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CCR 199H1F
Pleasure, Pain and Nostalgia in Belle Époque


M.-A. Visoi


The delightfully simple “joie de vivre” of Parisian music-halls and cabarets fascinated the Western world and art took new forms with Impressionism and Art Nouveau during “La belle époque”, a period in European history that began during the late 19th century and lasted until World War I. This course will explore ideas and cultural representations through examples of French art, philosophy, and literature with an emphasis on the critical discussion of two literary narratives that challenged tradition and authority: Gustave Flaubert, “Madame Bovary”; Guy de Maupassant, “Bel-ami”. The literary themes of “guilt” and “self-quest” as well as the inherent philosophical tension between “pleasure” and “guilt” will be analyzed in the context of the bohemian culture of “La belle époque”. Multimedia presentations and selections from Fernando Trueba’s 1992 film “Belle époque” will supplement the reading material in the course.

Required texts: Flaubert, Madame Bovary; Maupassant, Bel-ami

Film: Belle époque (Fernando Trueba, 1992)

Electronic copies of the two novels and a selection of course notes and multimedia presentations will be available via Blackboard.

Assignments and evaluation: In-class Essay (25%); In-class Test (35%); Final in-class Essay (25%); Overall Assessment, In-class Quiz, Attendance (15%)

Prerequisite: None

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