FRE 345H1F

Literary Genres


P. Thériault


This course offers a historical and theoretical exploration of the notion of literary genre through a close examination of several literary works and one film. The first segment of the course is based on the study of the play Antigone by Sophocles and proposes a comparative reflection on tragedy and on the idea of the tragic, as they have evolved from Antiquity to the present. The second segment of the course is devoted to the narrative genre and focuses on the analysis of various tales, pertaining to both traditional and alternative forms. The canonic features and symbolic implications which characterize the age-old subgenre of the tale as well as the resources of adaptation which it offers will be accorded a particular attention. The last segment of the course consists of an analysis of a contemporary reflexive work illustrative of the “essayistic” genre. One of the main interests of this course is that it allows to develop both synchronic and diachronic perspectives on French literature and, more broadly, to gain valuable insights into Western literary tradition.

Required texts:

Anouilh, Jean, Antigone, Paris, Table ronde, « La petite vermillon », 2016; Huston, Nancy, Nord Perdu, Paris/Arles, Actes Sud, « Babel », 2004; Sophocle, Antigone, Paris, Larousse, « Petits classiques Larousse », 2012.

Assignments and evaluation:

test #1 (15%); take-home exam (15%); reading test (5%); final essay (30%); test #2 (25%); overall assessment (10%).


FRE 240H1/FRE245H, FRE241H1/FRE246H1.