Literature – Advanced B2

Format: Online
Type: Culture & Literature
Level: Advanced B2
11 weeks: Sep 21–Dec 12

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.

  • B1.LIT.L01(I) (Level B1/B2) - Tue 10am-11:30am - 5 weeks - G.Daitz

    Huis Clos de Jean-Paul Sartre

    Level: Intermediate B1 / Advanced B2
    Instructor: G.Daitz

    One of Sartre’s best-known works, Huis Clos (No Exit) has been produced and studied continuously  all over the world since its first performance in Paris in 1944. Hell provides the setting for this one -act philosophical play, however it isn’t immediately recognizable, resembling a typical everyday scene. Three characters are brought together and become inextricably involved in each other’s stories—their ultimate punishment being locked in a room together for eternity. Through this Existentialist masterpiece Sartre reflects on the human condition and on our relationships to one another.

    Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980) was a French novelist, playwright, philosopher, and one of the key figures of the Existentialist movement. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964, which he refused to accept. His lifelong partner was the philosopher Simone de Beauvoir.

    In this class, we will study Sartre’s play in five distinct parts, touch on the tenets of Existentialism through a historical context, and examine the author’s substantial influence on contemporary philosophical thought.

    This class is for students who have an interest in mid-20th-century French literature and want to read and study a classic in its original version.

    Through this course, students will strengthen their reading, writing, and conversational skills as they study, read, interpret, discuss, and answer (both orally and in writing) questions related to the text of Huis Clos.

  • B1.LIT.L02 (Level B1/B2) - Tue 2pm-3:30pm - 11 weeks - L.Thommeret

    Le roman de l’honneur : Colomba de P. Mérimée

    Level: Intermediate B1 / Advanced B2
    Instructor: L.Thommeret

    In this course you will expand your French vocabulary by reading Colomba, a novella by famed 19th-century author Prosper Mérimée.

    A classic tale of revenge, this course is especially for intermediate French students who are eager to 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.

  • B1.LIT.L03(I) (Level B1/B2) - Wed 5:45pm-7:15pm - 5 weeks - H.Fortin

    Stupeur et tremblements d’Amélie Nothomb

    Level: Intermediate B1 / Advanced B2
    Instructor: H.Fortin

    Amélie is a Belgian woman who spent the first years of her life in Japan. She decides to return there as a young adult, signing a one-year contract as a translator in a prestigious company. Through a series of comical cultural misunderstandings, Amélie manages to descend to the bottom of the corporate ladder.

    Stupeur et tremblements, published in 1999, is one of the best-known novels by Belgian writer Amélie Nothomb. Funny and refreshing, this book is both a satire of the corporate world and a vivid depiction of cultural differences.

    Expected weekly reading: approximately 35 pages.

    In this class we will focus on learning and strengthening your French by reading (out loud in class and at home), understanding, exploring vocabulary and grammar, and discussing the themes of the story. This class will interest you if you are willing to keep learning French by reading a classic of 20th-century Francophone literature.

  • B1.LIT.L04(I) (Level B1/B2) - Thu 10am-11:30am - 5 weeks - H.Fortin

    Le Chien jaune de Georges Simenon

    Level: Intermediate B1 / Advanced B2
    Instructor: H.Fortin

    Friday, November 7. A dark, windy night in Concarneau, a small fishing village in Brittany. All is quiet as the villagers sleep. Almost everyone. While returning home drunk, the town’s wine dealer is shot dead. The Mayor calls for Jules Maigret, a police detective from Rennes, to solve the crime. Upon arriving in Concarneau, Maigret discovers a set of curious characters. As more murders shake the town with fear, a mysterious yellow dog appears.

    The prolific Belgian author Georges Simenon (1903–1989) is best known for his detective novels. He wrote 75 of them about the famous French detective—Jules Maigret. Considered one of the best Francophone writers—by both his readers and fellow writers—he is celebrated for his simple and straightforward style, the ambiance and atmosphere of his novels, and his emphasis on his characters’ psychology.

    Expected weekly reading: approximately 35 pages.

    In this class we will focus on learning and strengthening your French by reading (out loud 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 want to strengthen your French by reading a classic of 20th-century French literature, if you like detective novels, and if you want to discover the ambiances and atmospheres of the prolific writer Georges Simenon.

  • B1.LIT.L13(II) (Level B1/B2) - Wed 5:45pm-7:15pm - 5 weeks - H.Fortin

    Le Chien jaune de Georges Simenon

    Level: Intermediate B1 / Advanced B2
    Instructor: H.Fortin

    Friday, November 7. A dark, windy night in Concarneau, a small fishing village in Brittany. All is quiet as the villagers sleep. Almost everyone. While returning home drunk, the town’s wine dealer is shot dead. The Mayor calls for Jules Maigret, a police detective from Rennes, to solve the crime. Upon arriving in Concarneau, Maigret discovers a set of curious characters. As more murders shake the town with fear, a mysterious yellow dog appears.

    The prolific Belgian author Georges Simenon (1903–1989) is best known for his detective novels. He wrote 75 of them about the famous French detective—Jules Maigret. Considered one of the best Francophone writers—by both his readers and fellow writers—he is celebrated for his simple and straightforward style, the ambiance and atmosphere of his novels, and his emphasis on his characters’ psychology.

    Expected weekly reading: approximately 35 pages.

    In this class we will focus on learning and strengthening your French by reading (out loud 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 want to strengthen your French by reading a classic of 20th-century French literature, if you like detective novels, and if you want to discover the ambiances and atmospheres of the prolific writer Georges Simenon.

  • B1.LIT.L14(II) (Level B1/B2) - Thu 10am-11:30am - 5 weeks - H.Fortin

    Stupeur et tremblements d’Amélie Nothomb

    Level: Intermediate B1 / Advanced B2
    Instructor: H.Fortin

    Amélie is a Belgian woman who spent the first years of her life in Japan. She decides to return there as a young adult, signing a one-year contract as a translator in a prestigious company. Through a series of comical cultural misunderstandings, Amélie manages to descend to the bottom of the corporate ladder.

    Stupeur et tremblements, published in 1999, is one of the best-known novels by Belgian writer Amélie Nothomb. Funny and refreshing, this book is both a satire of the corporate world and a vivid depiction of cultural differences.

    Expected weekly reading: approximately 35 pages.

    In this class we will focus on learning and strengthening your French by reading (out loud in class and at home), understanding, exploring vocabulary and grammar, and discussing the themes of the story. This class will interest you if you are willing to keep learning French by reading a classic of 20th-century Francophone literature.

  • B2.LIT.L01 (Level B2/C1/C2) - Mon 12pm-1:30pm - 11 weeks - H.Fortin

    À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (partie II) de Marcel Proust

    Level: Advanced B2 / Expert C1/C2
    Instructor: H.Fortin

    En 1919, Marcel Proust reçoit le Prix Goncourt pour À l’ombre des jeunes filles fleurs qui couronne son ambition et son périple littéraires. Deuxième tome de son œuvre magistrale À la recherche du temps perdu, le narrateur a grandi et perçoit déjà, à travers ses années de jeunesse et l’expérience de ses premiers amours, l’irréductible passage du temps. Le souvenir de ses années d’adolescence entre Paris et une Normandie fantasmée, accentue encore sa vocation d’écrivain, contrariée et difficile. Mais déjà l’essentiel de ce qui fait de Marcel Proust un des plus grands auteurs du XXe siècle est là : l’intuition que le temps perdu ne se rattrape que par le pouvoir de l’art et de la littérature.

    Ce cours se concentre sur la seconde partie d’À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs avec une lecture hebdomadaire de 35 pages par semaine environ. Ce cours vous est destiné si vous souhaitez continuer notre lecture proustienne entamée à l’automne mais aussi si vous voulez vous confronter à ce titre de la littérature française moderne. Ce cours conviendra aux premiers lecteurs de Proust comme à ses plus fins connaisseurs.

    A la fin de cette lecture estivale, vous aurez des clés pour appréhender plus globalement l’œuvre et l’esthétique de Proust, son style, son intérêt littéraire mais aussi sa pensée plus profonde et son rapport à l’art, à la mémoire et au temps.

  • B2.LIT.L02 (Level B2/C1/C2) - Tue 5:45pm-7:15pm - 11 weeks - C.Bellahsen

    Une vie de Simone Veil

    Level: Advanced B2 / Expert C1/C2
    Instructor: C.Bellahsen

    Dans ce cours, nous allons lire ensemble le roman de Simone Veil intitulé Une Vie.

    Une Vie est une autobiographie de Simone Veil publiée en 2007. Les quatre premiers chapitres du livre sont regroupés dans un livre intitulé Une jeunesse au temps de la Shoah paru en 2010. Elle y raconte sa vie en partant de sa plus tendre enfance au début des années 1930, son passage dans les camps de concentration en 1944-1945 jusqu’à la période précédant son élection à l’Académie française en 2008. Ce livre, plein de force et d’espoir retrace le parcours d’une jeune fille dont l’immense courage a permis de grandes avancées pour le Droit des femmes.

    Simone Veil prouve à travers son livre, son attachement aux valeurs familiales et aux principes républicains et montre aussi son caractère trempé et porté à la rébellion.

    Chaque semaine vous serez amenés à lire des chapitres sur lesquels nous débattrons en classe. Certains passages seront sélectionnés pour une lecture à voix haute et une analyse. Nous échangerons idées et sentiments sur la vie passionnante de cette figure de la culture française, entrée au Panthéon.

  • B2.LIT.L03 (Level B2/C1/C2) - Thu 10am-11:30am - 11 weeks - F.Cousin-Schwab

    Littérature francophone contemporaine 

    Level: Advanced B2 / Expert C1/C2
    Instructor: F.Cousin-Schwab

    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 / L’énigme du retour ; Amélie Nothomb – Biographie de la faim ; Marcel Pagnol – La gloire de mon père / Le château de ma mère (en lien avec l’adaptation cinématographique) ; Patrick Modiano – Rue des boutiques obscures ; Alain Mabackou – Petit piment / Lumières de Pointe-Noire ; Gaël Faye – Petit pays ; Leïla Slimani – Le pays des autres ; Delphine de Vigan – Rien ne s’oppose à la nuit ; Chahdortt Djavann – Je ne suis pas celle que je suis ; Dominique Bona – Berthe Morisot (en lien avec l’histoire de l’Impressionnisme).