DELC347: Modernity of Forms and Forms of Modernity in French Literature 1850-2000

Final year, optional

The aim of this module is to consider how poets have engaged with controversial aspects of modernity in their works. Students will explore the relationship between literature and society in French poetry from Charles Baudelaire to Michel Houellebecq.

Students will explore a selection of French poets’ responses to the rise of industrialisation, the development of mass-culture and the growth of cities, through a variety of themes. They will discover how poets have embraced, questioned and critiqued the temporality of modern life through literary experimentation.

The module will introduce the emergence of new forms of writings associated with the beginning of this period such as the prose poem, free-verse, the manifesto and aesthetic experiments mixing poetry and visual art in the early twentieth century.