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CCR 199Y1Y (L0221)
More Than Just a Dinner Party: High Style and Serious Attitude in the Literary Salon of 1830s Paris


B. Ferguson


Money, Love, Heroism, the Occult, War, Revolution, Royalism and Opium; such was the variety of subjects explored in a literary salon in Paris around the year 1830. In an age of uncertainty (the Napoleonic Age over, the restored Monarchy faltering under a mad king), a generation of writers, artists and musicians was searching for meaning. Several met regularly in the elegant drawing room of the Arsenal library in Paris, creating what is called a salon. Along with exquisite food, music and dance, they took a steady diet of wit, debate, humor and passion. We will explore their works as well as the literature, music and art of those who inspired them. Victor Hugo, Balzac, Stendhal, a young Franz Liszt, the artists Delacroix and David d'Angers, all had attended. Finding inspiration in Byron's poetry, Hoffmann's tales, Goethe's and Scott's legendary works and the music of Berlioz and Chopin, their ideas about artistic style and conviction have influenced Western culture to this day.

Required texts:

Balzac, Old Goriot; Stendhal, The Scarlet and the Black; The Literary Salon of 1830s Paris, a collection of shorter works available at the University Bookstore; other readings distributed in class.

Assignments and evaluation:

Two tests (15%, 20%), two essays (25% each), overall assessment (15%).



This course is found in the following categories:


Revue Arborescences

Considérant que rien de ce qui touche la langue française ne lui est étranger, la revue Arborescences se veut un espace de réflexion sur les enjeux actuels des études françaises aussi bien en littérature, en linguistique qu’en didactique.


Estimant que rien de ce qui touche la langue française ne lui est étranger, la revue électronique Arborescences veut offrir un espace de réflexion sur des questions d’importance en études françaises, relevant aussi bien de la didactique que de la lit

History of the Department

French Studies at the University of Toronto 1853-1993