This course will examine the emergence of the “new” avant-garde French novel which came to prominence in the 1950’s. We will investigate how these novels questioned the role of literary realism and narrative authority, often subverting traditional elements of fiction including: plot, character, and the all-knowing intelligence of the omniscient narrator. We will also consider the role of phenomenology in shaping the genre’s emergence. Writers to be considered include: Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute, Marguerite Duras, and Michel Butor. Several films will be showed in tandem with the reading, including Alain Resnais’ masterworks Hiroshima Mon Amor (with a screenplay by Duras) and Last Year at Marienbad.
Corequisites: Students are required to be in attendance at all Literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events (typically on alternating Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm).