Literature – Advanced B2

Format: Online
Type: Culture & Literature
Level: Advanced B2
11 weeks: Apr 5–Jun 21

Read classic and contemporary writing in French! Books and themes change each session—view below.

Literature makes a major contribution to a nation’s cultural heritage and exposure to authentic written texts is one of the many ways foreign language learners can improve their language proficiency. In this course, discover classic and contemporary French and Francophone literature through the analysis and discussion of major literary works, either focusing on one text or on a specific theme woven through a variety of texts. This course is designed for literature lovers who would like to learn about the history of literature, of French expression, and to become more independent in reading challenging texts in their original French language.

  • ONLINE B1.LIT.E11(II) (Level B1/B2) - 5 Weeks - Fri 10am–11:30am - Feb 23-Mar 23 - H.Fortin

    Extension du domaine de la lutte de Michel Houellebecq (explicit language)

    In 1994, Michel Houellebecq published Extension du domaine de la lutte and immediately became one of the most promising French authors of his generation. His literary career has since made him one of the most translated, popular, and polemical French contemporary authors.

    The protagonist of the book lives a solitary life and has not had sex for years because of his lack of charm and beauty. He is an average man and lives an average life. From banal conversations at the coffee machine to his observations of social life, the book is a journey of disenchantment. The story of this depressed and isolated man, told through his monologues and adventures, is a strong critique of modern society, obsessed with sex, money, and success. Beside its pessimistic yet funny point of view, the book is now considered as one of the most devastating satires of our time!

    In this class we will focus on learning and strengthening your French by reading (in class and at home), understanding, exploring vocabulary and grammar, and discussing the themes of the story. An average of 30 pages will be read each week.

    This class will interest you if you want to keep learning French by reading a classic of 20th century French Literature and if you want to discover Michel Houellebecq, considered one of the best – and most polemical – French writers.

  • ONLINE B1.LIT.E12(II) (Level B1/B2) - 5 Weeks - Wed 5:45pm–7:15pm - Feb 24-Mar 24 - H.Fortin

    La Gloire de mon père de Marcel Pagnol

    Marcel Pagnol (1895-1974) started his literary career late in life after having worked as a playwright, a screenwriter, and a movie director. In 1957, he started writing his autobiography and the first book, La Gloire de mon père, was published the same year. It became a huge success and is still considered as a classic of French literature.

    The book focuses on Marcel Pagnol’s childhood in Marseille and his vacation in the village of La Treille with his family. Filled with funny memories and vivid portraits of people living around him, the book delves into the quintessential and picturesque Provence with its lively charm, sunny landscapes, and refreshing characters. A perfect winter reading!

    In this class we will focus on learning and strengthening your French by reading (in class and at home), understanding, exploring vocabulary and grammar, and discussing the themes of the story. An average of 40 pages will be read each week.

    This class will interest you if you want to keep learning French by reading a classic of 20th century French literature and if you want to discover the sunny and refreshing world of Marcel Pagnol.

  • ONLINE B1.LIT.E01 (I) - 5 Weeks - Wed 5:45pm–7:15pm- Apr 7-May 5 - H.Fortin

    Corniche Kennedy de Maylis de Kerangal

    This novel by Maylis de Kerangal, published in 2008 and adapted in a movie in 2016, takes place along the “Corniche Kennedy” which borders the Mediterranean Sea in Marseille in the south of France. An expressway separating posh villas from a seaside without a beach, just a vertiginous slope of rocks where a few idle teenagers find daily refuge in the summertime, quarreling, bragging and flirting. Eddy’s gang, who took possession of the place, specialized in risky stunts. Defying their own fear, they made these high-flying dives a kind of initiation rite and they keep provoking the policemen who try to prevent them from jumping. All it will take is for an intruder, Suzanne, a “rich kid” from the surrounding area, to join them, to sow disorder in the gang and accuse certain rivalries between the small, cheap bosses. Childish games, just young people in search of strong emotions, but things will soon get worse. Not far from there, a detective in charge of monitoring this sensitive coastal area, spies on the actions of these “little jerks”, most of whom come from the poorer districts of Marseille. Insidiously, the two stories will converge in a disheveled scenario and the novel soon becomes a thriller. The book is 192 pages long. An average of 38 pages to read each week.

    In this class we will focus on learning and strengthening your French by reading (in class and at home), understanding, exploring the vocabulary and the grammar, and discussing the themes and the story.

    This class will interest you if you are willing to keep learning French by reading a contemporary novel, popular and celebrated for its style and narrative. The book was selected for numerous literary prizes when it came out in 2008.

  • ONLINE B1.LIT.E02 (I) - 5 Weeks - Fri 10am–11:30am - Apr 9-May 7 - H.Fortin

    La Moustache d’Emmanuel Carrère

    One morning, Agnès’ husband shaves his moustache, without telling her, in order to surprise her. But she doesn’t notice anything and, using their friends as witnesses, and supported by photos, shows her husband that he has shaved a moustache that never existed. The narrator, exasperated, does not find the joke very funny, and soon panic and paranoia loom. From this innocent hoax, the world is slowly being turned upside down. Is he becoming crazy? Is it a joke that his wife, his family and his friends are playing on him? Something in the world has gone wrong and the narrator loses his footing.

    In this celebrated novel, written in 1986 and adapted in a movie in 2005, Emmanuel Carrère builds a psychological thriller about a daily and insignificant madness that grows little by little, and triggers a quest for one’s own identity. Emmanuel Carrère has received numerous literary awards and is considered as one of the best contemporary French authors. The book is 192 pages long. An average of 38 pages to read each week.

    In this class we will focus on learning and strengthening your French by reading (in class and at home), understanding, exploring the vocabulary and the grammar, and discussing the themes and the story.

  • ONLINE B2.LIT.E01 (I) - 5 Weeks - Thu 10am–11:30am - Apr 8-May 6 - F.CousinSchwab

    Rue des Boutiques Obscures de Patrick Modiano

    À travers la lecture de ce roman, qui a reçu le prix Goncourt en 1978, nous analyserons les thèmes de prédilections de l’auteur, tels que la ville de Paris, la quête d’identité, la mémoire. Patrick Modiano a reçu le prix Nobel de littérature en 2014 pour l’ensemble de son œuvre.

    Rue des boutiques obscures (Folio) fait 250 pages : environ 50 pages seront à lire chaque semaine avant le cours.

  • ONLINE B2.LIT.E11 (II) - 5 Weeks - Thu 10am–11:30am - May 20-June 17 - F.CousinSchwab

    L’Énigme du Retour de Dany Laferrière – Prix Médicis 2009

    Dans ce roman autobiographique, Dany Laferrière raconte son retour en Haïti après plus de trente ans d’absence. L’auteur pose d’une manière toute personnelle et poétique la question de l’identité et de l’exil. Dany Laferrière a été élu membre de l’Académie française en 2013.

    L’énigme du retour (Livre de poche) fait 280 pages : environ 60 pages seront à lire chaque semaine avant le cours.

  • ONLINE B1.LIT.L01 - 11 Weeks - Tue 2pm-3:30pm - Apr 6-June 15 - L.Thommeret

    Le roman policier – Arsène Lupin : L’Aiguille Creuse de Maurice Leblanc

    In this course, you will greatly expand your French vocabulary by reading Arsène Lupin : L’Aiguille creuse, the first major novel featuring the adventures of the gentleman thief, Arsène Lupin, by Maurice Leblanc. In this novel, the “national thief” Arsène Lupin is being hunted by a young amateur detective, who is still in high school. Yet Arsène Lupin manages to master the secret handed down by the kings of France since the time of Julius Caesar: the Hollow Needle holds Marie Antoinette and Alessandro Cagliostro’s second secret, the hidden fortune of the kings of France. Arsène Lupin and the high schooler then go head to head trying to locate the fabulous treasure.

    This course is especially for you if you want to learn more about the origins of the hit Netflix series Lupin, you like to read, and you have reached a level in French where you can start reading literary texts.

    By the end of this course, you will have expanded your French vocabulary and developed your ability to read, understand and analyze French literature.

  • ONLINE B2.LIT.L01 - 11 Weeks - Mon 5:45pm–7:15pm - Apr 5-June 21 - H.Fortin

    D’après une histoire vraie de Delphine de Vigan

    Après le succès de son premier roman, Delphine est fragile, impressionnée de sa propre réussite littéraire, et peine à écrire. Elle reçoit des lettres anonymes l’accusant d’avoir fait beaucoup de mal à sa famille dans son précédent roman sans en connaître l’origine. Elle rencontre L. qui se présente comme une de ses plus ferventes lectrices et qui déploie peu à peu son emprise pour que Delphine écrive le roman que L. veut lire. Son ascendance grandit bientôt, comme une araignée qui tisse sa toile, jusqu’à devenir suffocante, oppressante et clairement menaçante.

    Publié en 2015, le livre reçoit le prestigieux prix Renaudot et le Goncourt des lycéens et a été un grand succès populaire. Il est adapté au cinéma en 2017. Thriller psychologique qui décortique une relation d’emprise à la fois inquiétante et complexe, le roman joue sur le rapport entre réalité et fiction et évoque la fascination toujours plus grande de notre monde contemporain pour « le vrai ».

    Le livre fait 384 pages et il faudra lire en moyenne 35 pages par semaine.

    Ce roman plaira aux lecteurs intéressés par la littérature française contemporaine et qui aiment les histoires psychologiques à la fois troublantes, inquiétantes mais néanmoins passionnantes !

  • ONLINE B2.LIT.L02 - 11 Weeks - Tue 5:45pm–7:15pm - Apr 6-June 15 - C.Bellahsen

    L’Art de Perdre d’Alice Zeniter (Prix Goncourt des Lycéens 2017)

    Découvrir ensemble le roman magistral d’Alice Zeniter, L’art de perdre, récompensé par plusieurs prix, notamment le prestigieux prix Goncourt et le prix littéraire Le Monde. Il s’agit là d’un ouvrage poignant, avec des personnages qui nous marquent, qui deviennent de véritables compagnons de route à travers une écriture élégante, soignée, poétique.
    Dans une fresque romanesque puissante et audacieuse, Alice Zeniter nous raconte le destin, entre la France et l’Algérie, des générations successives d’une famille prisonnière d’un passé qui marque l’histoire des deux pays. Naima, le personnage principal du livre est française d’origine algérienne, immigrée de troisième génération, nous plonge dans cette saga d’une famille kabyle (en Algérie) des années 30 à aujourd’hui.
    L’ Histoire, l’irrationalité des hommes, la colonisation, l’exil, le déracinement, le lourd poids de l’héritage familial mais aussi la force de l’amour filial seront au débat dans cette classe de littérature.
    Dans ce cours, je vous propose de la lecture à voix haute et des questions de compréhension et de réflexion à chaque session. Enfin, le cœur de ce cours se trouve autour des débats, quant aux émotions ressenties, à la langue écrite, et sur l’immigration et l’identité de la France d’hier à aujourd’hui.

  • ONLINE B2.LIT.L03 - 11 Weeks - Wed 5pm–6:30pm - Apr 7-June 16 - F.CousinSchwab

    Littérature francophone contemporaine

    Dans ce cours, vous allez découvrir différents auteur(e)s francophones contemporains (20ème et 21ème siècles) à travers la lecture d’extraits de romans et de nouvelles.
    Vous étudierez plusieurs styles littéraires et débattrez de divers thèmes culturels en lien avec les œuvres lues.

    Ce cours vous est plus particulièrement destiné si vous êtes passionnés par la lecture et voulez découvrir la richesse de la littérature francophone, dans toute sa variété ; si vous voulez pratiquer votre français lors de discussions autour de thèmes culturels et littéraires ; et si vous aimeriez vous lancer dans la lecture d’œuvres complètes mais vous ne savez pas encore par où commencer !

    A la fin de ce cours, vous aurez enrichi votre vocabulaire littéraire et acquis des stratégies de lecture qui vous aideront à vous lancer dans la lecture d’œuvres complètes. Vous connaîtrez une dizaine d’auteurs francophones, leur style et leurs thèmes de prédilection.

    Exemples de lecture : Dany Laferrière – Journal d’un écrivain en pyjama ; Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt – Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran ; Amélie Nothomb – Biographie de la faim ; Gaël Faye – Petit pays ; Marcel Pagnol – La gloire de mon père (en lien avec l’adaptation cinématographique) ; Patrick Modiano – Rue des boutiques obscures ; Chahdortt Djavann – Je ne suis pas celle que je suis ; Leïla Slimani – Le pays des autres ; Henri Troyat – Aliocha ; Dominique Bona – Berthe Morisot (en lien avec l’histoire de l’Impressionnisme) ; Simone de Beauvoir – Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée.

  • ONLINE B1.LIT.E11 (II) - 5 Weeks - Wed 5:45pm–7:15pm - May 19-June 16 - H.Fortin

    La Moustache d’Emmanuel Carrère

    One morning, Agnès’ husband shaves his moustache, without telling her, in order to surprise her. But she doesn’t notice anything and, using their friends as witnesses, and supported by photos, shows her husband that he has shaved a moustache that never existed. The narrator, exasperated, does not find the joke very funny, and soon panic and paranoia loom. From this innocent hoax, the world is slowly being turned upside down. Is he becoming crazy? Is it a joke that his wife, his family and his friends are playing on him? Something in the world has gone wrong and the narrator loses his footing.

    In this celebrated novel, written in 1986 and adapted in a movie in 2005, Emmanuel Carrère builds a psychological thriller about a daily and insignificant madness that grows little by little, and triggers a quest for one’s own identity. Emmanuel Carrère has received numerous literary awards and is considered as one of the best contemporary French authors. The book is 192 pages long. An average of 38 pages to read each week.

    In this class we will focus on learning and strengthening your French by reading (in class and at home), understanding, exploring the vocabulary and the grammar, and discussing the themes and the story.

  • ONLINE B1.LIT.E12 (II) - 5 Weeks - Fri 10am–11:30am - May 21-June 18 - H.Fortin

    Corniche Kennedy de Maylis de Kerangal

    This novel by Maylis de Kerangal, published in 2008 and adapted in a movie in 2016, takes place along the “Corniche Kennedy” which borders the Mediterranean Sea in Marseille in the south of France. An expressway separating posh villas from a seaside without a beach, just a vertiginous slope of rocks where a few idle teenagers find daily refuge in the summertime, quarreling, bragging and flirting. Eddy’s gang, who took possession of the place, specialized in risky stunts. Defying their own fear, they made these high-flying dives a kind of initiation rite and they keep provoking the policemen who try to prevent them from jumping. All it will take is for an intruder, Suzanne, a “rich kid” from the surrounding area, to join them, to sow disorder in the gang and accuse certain rivalries between the small, cheap bosses. Childish games, just young people in search of strong emotions, but things will soon get worse. Not far from there, a detective in charge of monitoring this sensitive coastal area, spies on the actions of these “little jerks”, most of whom come from the poorer districts of Marseille. Insidiously, the two stories will converge in a disheveled scenario and the novel soon becomes a thriller. The book is 192 pages long. An average of 38 pages to read each week.

    In this class we will focus on learning and strengthening your French by reading (in class and at home), understanding, exploring the vocabulary and the grammar, and discussing the themes and the story.

    This class will interest you if you are willing to keep learning French by reading a contemporary novel, popular and celebrated for its style and narrative. The book was selected for numerous literary prizes when it came out in 2008.