Madame Bovary (LIT4270.02)

Dan Hofstadter

Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert, is universally regarded as one of the two or three greatest French novels. It was the object of an obscenity trial in 1859, though the prosecution failed to establish anything indecent in its content. The book is also regarded, by novelists and critics alike, as almost perfect in construction – musical in the unfolding of the story, vivid, charming, and funny in its passages of dialogue and description. Our emphasis will be on close readings, the usual French approach to texts of this quality. Flaubert’s French will be scrutinized, though knowledge of French is not a prerequisite. Several good translations will be consulted. Other works by Flaubert (and some of his friends) will be included in our readings, notably his correspondence with the poet Louise Colet, in which he informally discussed his aesthetic and way of working. In closing we’ll take note of critical responses – by Emile Faguet, Georges Poulet, Henry James, Vladimir Nabokov, and others. Many short papers; no final exam or long final paper.

Prerequisites: Interested students should submit a writing sample to dhofstadter@bennington.edu by November 3, 2015. Class lists will be posted outside the Literature office on November 7.
Credits: 2
W 10:10am - 12:00pm; W 2:10pm - 4:00pm (second seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
This course is categorized as All courses, Literature, Second Seven Week, Two Credit, 4000, Dan Hofstadter, and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .