Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
L'Art Du Rêcit (19e - 20e Siècles)
Academic Year
Semester 1
Eligibility for entry to Level 3 French
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 × 1-hour lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 10 × 1-hour seminars
Workload Breakdown Lecture and seminar attendance - 20 hours; lecture and seminar preparation (research and reading) - 135 hours; essay research and writing - 45 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   written examination (2 essay questions or 1 essay question + 1 text analysis, equally weighted)  60%
Semester Assessment Continuous assessment: Two essays or textual analyses of 1500 - 2000 words each, equally weighted  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   written examination (2 essay questions or 1 essay question + 1 text analysis, equally weighted)  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a better grasp of French language and registers.
2. Develop and demonstrate analytical skills in relation to French literary texts, in particular from a narrative point of view.
3. Develop a knowledge of various writing techniques and schools seminal to French culture, and an understanding of
different forms of narratives.
4. Historically contextualise the studied texts.
5. Demonstrate a cultural awareness of the relevance of narratives to contemporary French issues.


This additional option module has two main focuses. We study the development of narrative in French literature, from 19thc. to 20thc., from Maupassant to the Nouveau Roman, focussing on shorter forms of narratives and how these purport to give an account of the society in which they were produced. This will be accompanied by a practical training in the use of key methods of textual study.

Brief description

This module tackles crucial issues of textual analysis, in particular from a narrative point of view. Appropriate theoretical frameworks will also be introduced. Seminars will focus on developing students' analytical and close-reading skills. Students will develop their understanding of various late 19th - and 20th -century writing techniques and the key issues tackled by these texts (the unknown; the place of women; social criticism etc.).


Week 1: Introduction (L'Art du récit)
Maupassant (Introduction générale)
Week 2: Maupassant (« Le Horla I-II »)
Maupassant (« Le Horla I-II »)
Week 3: Maupassant (« Boule de Suif »)
Maupassant (« Mademoiselle Fifi »)
Week 4: Maupassant (« La Mère sauvage »)
Maupassant (« La chambre 39 »)
Week 5: La technique du « commentaire composé »
Mauriac (introduction)
Week 6: Mauriac (Récit linéaire et non-linéaire ; le flashback)
Mauriac (La femme et la société)
Week 7: Gide (Lieu et non-lieu : l'espace de la narration)
Mauriac (Absence et présence de Dieu dans la narration)
Week 8: Duras (Composition), Duras (Thèmes et motifs)
Week 9: Duras (Stratégies d'interaction)
Duras (Procédés d'argumentation)
Week 10: Duras (Renouveau stylistique), Conclusions générales

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Possibly, evaluation of statistical data in the secondary reading.
Communication Oral communication developed in seminar; written communication developed in assessments and exam.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be able to assess their own progress week by week through their increased understanding of the issues raised and the skills developed.
Information Technology Use of on-line journals and source collections; delivery of course materials and information via email and e-learning system.
Personal Development and Career planning Acquisition of transferable skills; in-depth acquaintance with literary/cultural studies as an academic subject.
Problem solving Selection of appropriate reading material; development of evaluative analysis and critical skills and formulation of detailed arguments; answering questions posed by written assessment; seminar work.
Research skills Preparation of written assessment; preparation for seminars; detailed analysis of literary texts and contexts.
Subject Specific Skills Acquisition of French linguistic skills and detailed analysis of literary texts and wider cultural contexts.
Team work Debates and group presentations in seminars.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Guy de Maupassant (2007) Boule-de-suif et autres nouvelles Paris : Larousse / Petits Classiques Primo search Marguerite Duras (1980) Moderato Cantabile Paris: Editions de Minuit Primo search Maupassant, Guy de (1976) Le Horla et autres contes cruels et fantastiques Garnier Freres Primo search Mauriac, Francois (1989) Therese Desqueyroux Bernard Grasset Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6