FRE 441H1F

Advanced Topics in French Literature: Flaubert and the Spirit of “Modernité


P. Thériault


This course proposes an exploration of Gustave Flaubert’s seminal work through the analysis of some of his most representative writings (Madame Bovary, Trois contes, and excerpts from Bouvard et Pécuchet). A selection of short stories by Guy de Maupassant and Claude Chabrol's filmic adaptation of Madame Bovary will also be studied as illustrations of Flaubert's legacy. Particular emphasis will be put on close readings, so as to highlight the formal richness of Flaubert’s textual constructions and to make perceptible the various tonalities (lyrical, cynical, farcical…) of his writing. Critical consideration will also be given to the cultural background within which Flaubert’s work is inscribed–that of the French “Modernité” (1850-1900) with its other prominent artists (Baudelaire, Manet, Goncourt, etc.) and characteristic phenomena. 

Required texts:

  • FLAUBERT, Gustave, Madame Bovary, Paris, Hachette Éducation, « Bibliolycée », 2014. 
  • FLAUBERT, Gustave, Trois contes, Paris, Hatier, « Classiques et cie/Lycée », 2012.

Assignments and evaluation:

Test #1 (15%); Oral presentation (15%); Reading tests (2 x 5%); Final essay (30%); Test #2 (20%); Overall assessment (10%).


 FRE 240H1/FRE 245H1, FRE 241H1/FRE 246H1, FRE 345H1.