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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
G. R. Lomer, ed. The Student’s Course in Literature.

A College Curriculum in Literature: French Literature

By Gerhard Richard Lomer (1882–1970)

This course is designed to supplement a general knowledge of French literature. It introduces the student to the ‘Roman de la Rose,’ which is typical of the allegorical poetry of the Middle Ages, and then it proceeds to consider the mediæval historians, and the beginnings of French poetry.

Reading:Abelard; Provençal Literature; St. Bernard of Clairvaux; Aucassin and Nicolette; Bernard of Cluny; Adam de Saint Victor; Pierre of Provence and the Beautiful Maguelonne; la Villemarqué; Froissart; Philippe de Commines.

29. A Survey of French Literature

In this course the student has an opportunity of becoming familiar with the great literary masterpieces of France and of obtaining a general idea of the outlines of French literary history from its early days down to the present. He will give special attention to the work of the most important French writers. This is an introductory course which should be supplemented by more detailed study.

Reading:Rabelais; Montaigne; Corneille; Racine; Molière; Rousseau; Voltaire; Balzac; de Musset; Gautier; Dumas; Flaubert; Daudet; Hugo; Dumas, Jr.; Maupassant; Anatole France; Zola; Rostand; Brieux.

30. French Literature of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

The literature of these two centuries reflects in an exact and interesting fashion the life and thought of contemporary France. The student will become acquainted with the Hôtel de Rambouillet, the writers of Port Royal, the writers of classic tragedy, the age of Louis XIV., The Encyclopædists, and French writers with a worldwide reputation.

Reading:Calvin; Montaigne; Corneille; La Fontaine; Racine; Pascal; Fénelon; Molière; Lesage; Montesquieu; Buffon; Voltaire; Diderot; Rousseau.

31. French Drama in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

This course introduces the student to the major dramatists of France in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and will give him a good historical and critical basis for the study of modern French drama.

Reading:Corneille; Molière; Racine; Crébillon; Piron; Beaumarchais.

32. La Fontaine and the Fable in France

The student will approach the intelligent study of the greatest of French fabulists by glancing at the history of the fable as it is represented in India, Greece, and Italy, and will then pay particular attention to the great French fabulist.

Reading:Æsop; Babrius; Vishnu Sharma (Pilpay); La Fontaine.

33. French Poetry

Poetry in France has a varied and interesting history. This course aims to show the student how modern poetry in French on the one hand carries on the tradition of the past and on the other discovers a new subject-matter and experiments with a new technique. At the same time it provides the student with a general view of the history of French poetry as a whole.

Reading:Villon; Marguerite de Navarre; Marot; Ronsard; La Fontaine; Boileau; Florian; Chénier; Béranger; Lamartine; Vigny; Jasmin; Hugo; de Musset; Gautier; Leconte de Lisle; Baudelaire; de Banville; Mistral; Sully Prudhomme; de Heredia; Verlaine; Déroulède; Richepin; de Régnier; Rostand.

34. French Historical Prose

The French have always been a race who wrote history as well as made it. The student will gain from this course a general idea of the course of French history as well as more detailed information about the chief French historians.

Reading:Froissart; Philippe de Commines; Voltaire; Sismondi; Guizot; Thierry; Thiers; Michelet; Tocqueville; Duruy; Du Camp; Renan; Rambaud; Vogüé.

35. French Memoirs and Letters

The French have a genius for the memoir and the essay. In this course the student will obtain intimate glimpses into the lives of some of the most interesting personalities in French history and he will develop an appreciation of the sympathy and the charm of expression which are so characteristic of French style.

Reading:Sévigné; Saint-Simon; du Deffand; Mirabeau; de Staël; Berlioz; Quinet; Sand; de Guérin; Amiel; Barrés; Sarcey; de Goncourt.

36. French Philosophy

Notable contributions to the philosophical thought of the world have been made by the French. This course acquaints the student with the more important figures in French philosophy from the time of Descartes down to Bergson at the present day.

Reading:Descartes; Pascal; Montesquieu; Joubert; de Maistre; de Staël; Lamennais; Comte; Bergson.

37. French Essays

The essay in France has had a lengthy and interesting history since the time of Montaigne who was the inspiration of Bacon in England. In this course the student will obtain a general idea of the development of the essay down to the present, and will have his attention called to a great variety of interesting topics.

Reading:Brantôme; Montaigne; La Rochefoucauld; de la Bruyère; Fénelon; Diderot; d’Alembert; Brillat-Savarin; Arago; Cousin; Bastiat; Blanc; Veuillot; Schérer; Boissier; Brunetière; Darmesteter; Bourget; Desjardins.

38. French Theological Writers

The French have been trenchant writers on theological subjects and great pulpit orators. This course aims to introduce the student to the more important figures in these branches of French literature.

Reading:Calvin; Saint Francis de Sales; Bossuet; Massillon; Chateaubriand; Pascal; Fénelon; Montesquieu.

39. French Scientists and Naturalists

This course aims to present to the student a few outstanding figures in France who have written charmingly on subjects of scientific interest. He is advised to supplement this course by similar reading in English and American literature.

Reading:Buffon; Cuvier; Senancour; Fabre; Rambaud.

40. The Development of French Fiction

The purpose of this course is to indicate the development of fiction in French literature from its simplest mediæval forms down to the beginning of the modern French novel. The early romance and the short story will also be noted as part of the general development. The student is also referred to Boccaccio, and to Chaucer for comparative study that will throw much light on the main subject of this course.

Reading:Boccaccio; Chaucer; Rabelais; Perrault; La Fayette; Fénelon; Lesage; Voltaire; Prévost; Rousseau; Diderot; Saint-Pierre; Nodier.

41. Modern French Fiction

This course supplements the preceding historical sketch of the development of French fiction and brings the novel in France down to the present day. The student will find this course of value either to complete his knowledge of French literature or as a part of his comparative study of modern European fiction in general.

Reading:Stendhal; Scribe; Saintine; Balzac; Dumas; Mérimée; Sue; Souvestre; Laboulaye; Gautier; Sandeau; Esquiros; Macé; Craven; Flaubert; Feuillet; Murger; Erckmann-Chatrian; About; Cherbuliez; Droz; Theuriet; Halévy; Quesnay de Beaurepaire; Daudet; Zola; Mendès; France; Huysmans; Loti; de Maupassant; Rod; Barrès; Mille; Rolland.

42. Modern French Drama

In this course the student will become familiar with the various phases of development through which French drama of the nineteenth century passed, and will develop his critical ideas upon romantic drama, the comedy of manners, the poetic drama, and the drama of idea.

Reading:Scribe; Delavigne; Hugo; Dumas; Augier; Dumas, Jr.; Sardou; Pailleron; Coppée; Brieux; Rostand.

43. Literary Criticism in France

As an introduction to this course the student will glance at Aristotle, the father of European criticism, and then will proceed to the study of the ‘Art Poétique’ of Boileau as a basis for a consideration of more modern writers. This course supplements a student’s reading in English criticism and is essential to one who contemplates independent writing of a critical nature.

Reading:Aristotle; Boileau; de Staël; Chateaubriand; Sainte-Beuve; de Banville; Taine; France; Brunetière; Lemaître.