Undergraduate Course Descriptions

01:420:242 - Major French Writers in Translation

Surrealism: The Twentieth-Century Movement that Changed Everything - Few aesthetic movements have had the far-reaching impact of surrealism, dating from the early 1920’s in France, but exerting an international influence that continues even today in cyberculture and music videos, the visual arts, and literature.  The surrealists were the first to systematically attempt to draw on unconscious sources such as dream and eroticism to explore a revolutionary new concept of beauty (“Beauty will be convulsive or will not be at all,” André Breton).  In this course, we shall study the origin and artistic/social preoccupations of the surrealist school, including surrealist experiments in film, poetry, theater, novel, and painting.  (Cross-listed with 195:251:03)

Exams, and grading policy: The grade is based on two papers with a rewrite option, as well as on one original oral presentation, and on attendance and participation (1/4, paper one; 1/4 paper two; 1/4 presentation; 1/4 attendance and participation).

Students must access a computer with visual function, and cannot attend by phone.  Since many in-class activities are included in the grade for this course, students should make every effort to participate in person. If you miss a session due to unforeseen circumstances, you must make arrangements and watch the recorded class on the Sakai big blue button meeting archives site.

Satisfies SAS Core Learning Goals - AHp, WCd

Course materials:
Breton, The Manifesto of Surrealism
Breton, Nadja
Cocteau, The Infernal Machine and Other Plays
Coombs, Studying Surrealist and Fantasy Cinema
Huysmans, Against Nature
Apollinaire, The Breasts of Tiresias (on Sakai)
Surrealist Poetry, excerpts (on Sakai)

Additional readings are available under Resources on the course LMS (Sakai)