Module Identifier FRM0130  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Andrew J Hussey  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Heather M Williams  
Pre-Requisite Normally degree-level competence in French  
Course delivery Lecture   7 Hours  
  Seminars / Tutorials   13 Hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours  60%
Semester Assessment essay and commentary on a set text One essay of 2,500 words and one commentary of 1,500 words  40%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
The close attention to poetic language will provide a basis for subsequent study of twentieth-century literature and literary theory.

On completion of this module students will be able to:

Those students who wish to go on with their studies should be able to demonstrate that they have a solid foundation for postgraduate research

Brief description

This module studies in depth poetic theory and practice from the mid 19th to early 20th Century in France. The four poets will be considered both as theorists and practitioners. Close critical reading of their work will provide students with a detailed knowledge of the issues and debates in contemporary literary theory as well as the period under consideration.   


The aims of this module are to trace and consider the development of poetic theory and practice from the mid nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. These developments will be with specific reference to French poets concerned with the study of the crisis in representational language (Baudelaire, Mallarme) and the poetic object (Breton, Bataille), two themes which exerted considerable influence on twentieth century literary theory.


Lecture/ Seminar list

Week 1: Paths to the Absolute: an introduction (lecture)

Week 2: The historical context 1857-1898 (lecture and seminar)

Week 3: Poetry and the City: Baudelaire (lecture and seminar)

Week 4: Case study: `Tableaux parisiens? (two seminars)

Week 5: The crisis of metaphysical language: Mallarme (lecture and seminar)

Week 6: Case study: `Prose (pour des Esseintes)? (two seminars)

Week 7: The historical context 1900-1927 (lecture)

Week 8: Symbolism to Surrealism: Andre Breton (lecture and seminar)

Week 9: Case study: `L'rnion libre? and extracts from the `Deuxieme manifeste du surrealisme? (seminar)

Week 10: The inner scar: Georges Bataille (lecture and seminar)

Week 11: Case study: `Tempete des flames? and `L'rxperience interieure? (two seminars)

Week 12: Conclusions (seminar)

Reading Lists

Scherer, Jacques (1977) Grammaire de Mallarme Paris: Nizet
Charlton, D. G. (1959) Positivist Thought in France During the Second Empire 1852-1870 Oxford: Clarendon Press
Bataille, Georges (1970) Oeuvres Completes (Histoire de l'oeil; L'Anus scolaire; Sacrifices) (Arethuse; Documents; La Critique Social; Acephale; Contre-Attaque; College de sociologie) tome I. Premiers ecrits 1922-1940, introduction by Michel Foucault
Batailles, Georges (1972) Oeuvres Completes tome II. Ecrits posthumes 1922-1940
Batailles, Georges (1973) Oeuvres Completes (Madame Edwards; Le Petit; L'Archangelique; L'Impossible; Haine de la poesie; L'Orestie; La Scissiparite; L'Abbe C; L'Etre indifferencie n'est rien; Le Bleu du ciel) tome III. Oeuvres litteraires

Lehmann, A. G. (1950) The Symbolist Aesthetic in France 1885-1895 Oxford: Basil Blackwell
Scott, Clive (1988) The Riches of Rhyme Oxford: Clarendon Press
Breton, Andre (1988) Oeuvres Completes tome 1. Gallimard
Breton, Andre (1962) Manifestes du surrealisme Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert
Breton, Andre (1965) Le Surrealisme et la peinture Paris: Gallimard
Balakian, Anna (1971) Andre Breton: Magus of Surrealism New York
Behar, Henri (ed) (1970) Andre Breton par lui-meme Paris
Bonnet, Marguerite (1975) Andre Breton, Naissance de l'aventure surrealiste Paris
Eigeldinger, Marc (ed) (1970) Andre Breton Neuchatel
Isou, Isidore (1948) Reflexions sur Andre Breton Paris
Baudelaire, Charles (1975) Oeuvres completes, 2 vols Paris: Gallimard, Pleiade
Culler, Jonathan (1990) Intertextuality and interpretation: Baudelaire' 'correspondances', in 'Nineteenth-Century French Poetry: Introduction to close reading' ed. Christopher Prendergast Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 118-37
Evans, Margery (1993) Baudelaire and Intertextuality: Poetry at the crossroads Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Fairlie, Alison (1960) Baudelaire: Les Fleurs du mal London: Edward Arnold
Fairlie, Alison (1981) Imagination and Language Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Johnson, Barbara (1979) Defigurations du langage poetique: La seconde revolution baudelairienne Paris: Flammarion
Prendergast, Christopher Paris and the Nineteenth Century Oxford: Blackwell, 1992, 1995
Mallarme, Stephane (1992) Poesies, ed. Bertrand Marchal Paris: Gallimard
Mallarme, Stephane (1976) Igitur, Divagations, Un Coup de des, preface d'Yves Bonnefoy Paris: Gallimard
Mallarme, Stephane (1995) Correspondance complete 1860-1871, ed. Bertrand Marchal Paris: Gallimard
Scherer, Jacques (ed) (1957) Le 'Livre' de Mallarme Paris: Gallimard
Austin, Lloyd James (1987) Poetic Principles and Practice: Occasional papers in Baudelaire, Mallarme, Valery Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Austin, Lloyd James (1995) Essais sur Mallarme, ed. Malcolm Bowie Manchester: Manchester University Press
Legrand, Gerard (1976) Andre Breton et son temps Paris
Bersani, Leo (1982) The Death of Stephane Mallarme Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Bowie, Malcolm (1978) Mallarme and the Art of Being Difficult Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Bowie, Malcolm (ed) with Fairlie & Finch (1982) Baudelaire, Mallarme, Valery: New essays in honour of Lloyd Austin Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Davies, Gardner (1953) Vers une explication rationnelle du Coup de des Paris: Corti
Dayan, peter (1986) Mallarme' 'Divine Transposition': Real and apparent sources of literary value Oxford: Clarendon Press
Derrida, Jacques (1972) 'La Double seance' in La Dissemination Paris: Seuil
Genette, Gerard (1976) Figures 1 Paris: Seuil
Lloyd, Rosemary (1984) Mallarme 'Poesie' London: Grant & cutler
Marchal, Bertrand (1988) La Religion de Mallarme Paris: Corti
Pearson, Roger (1996) Unfolding Mallarme Oxford: Clarendon Press
Richard, Jean-Pierre (1961) L'Univers imaginaire de Mallarme Paris: Seuil
Robb, Graham (1996) Unlocking Mallarme London: Yale University Press


This module is at CQFW Level 7