07305 - French Literature I

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will have an adequate knowledge of French literature in relation to European literature; they will be able to read a literary text in French, both in textual and intertextual mode, with the necessary references to the history of French literary tradition. They will sharpen, as much as possible, their stylistic competences within their linguistic competences. They will have a passive knowledge of French.

Course contents

The course, which aims to offer a perspective on the most important mouvements and on the most significant figures of the French Renaissance and Classicism, will be organized in two modules: the first, held by Prof. Bruna Conconi, will be dedicated to the literary production of the 16th century; the second one, held by Prof. Michele Morselli, to the production of the 17th century.


Literary History

- Lionello SOZZI (a cura di), Storia europea della letteratura francese. II. Dal Settecento all’età contemporanea, Torino, Einaudi, 2013 (only 16th and 17th century).


Jean-Yves TADIÉ (sous la direction de), La littérature française: dynamique et histoire. Tome I, Paris, Gallimard, 2007 (only 16th and 17th century).

Readings (edition at your choice, also in translation):

Paul Scarron, Roman comique

Molière, Tartuffe

Jean Racine, Andromaque

Madame de La Fayette, La Princesse de Clèves

Texts analized during classes (uploaded to the VIRTUALE platform) and the following articles/chapters of books:

Roger CHARTIER, Testi, forme, interpretazioni, in Donald F. McKenzie, Bibliografia e sociologia dei testi, Milano, Sylvestre Bonnard, 2001, pp. 98-107.

Ernst H. GOMBRICH, Verità e formula stereotipa, in Arte e illusione. Studio sulla psicologia della rappresentazione pittorica, Milano, Leonardo Arte, 2002, pp. 73-96.

Ernst Robert CURTIUS, Il paesaggio ideale, in Letteratura europea e Medio Evo latino, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 1992, pp. 207-226.

Jean BALSAMO, “Nous l’avons tous admiré, et imité: non sans cause”. Pétrarque en France à la Renaissance: un livre, un modèle, un mythe, in Jean Balsamo (a cura di), Les poètes français de la Renaissance et Pétrarque, Genève, Droz, 2004, pp. 13-32.

Jean BALSAMO, “Un livre écrit du doigt de Satan”. La découverte de Machiavel et l’invention du machiavélisme en France au XVIe siècle, in Dominique de Courcelles (a cura di), Le pouvoir des livres à la Renaissance, Paris, École des Chartes, 1998, pp. 77-92.

Lionello SOZZI, D’Aubigné, l’Italie et les auteurs italiens, les ‘Tragiques’ et la ‘Divine Comédie’, «Albineana», 15, 2004, pp. 13-36.

Erich AUERBACH, L’ipocrita, in Mimesis. Il realismo nella letteratura occidentale, Torino, Einaudi, 2000, pp. 117-154.

Roland BARTHES, L’uomo raciniano, in Saggi critici, Torino, Einaudi, 1976, pp. 141-190 and 234-240.

Thomas DIPIERO, La funzione fa la forma. Etica, politica e romanzo nel Seicento francese, in Franco Moretti (a cura di), Il romanzo, vol. III, Storia e geografia, Torino, Einaudi, 2002, pp. 185-204.

Françoise LAVOCAT, L’anima, la corte, il riposo. Madame de La Fayette, La principessa di Clèves, 1678, in Franco Moretti (a cura di), Il romanzo, vol. V, Lezioni, Torino, Einaudi, 2002, pp. 109-123.

Non-attending students will prepare the final exam following the previous bibliography with the support of these additional readings:

  • Antologia cronologica della letteratura francese. Il Cinquecento, Milano, LED, 1996:

François Rabelais, Pantagruel

Hélisenne de Crenne, Les angoysses douloureuses

Herberay des Essarts, Le premier livre d’Amadis de Gaule

Maurice Scève, Delie, object de plus haulte vertu

Jacques Amyot, L’Histoire Æthiopique de Heliodorus

Joachim Du Bellay, La Deffence et Illustration de la Langue française

Joachim Du Bellay, L’Olive

Pierre de Ronsard, Nouvelle Continuation des Amours

Joachim Du Bellay, Divers Jeux Rustiques

Marguerite de Navarre, Heptameron des Nouvelles

Pierre Boaistuau, Histoires tragiques

Pierre de Ronsard, La Franciade

Agrippa d’Aubigné, Les Tragiques

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Les Essais

Robert Garnier, Les Juifves

  • Antologia cronologica della letteratura francese. Il Seicento, Milano, LED, 1997:

Honoré d’Urfé, Astrée

Jean-Pierre Camus, Les Spectacles d’horreur

Pierre Corneille, Le Cid

Madeleine de Scudérie, Clélie, histoire romaine

Blaise Pascal, Les Provinciales

Paul Scarron, Roman comique

Molière, Les précieuses ridicules

La Rochefoucauld, Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales

Antoine Furetière, Le Roman bourgeois

Molière, Le Misanthrope

Jean Racine, Andromaque

Boileau, Art poétique

Bernard de Fontenelles, Histoire des Oracles

Charles Perrault, Le siècle de Louis le Grand

Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures; participationis neverthelesshighly encouraged.

Assessment methods

The exam consists in an oral interview during which the methodological and critical skills acquired by the student will be evaluated. The student will be invited to discuss the texts covered during the course and to move within the sources and bibliographical material in order to be able to identify in them the useful information. The achievement of an organic vision of the issues addressed during the classes and their critical use, which demonstrate ownership of a mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed with marks of excellence (28-30). Mechanical and / or mnemonic knowledge of matter, synthesis and analysis of non-articulating and / or correct language but not always appropriate will lead to discrete assessments (23-27); training gaps and / or inappropriate language - although in a context of minimal knowledge of the material - will lead to votes that will not exceed the sufficiency (18-22). Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the reference materials offered during the course will lead to failed assessments.

Teaching tools

exts analized during classes will be uploaded to the VIRTUALE platform.

Office hours

See the website of Bruna Conconi

See the website of Michele Morselli