BA English Language and French
Year of entry: 2020
Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||French Studies|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
“Scandalous”, “libertine”, “decadent”, and “superb” are words used by readers to describe one of the most provocative and innovative French novels. First published in 1782, the posterity of Laclos’ Les Liaisons dangereuses is remarkable: the novel has been adapted for the stage (theatre and opera), radio, and the movies in different countries (USA, China, Korea). Some of the themes weaved into the fabric of the text are eroticism and modesty, manipulation and revenge, emancipation and bondage. In this course unit, we will read the novel alongside two cinematographic adaptations (one French, one Hollywood production), and a short play written in the former East Bloc by Heiner Müller. We will address questions of adaptation (novel to film) and modes of epistolary expressions (letters vs short messages including text messages).
To provide an overview of the main themes of libertine literature
To familiarize students with pre-revolutionary French culture and literature
To provide students with key concepts of epistolary literature
To introduce students to theories of literary adaptation
Teaching and learning methods
10 two-hour lectures and 10 one-hour seminars
3 hours of review sessions Week 11.
2 two-hour film screenings.
All class presentations and extra material will be posted on Blackboard. Questions for seminars will also be posted.
Lectures principally in French and seminars in French or English
Knowledge and understanding
Analyse movie and theatrical adaptations
Study epistolary texts (letters and messages)
Use appropriate literary and film studies terminology to study the novel and its adaptations
Use suitable skills and appropriate terms to study epistolary and message rhetoric
Express ideas logically and elegantly in oral and written French
Communicate strategically using messages
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Refine critical skills
Develop original ideas and engage with existing theories
Improve public speaking and group participation.
- Confidence in written and oral expression Advanced communicating strategies
Formative or Summative
Weighting within unit (if summative)
1 final essay
Formative or Summative
1 practice commentary
1 essay plan
Dagen (Jean), « D’une logique de l’écriture : Les Liaisons dangereuses », Littératures, no 4, 1981, p. 33-52.
Humbert (Brigitte), De la lettre à l’écran. « Les Liaisons dangereuses », Amsterdam, Rodopi, 2000.
Pomeau (René), Laclos, ou le paradoxe, Paris, Hachette, 1985.
Seth (Catriona), « Genre et ‘gender’ : des Liaisons dangereuses (1782) au Mauvais Genre (2000) », D’un genre à l’autre, M. Guéret-Laferté et D. Mortier éd., Rouen, PURH, 2008, p. 163-177.
Versini (Laurent), Laclos et la tradition. Essai sur les sources et la technique des Liaisons dangereuses, Paris, Klincksieck, 1968.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Jerome Brillaud||Unit coordinator|
WEDNESDAYS 11 - 12 PM
THURSDAYS 11 - 1 PM