This afternoon at 1 I take my MA comprehensive exams, which means there has been a lot of studying lately. I have been reviewing all the books I’ve read over the past two years and tracing connections across genres and centuries so that I am ready to sit there and write all afternoon and into the evening. Preparation has been, in fact, surprisingly simple, as French books share a remarkably similar plot line. Since I am sure you are all dying to have the truth of all French literature revealed to you this morning, I give you the following flowchart, created by Kristen in her notes during class. Any French literature fans out there? What are your favorites and how do they match up with this chart?
- "Art rediscovers, generation by generation, what is necessary to humanness. " -John Gardner
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I’ve only ever read the fun stuff (Hugo/Dumas) but this is just a wonderful chart. I will pin. Because I love it.
Thanks. : ) And I do love me the French lit, even given it’s doomed-prostitute ridden nature.
To be fair, this is only about 19th and 20th century French literature. The reason the other stuff isn’t on the chart is that you don’t need a chart to sum it up: Everything that came before that was plots where nothing ever happens but people either die or are ridiculed for the sake of virtue, whatever that is. The ridicule is brought about by their wives sleeping with other people. Everything that comes after happens in the tropics somewhere and there’s a lot of oppression. Prostitutes are still omnipresent.
Glad you enjoyed my flowchart. Good luck on the exam! You will rock it.
I am of course, no longer satisfied, and I expect a series of flow charts to chart the entire progression of French literature. As you are done with coursework, and thus doodle time, I realize that this will be a problem. Make time. The World needs it. : )
Some of us got stuck in the néoclassicisme and siècle de la lumière track in college. I feel that there ought to be a path towards books that pretend to be stories but deep down are philosophical treatises. Voltaire, Molière, Montesquieu, I’m looking at you!
Other than that, I must confess that I’ve not yet encountered the nouveau roman!
You did really get trapped in the bad stuff… I am copying Kristen’s quote about that stuff from below in case you missed it: “To be fair, this is only about 19th and 20th century French literature. The reason the other stuff isn’t on the chart is that you don’t need a chart to sum it up: Everything that came before that was plots where nothing ever happens but people either die or are ridiculed for the sake of virtue, whatever that is. The ridicule is brought about by their wives sleeping with other people. “
I’m more of a Russian lit person, as you know, but just had to say that one of my all time favorite characters in literature is a prostitute, so i can relate. I should definitely read some more French lit.
I feel like the Russians are pretty similar to the French in terms of long depressing books. Another reason why we are friends. : )
That is one excellent chart. But it’s missing one important factor: leprosy.
The other day, I was telling Suzy a story about when I taught Boule de Suif. “Or, as I call it, ‘The Prostitute Story,” I said. “But that’s every French story,” responded Suzy. She’s very smart.
True. Sometimes you get rotting skin. Oh those French. But don’t you just love them?
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