FRE 319H1

Laughter and Thought in French Renaissance Literature




An introduction to French Renaissance and Baroque Literature. By focusing on various facets of satirical texts, the emergence of autobiography, and moral introspection, we will seek to define the nature of the changing humanistic discourse. What depictions of man and what understanding of progress, discovery, and alterity become possible? What conceptions of poetry, prose, and theatre are elaborated as a result of the newly printed books and the rediscovery of Antiquity? Linked to important religious and intellectual changes, the literature of the 16th and early 17th centuries is central to our conception of modernity. Texts will be studied in bilingual versions.

Required texts:

Rabelais, Gargantua (texte original et translation en français moderne), éd. Guy Demerson [1973], Paris, Seuil / « points », 1996; Montaigne, Essais, extraits en français ancien et moderne, éd. Bruno Roger-Vasselin, « Les Classiques Hachette », 2007.

Assignments and evaluation:

Written assignments 40% (2 x 20%); essay (25%); in-class test (25%); participation & overall assessment (10%).

The Department takes into account the quality of students' French as one of the criteria in the evaluation of assignments and examinations. A minimum of 20% of the grade will be allocated to this aspect of written assignments.


FRE 240H1/FRE 245H1

Recommended preparation:

FRE 241H1