Module Identifier FR29020  
Module Title THE MYTH OF PARIS  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Bruno M L Sibona  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite Eligibility for entry to Level 2 French  
Course delivery Lecture   10 x 1-hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 1-hour seminars  
  Workload Breakdown   Lecture and seminar attendance - 20 hours; lecture and seminar preparation (research and reading) - 135 hours; essay research and preparation - 45 hours.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours 2-hour examination (2 essay questions, equally weighted)60%
Semester Assessment Continuous assessment: 2 x 1,500-2,000-word essay40%
Supplementary Exam2/3 Hours 1 x 2 hour examination (2 x essay questions, equally weighted) if continuous assessment submitted. 1 x 3 hour examination (3 x essay questions, equally weighted) if no continuous assessment submitted.100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Have a better grasp of French language and registers.
2. Develop and demonstrate analytical skills in French literary texts.
3. Develop a non stereotypical and spatial knowledge of Paris as a cultural capital.
4. Historically contextualise the representation of Paris as a cultural capital in relation to the construction of its myth.
5. Have an understanding of how this specific myth has been constructed in literary, political and aesthetic terms.
6. Relate and articulate the construction and the development of this myth to other literary myths.
7. Have a cultural awareness of its relevance to contemporary French issues and to Paris's image today.


The aim of this module is to prepare students both culturally and linguistically for their Year Abroad, by focusing on the development of the myth of Paris as an international capital of culture and arts. It also aims at increasing their analytical reading skills.

Brief description

This two-part module, taught in French, will introduce students respectively to the birth of the myth of Paris in 19thC. French literature, and to its multi-faceted explosion in 20thC. French literary texts. Through the combined study of short novels, poetry and films, students will explore and develop their understanding of the notion of literary myth.
This module will provide them with the critical tools to understand the concept of myth and to elaborate on the construction and development of other literary myths.


Texts and films to be studied are:
Honore de BALZAC, "Ferragus" in L'Histoire des treize (Hatier, 2003); the film Notre-Dame de Paris (Jean Delannoy, 1956); Charles BAUDELAIRE, Le Spleen de Paris (Hachette, Le Livre de Poche, 2003); Jules VALLES, L'insurge (Gallimard/Folio, 2000); Louis ARAGON, Le paysan de Paris (Gallimard/Folio, 1972); Leo MALET, La Nuit de Saint-Germain-des-Pres (Le Livre de Poche, 1973); Raymond QUENEAU, Zazie dans le metro (Gallimard/Folio, 1980); Jacques REDA, Les Ruines de Paris (Gallimard/Le Chemin, 1977); the film by Jacques RIVETTE, Paris nous appartient (1960).

Module Skills

Problem_solving Selection of reading material; answering questions posed by written assessment; seminar work.  
Research skills Preparation of written assessment; preparation for seminars.  
Communication Oral communication developed in seminars; 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.  
Team work Debates and group presentations in seminars.  
Information Technology Use of on-line journals and source collections; delivery of course materials and information via email and e-learning system.  
Application of Number Possibly, evaluation of statistical data in the secondary reading.  
Personal Development and Career planning Acquisition of transferable skills; in-depth acquaitance with literary/cultural studies as an academic subject.  
Subject Specific Skills Acquisition of French linguistic skills.  

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Balzac (1998) Histoire des treize Pocket 2266083287
Baudelaire (2003) Le Spleen de Paris Livre de Poche 2253161209
FARGUE, Léon-Paul (1993) Le Piéton de Paris Gallimard/L'Imaginaire 2070734390
QUENEAU, Raymond (1980) Zazie dans le métro Gallimard/Folio 2070333078
** Essential Reading
REDA, Jacques (1993) Les Ruines de Paris Gallimard/nrf 207032737X
** Recommended Text
ARAGON, Louis (1972) le Paysan de Paris Gallimard/Folio 2070367827
Hugo, Victor (2002) Notre-Dame de Paris Gallimard/Folio 2070422526
Prendergast, Christophe (1992) Paris and the 19th century Blackwell 0631157883
** Recommended Consultation
Hussey, Andrew (2006) Paris, The Secret History Penguin Viking 9780670913640
Rifkin, Adrian. (1993) Street noises, Parisian pleasures Manchester University Press, 0719038359
** Reference Text
Benjamin, Walter (1999) The Arcades Project The Belknap Press, Harvard University Press 067404326X


This module is at CQFW Level 5