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Daily Archives: March 20, 2012

Spring 2012: Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée

Mondays: 7:45pm – 09:45pm
Simone de Beauvoir alias Le Castor (her nickname was “the beaver”) is one of France’s most important existential philosophers and writers of the 20th century. Famous for being the lifelong companion of Jean-Paul Sartre, in her memoirs she describes her intellectual development from a young bourgeois girl to an engaged intellectual figure. In her prolific and impressive oeuvre of fiction and philosophical essays she argued in favor of freedom as a basis of human condition, as well as sexual equality among genders.

Over the course of three full sessions we will explore Beauvoir’s main autobiographic novels and discuss her views on ethics, feminism, philosophy and politics.

o 1st session: Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée (Memoirs of a dutiful daughter – 1957)
o 2nd session : La force de l’âge (The prime of life – 1960)
o 3rd session : La force des choses (The force of circumstance – 1963)

Each class will focus on one book and can be taken individually.
(Proficient level – Minimum of 450 hours of French)

Alliance Française de Chicago – Cours de littérature session Printemps 2012


Discover Flaubert’s masterpiece in English translation with some excerpts in French! (from beginners to proficient students)

Emma Bovary, the tragic heroine of Flaubert’s masterwork has become the iconic figure full of idealistic romantic illusions and the consequent discontents.

The wildly passionate Emma is unhappily married to Charles Bovary, a dull and mediocre country doctor. Bored with provincial bourgeois reality she dreams of a better life. She seeks escapes in adulterous affairs, and lives beyond her means running up enormous debts. Ruined, disillusioned and in despair she finally commits suicide by ingesting arsenic.

The class will explore Flaubert’s style and attention to details as well as cultural and social aspects of France in 19th century, such as the French bourgeoisie, and the limited role of women in a male-dominated society.

The course will be conducted in English and French.
Book: Madame Bovary translated by Lydia Davis

Alliance Française de Chicago – Cours de littérature session Printemps 2012