28606 - French Literature I (First Language) L

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student knows and understands the basic elements which characterize literature in the French language, she/he is able to identify them in specific literary texts, and she/he is able to develop independently, at a more advanced level, certain cultural and literary themes which can then be applied to other literary texts.

Course contents

Personal childhood, world childhood
The course aims to analyse three French and French-speaking novels published in the 20th century that present the interesting peculiarity of entrusting a child/adolescent voice with the narration. The three authors are Romain Gary, Nancy Huston and Alain Mabanckou, authors who make it possible to follow the evolution of the novel genre in the second part of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st, and who pose, among other things, the problem of identity, non-belonging and the choice of a writing language.

The novels that will be analysed also pose, in depth, the question of the links between individual stories and collective history, with particular reference to the Second World War and African decolonisation.



Romain Gary, La vie devant soi, Folio, éd. de poche.

Nancy Huston, Lignes de faille, Editions J'ai lu (poche).

Alain Mabanckou, Demain j'aurai vingt ans, Folio, éd. de poche.

Teaching methods

During the course, only some passages of the novels will be read; the other parts will be individually read by students. Students will participate actively during text analysis.

Assessment methods

Only some excerpts from the required readings will be read in class; the remaining parts will be assigned as individual homework reading. Individual reading will be guided by suggestions and questions made available on the e-learning site Moodle. Textual analysis requires the active participation of students.

Evaluation grid

30-30L excellent test that demonstrates very broad, thorough and in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, a solid ability to apply theoretical concepts and an excellent command of exposition, as well as an excellent capacity for analysis, synthesis and elaboration of interdisciplinary connections

27-29 above average test that demonstrates precise and thorough knowledge of the subject matter, good ability to apply theoretical concepts, and capacity for analysis and synthesis, accurate and correct exposition

24-26 good test that demonstrates appropriate knowledge of the subject matter, a fair understanding of the application of theoretical concepts, and an articulate presentation of the subject matter

21-23 adequate test that demonstrates appropriate but not in-depth knowledge of the subject, only partial capacity to apply theoretical concepts, and an acceptable presentation of the content

18-20 barely sufficient test that demonstrates adequate but general knowledge of the subject matter, simple exposition, uncertainties in the application of theoretical concepts

Insufficient test that does not demonstrate adequate acquisition of knowledge of the subject matter that is fragmentary and superficial, with errors in the application of concepts, and poor exposition

Teaching tools

During the course, some power point presentations of the authors and of their historical context will be offered. They will also be available on our e-learning platform, IOL. The analysis of texts will be always enriched with existing literary criticism.


Office hours

See the website of Chiara Elefante


Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.