Literature – Intermediate B1

Fall: Sep 20–Dec 11
Location: In Person at FIAF Manhattan
Type: Culture & Literature
Level: Intermediate B1
11 weeks: Sep 20–Dec 11
5 weeks: Sep 20–Oct 23 & Nov 1–Dec 11

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 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 (Level B1/B2) - 11 Weeks - Tue 2pm-3:30pm - Sep 21-Dec 7 - L.Thommeret

    Le roman policier – Arsène Lupin : L’Éclat d’Obus de Maurice Leblanc

    In this course, you will greatly expand your French vocabulary by reading L’Éclat d’obus, another novel featuring Arsène Lupin, the “national thief”. On the eve of WWI, a gruesome discovery in the family castle near the German border by a couple of newlyweds takes them on an extraordinary adventure of war and espionage. Twists and turns follow one another at a frantic pace.

    This course is especially for you if 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.

  • B1.LIT.E01 (I) (Level B1/B2) - 5 Weeks - Tue 5:45pm–7:15pm- Sep 21-Oct 19 - S.Durand

    Dora Bruder de Patrick Modiano

    “PARIS. LOOKING FOR a young girl, Dora Bruder, 15 years old, 1m55, oval face, gray-brown eyes, gray sport coat, burgundy sweater, navy blue skirt and hat, brown sport shoes. Please send all information to Mr. and Mrs. Bruder, 41, boulevard Ornano, Paris.” It is this ad found in a newspaper dated on December 31, 1941, that inspires Patrick Modiano, Nobel Prize winner in Literature in 2014, to write this short book. Written as a police investigation, the narrator sets out to find this young Jewish girl, a runaway who was recaptured several times by the French police and whose life would be taken by the barbarous Nazi occupation forces. 

    Considered Patrick Modiano’s masterpiece, the story speaks to the author’s obsession with the darkest period of contemporary French history, made up of forgetfulness and unspoken words. We also discover the author himself and his existential interrogations.

    This course will require reading approximately 30 pages per week. Each week, additional and optional materials will be provided to accompany the reading (podcast, videos, articles). We will look at the least understood passages to discover new vocabulary and grammar points. We will mainly focus on discussing the story itself: the characters, the themes, the plot. Finally, we will draw interpretations on the writing and the aesthetics of this great master of contemporary French literature that is Patrick Modiano (born in 1945).

  • B1.LIT.E02 (I) (Level B1/B2) - 5 Weeks - Thu 10am–11:30am - Sep 23-Oct 21- S.Durand

    L’Amant de Marguerite Duras

    When L’Amant was published in France in 1984 by the prestigious Éditions de Minuit, the book became a literary phenomenon -both for the readers and the critics- that made it the inevitable winner of the Prix Goncourt the same year. If Marguerite Duras (1914-1996) was already a famous and celebrated author, L’Amant solidified this reputation and became her masterpiece.

    The author recounts her childhood in French Indochina: her family, the crossing of the Mekong River to go to Saigon and the meeting with a rich Chinese man. He is the “lover”, more than ten years her senior, who will trouble the young girl and will create in her an excessive passion. An autobiographical account of the awakening of the senses, tinged with a subtle “durasian” emotionality and a scandalous sensuality, L’Amant is about both abandonment and liberation.

    The novel is 145 pages long and you will have to read about 30 pages a week.

    This course will require reading approximately 30 pages per week. Each week, additional and optional materials will be provided to accompany the reading (podcast, videos, articles). We will look at the least understood passages to discover new vocabulary and grammar points, but we will mainly focus on discussing the story itself: the characters, the themes, the plot. Finally, we will draw interpretations on the writing and the aesthetics of this great woman of French letters.

  • B1.LIT.E11 (II) (Level B1/B2) - 5 Weeks - Tue 5:45pm–7:15pm - Nov 2-Dec 7 - S.Durand

    L’Amant de Marguerite Duras

    When L’Amant was published in France in 1984 by the prestigious Éditions de Minuit, the book became a literary phenomenon -both for the readers and the critics- that made it the inevitable winner of the Prix Goncourt the same year. If Marguerite Duras (1914-1996) was already a famous and celebrated author, L’Amant solidified this reputation and became her masterpiece.

    The author recounts her childhood in French Indochina: her family, the crossing of the Mekong River to go to Saigon and the meeting with a rich Chinese man. He is the “lover”, more than ten years her senior, who will trouble the young girl and will create in her an excessive passion. An autobiographical account of the awakening of the senses, tinged with a subtle “durasian” emotionality and a scandalous sensuality, L’Amant is about both abandonment and liberation.

    The novel is 145 pages long and you will have to read about 30 pages a week.

    This course will require reading approximately 30 pages per week. Each week, additional and optional materials will be provided to accompany the reading (podcast, videos, articles). We will look at the least understood passages to discover new vocabulary and grammar points, but we will mainly focus on discussing the story itself: the characters, the themes, the plot. Finally, we will draw interpretations on the writing and the aesthetics of this great woman of French letters.

  • B1.LIT.E12 (II) (Level B1/B2) - 5 Weeks - Thu 10am–11:30am - Nov 4-Dec 9 - S.Durand

    Dora Bruder de Patrick Modiano

    “PARIS. LOOKING FOR a young girl, Dora Bruder, 15 years old, 1m55, oval face, gray-brown eyes, gray sport coat, burgundy sweater, navy blue skirt and hat, brown sport shoes. Please send all information to Mr. and Mrs. Bruder, 41, boulevard Ornano, Paris.” It is this ad found in a newspaper dated on December 31, 1941, that inspires Patrick Modiano, Nobel Prize winner in Literature in 2014, to write this short book. Written as a police investigation, the narrator sets out to find this young Jewish girl, a runaway who was recaptured several times by the French police and whose life would be taken by the barbarous Nazi occupation forces. 

    Considered Patrick Modiano’s masterpiece, the story speaks to the author’s obsession with the darkest period of contemporary French history, made up of forgetfulness and unspoken words. We also discover the author himself and his existential interrogations.

    This course will require reading approximately 30 pages per week. Each week, additional and optional materials will be provided to accompany the reading (podcast, videos, articles). We will look at the least understood passages to discover new vocabulary and grammar points. We will mainly focus on discussing the story itself: the characters, the themes, the plot. Finally, we will draw interpretations on the writing and the aesthetics of this great master of contemporary French literature that is Patrick Modiano (born in 1945).

This class is HyFlex
Hyflex gives you the flexibility to learn in person or online. In-person students can switch to attending class online at any time by requesting virtual access from their teacher. Watch the video.

Manhattan Safety Measures
Masks are required for everyone over the age of two. Students ages 18 and older attending classes in person at FIAF Manhattan are required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination on the first day of class. Vaccination requirement is only met when the vaccine shot (both shots for a two-dose vaccine) has been administered at least 14 days before the first class.