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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Spring 2008


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37070 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
HRH 2.106C

Course Description

La France et la 2ieme Grande Guerre Mondiale a travers la littérature francaise

In this course we shall study some of the vast literature written in French reflecting the years of the Second World War to capture the various attitudes, depictions and interpretations of the meaning of the actual events and the psychological evaluations of the passing facts. We shall draw on novels, memoirs, films and prose texts and verse written by writers who were French or who used the French language. The attempt of this course is to reveal the variety and vastness of the human condition affected by an experience so great that it has left scars still so deep that still have not yet found their fullest expression. We shall include perspective from the left to the far right choosing texts of both powerful intensity and of high esthetic worth.

Week 1: Tu 15 Jan Intro /  Th 17 Jan
* Brasillach, Notre Avant-Guerre p 387-412; p 441-48); *Pétain (discours)p 62-71;120-22;127-34, *Marc Bloch, L'étrange défaite  (p27-40;159-220); J. Jackson,  France, The Dark Years, 97-136
Week 2: Tu 22 Jan /Th 24 Jan
*M. Sachs, La Chasse a courre, 5-36; Némirovsky, Suite Francaise  (I Tempete en juin)
Film: Les jeux Interdits [R.Clément]
Week 3:    Tu 29 Jan/ 31 Jan
Suite Francaise ( I Tempete en juin II Doce)
Film: laissez-passer [safe conduct] B. Tavernier Week 4: Tu 5 Feb/ Th 7 Feb
*Vercors, Le Silence de la mer; Jackson, I, 1-96; II 139-239
Film: L'oeil de Vichy [Chambrol]
Week 5: Tu  12 Frb/  Th 14 Feb
*Lucien Rebatet, Les Décombres (selections)
Film: Au revoir les enfants [L. Malle]
Week 6: Tu 19 Feb/ Th 21 Feb
*De Gaulle, Memoires de guerre [I,1-90;II, 1-123,339 377; III,1-55 113-158), Jackson, III, 239-385
Film: Lacombe, Lucien [L. Malle]
Week 7: Tu 26Feb/ Th 28 Feb
Kessel, L'Armée des ombres, Jackson, 427-474
Film: L'armée des ombres [J.P. Melville]
Week 8: Tu 4 mar/ Th 6 mars
Lucie Aubrac, Ils partiront dans l'ivresse, Jackson, 385-426
Film: lucie Aubrac [claude Berri]
Week 9: Tu 18 mars/ Th 20 mars
Antelme, R, Espece Humaine, Jackson, 475-526
Week 10:  Tu 25 mars/ Th  27 mars
*Rawicz, Le sang du ciel   
Film: Les Violons du bal [Drach]
Week 11:  Tu 1 April/  th  3  April
Le sang du ciel, Jackson,527-543
Film: Le Chagrin et la pitié [Orphuls]
Week 12: Tu 8 Avril/ th 10  April
*Benoist-Méchin, L'épreuve du temps, 118-142,345-58,374-98; *Drieu de la Rochelle, Exode; Jackson, 544-632
Week 13:  Tu 15 avril/ th 17 avril
Céline, D'un chateau a l'autre
Film: Le Dernier Métro [Truffaut]
Week 14:  Tu  22 avril/ th  24 avril
D'un chateau a l'autre; M. Bardeche, Souvenirs, 59-130
Week 15: Tu 29 avril/  th 1 May
Souvenirs, 131-218; Marguerite Duras, La Douleur, 1-85.

* All asterisks mean that the selections will be made available via Speedway. All the other texts may be obtained either at the Coop or via Amazon or other web companies such as A la page, abebooks, etc. new or second hand. I gave the Coop the entire list. Films can be purchased on the web as well and Vulcan carries most of the films for rental.

Class Presentations,-text and film
Final or Paper
Duty to see films for discussion and exam

Grading Policy

- One class presentation/explication du texte: 30%
- Midterm: 30%
- Final /paper: 40%


Selected texts from the following authors-not definitive whatsoever:

  • Celine, D'un chateau a l'autre, Nord
  • Kessel,Les armées des ombres
  • Melville, les armées des ombres [Film]
  • Vercors,le silence de la mer
  • Maurice Sachs La chasse a courre
  • De Gaulle, Memoires
  • Nemirovsky, Suite Francaise
  • Piotr Rawicz, Le Sang Du Ciel
  • robert Antelme, Espece humain
  • Marguerite Duras, La Douleur
  • Drieu de la Rochelle, Récit Secret
  • Michel Tournier, Le Roi des Aulnes
  • P. Modriano, La Ceinture des rues
  • Malraux, Les Noyers de l'Altenberg
  • J. Littell. Les Bienveillants
  • Petain, Discours
  • Patrick Modiano, La Place de l'Etoile
  • Robert Paxton, Vichy France
  • Henry Rousso, Le Syndrome de Vichy
  • Jean Pierre Azéma, De Munich à la Libération
Most of the readings for the course are excerpted from the following works:
  • Marc Bloch, L'Etrange défaite
  • Robert Brasillach, Notre avant-guerre
  • Charles de Gaulle, Mémoires de Guerre
  • Philippe Pétain, Discours
  • Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, Gilles
  • Lucien Rebatet, Les Décombres
  • Jean-Paul Sartre, "Paris sous l'Occupation: "Portrait d'un collaborateur"
  • M. Ophuls, Le Chagrin et la Pitié
  • L. Malle, Lacombe Lucien, Au Revoir les enfants
  • J. Marbeuf, Pétain
  • M. Drach, Les Violons du bal
  • C. Chabrol, L'Oeil de Vichy
  • J.-P. Melville, Les armées des ombres
  • Rene Clement: Les jeux interdits Indigenes


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