Contemporary French Fiction

Subject FREN40003 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 2 hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week, 8 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours in French
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Students who have completed 116-451 Themes in Contemporary Literature may not enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:
Subject Overview:

This subject aims to develop a global understanding of certain key transformations in contemporary culture via the study of recent avant-garde literary texts (Ernaux, Houellebecq, Laurens, Quignard, Weyergans, Toussaint). We look at new narrative techniques, representations of modernity, humour and irony, the influence of painting and photography, the role of the reader and the renewed focus on love and eroticism. Other controversial authors and contemporary women writers complete our study, which explores the dynamics of French writing today. At the end of the subject, students should be able to synthesise an approach to a general problem in contemporary culture through the use of a variety of material, including internet sites. develop the ability to write articles and to build personal research projects.

  • Synthesise an approach to a general problem in contemporary culture through the use of a variety of materials in literature, psychoanalysis, history, mythography.
  • Develop the ability to write articles and to build personal research projects.

A 30-minute class paper of 1500 words in French subsequently written up 35% (due a week after the presentation), a 3000 word comparative essay in French 45% (due a week after the end of semester) and brief presentations on key issues for discussion totaling 500 words 20% (due at regular intervals during semester).

This subject has the following hurdle requirements:

  • Regular participation in tutorials is required with a minimum of 75% attendance.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.
Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day and in-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

A selection from:

  • L'Usage de la photo (Annie Ernaux, Marc Marie) Gallimard 2005
  • Les Particules Elementaires (Michel Houellebecq ) Flammarion 1998
  • La possibilité d'une île (Michel Houellebecq ) Fayard 2005
  • Dans ces bras-la (Camille Laurens ) POL 2000
  • Cet absent-là, figures de rémi vinet (Camille Laurens ) Gallimard 2006
  • Terrasse à Rome (Pascal Quignard) Gallimard folio 2000
  • Trois jours chez ma mère (François Weyergans) Grasset 2005 Prix Goncourt
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Research: through frequent and systematic use of the library and other information sources, the definition of areas of inquiry and familiarisation with research methods.
  • Critical thinking and analysis: through required and recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by assessing the strength of arguments.
  • Thinking in theoretical and analytical terms: through lectures, tutorial discussion, essay writing and engagement in the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences.
  • Understanding of social, political, historical and cultural contexts and international awareness/openness to the world: through the contextualisation of judgements and knowledge, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and new aspects of French culture, and by formulating arguments.
  • Written communication: through essay and assignment preparation and writing.
  • Communicating knowledge intelligibly and economically: through essay and assignment writing, tutorial discussion and class presentations.
  • Public speaking and confidence in self-expression: through tutorial participation and class presentations.
  • Attention to detail: through close reading and textual analysis, essay preparation and writing, and examination revision.
  • Time management and planning: through managing and organizing workloads for required and recommended reading, essay and assignment completion and revision for examinations.
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Arts (French)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: French

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