021.
- Maryse Condé, Histoire de la femme cannibale, Paris, Gallimard, 2005 (Folio).
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Minor in French Studies

Bachelor in Ancient and Modern Languages and Literatures

Bachelor in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : General

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures : General