Fall 2018

Dialogues Across Space and Time: Twentieth-Century Reinterpretations of the Eighteenth Century

Listed in: French, as FREN-333


Rosalina M. de la Carrera (Section 01)


The ideas of the French Enlightenment and the events of the French Revolution have been a source of fascination for twentieth-century writers from countries as diverse as the United States, Czechoslovakia, Italy, and Cuba. Which issues have provoked this dialogue across space and time? How do twentieth-century writers reinterpret those issues to fit a modern context? What are the ideological and literary concerns that resonate across the centuries? We will try to answer these and other questions by reading a group of twentieth-century works with and against a group of seminal eighteenth-century texts. Readings from the twentieth century will include Italo Calvino’s The Baron in the Trees, Milan Kundera’s Jacques and his Master, Cathleen Schine’s Rameau’s Niece, and Alejo Carpentier’s Explosion in the Cathedral. Readings from the eighteenth century will include Voltaire’s Candide, Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, and Diderot’s Jacques the Fatalist and Rameau’s Nephew. We will also view films by Patrice Leconte, Robert Bresson, and François Truffaut. Conducted in English.

Fall semester. Professor de la Carrera.


Attention to Writing, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018