Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Écritures De Soi, 18ème-19ème Siècles
Academic Year
Semester 1
Eligibility for entry to Level 3 French
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 10 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Attendance and participation in the in-class discussion  10%
Semester Assessment Two essays (2000 words) on questions defined by the module convener; with some secondary literature  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written examination: two essay questions  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Written examination: two essay questions  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate an ability to read in depth and critically, with a particular sensitivity to the notion of self, identity and "writing".
2. Demonstrate an ability to identify, interpret and contextualize various forms of self-writing in the 18th and 19th century.
3. Demonstrate an ability to grasp the general evolution of a key notion of humanities (the self) within a defined period and through various literary forms; recognize the intellectual and textual peculiarities of the various texts studied during the semester; to recognize general characteristics, evolutions and individual "trademarks".
4. Be able to critically approach items of secondary literature, recognize the theoretical and practical background of a given scholarly work, and use its analysis of a given source text accordingly (This is a level 3 only learning outcome).


Academic Rationale:
The aim of this module is to study the various forms of self-writing in France during the 18th and 19th century. Students will establish links both with literary and philosophical conceptions of Classicism, Enlightenment, Romanticism and Realism, and with contemporary theories of the self and of self-writing. The objectives of this module are to provide students with critical reading skills, and to enable them to approach critically notions such as the "autobiographical pact", differentiate between various "clear" and "mixed" forms of self-writing, and recognize the long-term intellectual and stylistic development during these centuries towards the recognition of the "personal" and of the "intimate".

Module aims:
Providing students with reading and analytical skills for the interpretation of autobiographic/auto-fictional texts. Raising their awareness against anachronistic readings; providing key skills in literary analysis. Establishing links between intellectual movements and literature during the 18th-19th centuries.

Brief description

This module, taught in French, will approach the notions of "self" and "self-writing" in 18th and 19th century French literature, with the help of a critical apparatus, in particular the works of Philippe Lejeune. The module will offer a theoretical and practical approach to notions such as "memoires", "autobiographic novel" and "autobiography", and examine the relationship between the literary self and the definition of the "ego". With this critical and methodological apparatus, students will first explore the move of 18th-19th century literature from the classical "memoires" towards the emergence of a new, "pre-romantic" approach to the literary self. During the second half of the semester, students will study 19thC variants of self-writing, Chateaubriand's "mixed" writing, Stendhal's "egotisme" and Valles' realist(ic) autobiographic novels.


Week 1: Introduction (la notion de l'autobiographie et les formes voisines)
Les memoires de l'epoque classique
Week 2: Rousseau (Introduction)
Rousseau (< Confessions > - le projet)
Week 3: Rousseau (etude de textes)
Rousseau (Des < Confessions > jusqu'aux < Reveries du promeneur solitaire >)
Week 4: Restif de La Bretonne (Introduction)
Restif de La Bretonne (cycle Monsieur Nicolas)
Week 5: Restif de La Bretonne (Sara)
Restif de La Bretonne (etude de texte - < Je suis un livre vivant >)
Week 6: Chateaubriand (Introduction)
Chateaubriand (< Memoires d'outre-tombe > - etudes de texte)
Week 7: Chateaubriand (Conclusion)
Stendhal (Introduction)
Week 8: Stendhal et l'ecriture du soi (Composition
Stendhal (< Memoires d'egotisme >)
Week 9: Valles (introduction)
Valles (< L'enfant >)
Week 10: L'ecriture autobiographique (Bilan critique)
Conclusions generales, discussion

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Development of clear and accurate expression, in writing and in speaking.
Improving own Learning and Performance The essay assignments are based on independent research, with consultation possibilities with the module convenor. The quality of independent thinking will be assessed in the essay assignment.
Information Technology Students have to find on-line source texts and secondary literature.
Personal Development and Career planning Ability to work independently, identifying research questions. Awareness of the changing nature of the relationship between literature and science.
Problem solving Students have to track down texts; identifying of source texts and secondary literature for the essay assignments.
Research skills Students have to do independent research in preparation for their essays, including identifying and localizing source texts and secondary literature.
Subject Specific Skills Students have to do independent research in preparation for their essays, including identifying and localizing source texts and secondary literature.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 6