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Writing with Images: Visions and Challenges to French Literature from Romanticism to Surrealism

Module Code: FR348
Module Name: Writing with Images: Visions and Challenges to French Literature from Romanticism to Surrealism
Module Credits: 30

The history of the interactions between visual arts and literature is made of many mutual enrichments (with many emblematic couples from Constantin Guys and Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé and Édouard Manet, Cendrars and Delaunay, Paul Éluard and Man Ray) but also of many rivalries between painters and writers. By exploring different possible cases of these encounters from the 1830’s until the Second World war (the illustration of books, art criticism, artistic transpositions or artists’ writings), this module will enable the students to acquire skills in the analysis of text and image relations as well as in understanding these aesthetical projects in relation to the social context of these interactions between artistic and literary spheres. Besides, it will introduce the students to artistic and literary theories in France. This module will aim to develop an interdisciplinary approach, by redefining the concept of ‘image’ in a broad sense, which goes beyond the traditional literary analysis and extending its tools to methods used by art historians, regarding the analysis of images.

Primary Texts

Charles Baudelaire, Le Peintre de la vie moderne
Eugène Fromentin, Un thé au Sahara
Théophile Gautier, Le Parnasse

Assessment Method:

Either: One 4,000-4,500 word essay 50% and One 2-3 hour exam 50%
Or Two 4,000-4,500 word essays