Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT001L (AF:381527 AR:212276)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Class 2
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
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This course is offered to undergraduate students at the first year of their Bachelor's Degree Programme in Language, Civilisation and the Science of Language, and EXCLUSIVELY for the International Politics curriculum. The teaching is an introduction to 20th century French literature through the study and analysis of excerpts from 20th century French novel of marked historical and narratological significance.
The aim of this course is to provide the student with essential knowledge of the main historical/cultural/literary thematics characterising the French 1900s. Critical thinking will be promoted through the direct reading (in French) of some of the major examples of 20th century French fiction, providing the student with the ability to correctly place them in their historical/cultural context and develop a method to approach the literary text.
General knowledge of the great lines of historical-cultural development in 20th century Europe.
Elementary knowledge of French language (at least sufficient to comprehend the text).
“Main aspects of 20th century French novel”.

This course will use excerpts from the texts of the most representative French author of the century to trace the metamorphosis of French literature through the 1900s, both on a content and on a formal level. The work will highlight mutual influences between authors, as well as reverberations on the evolution of ideologies and philosophy, on socio-political events, and thus on the historical/institutional scene.

This course will examine passages (directly on the original French version) selected mainly from the following works:
1) Marcel PROUST, Du côté de chez Swann (1913)
2) André BRETON, Nadja (1928)
3) Louis-Ferdinand CELINE, Voyage au bout de la nuit (1932)
4) Jean-Paul SARTRE, La Nausée (1938)
5) Albert CAMUS, L’étranger (1942)
6) Raymond QUENEAU, Zazie dans le métro (1959)
7) Romain GARY (Émile Ajar), La vie devant soi (1975)
8) Marguerite DURAS, L’Amant (1984)
9) Patrick MODIANO, Dora Bruder (1997)

Some of these titles are available for free on:,

Students must read at least four books (in their entirety, not partially), either in their original French version or in an official translation in Italian or any language of the student’s choice. In all cases, the chosen titles must be read in any of their complete edition (we suggest the most recent, if available), while shortened versions must be avoided. Students who choose to read Proust and/or Céline may limit reading to 3 books (instead of 4).
Regardless of the chosen titles, for all the 9 authors listed above, the student will have to attain an in-depth knowledge of their anthological works in French language indicated by the teacher (that will be made available on the e-learning platform MOODLE, "Extraits obbligatori") and which will be also partially discussed in class.

(mandatory texts)

TERONI, S. (a cura di), Il romanzo francese del Novecento, Bari, Laterza, "Manuali Laterza", 2008, pp. 3 -110. *
SOZZI, Lionello (a cura di), Storia europea della letteratura francese: vol. II. Dal Settecento all'età contemporanea, Torino, Einaudi (coll. “Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi”, n. 593), 2013, pp. 270-284, 291-305, 312-341

* the text of Teroni must be studied completely in its main lines and examination of problems and thematics. However, for what concerns names and main works, for the purposes of the final examination the student will be required to know only those from the following authors:
Gide, Proust, Alain-Fournier, Cocteau, Radiguet, Colette, Breton, Aragon, Cendrars, Saint-Exupéry, Malraux, Ramuz, Giono, Mauriac, Bernanos, Green, Jouve, Simenon, Bataille, Blanchot, Des Forêts, Drieu La Rochelle, Céline, Sartre, Gracq, Gary, Camus, De Beauvoir, Genet, Sarraute, Robbe-Grillet, Butor, Duras, Beckett, Simon, Yourcenar, Tournier, Vian, Queneau, OULIPO, Perec.

Foreign students having difficulties to read the above listed mandatory texts of Teroni and Sozzi can substitute them with:
TADIÉ, Jean-Yves (sous la dir.), La littérature française : dynamique & histoire. II, Paris, Gallimard (coll. « Folio Essais », n. 495), 2007 ; in particular A. COMPAGNON, XXe siècle, pp. 545-650, 576-701, 748-772.
This option is available also to Italian students.

Additional texts for in-depth analysis (optional)
CARPENTIER,Jean, LEBRUN, François, "Histoire de France", Points (Seuil), coll. « Points histoire », 2014. (limitatamente al XX secolo)
FAYET, Aurélien , "L’histoire de France. Une synthèse de référence", Editions Eyrolles, 2019.
GOETSCHEL, Pascale, LOYER Emmanuelle, "Histoire culturelle de la France. De la Belle Epoque à nos jours", Paris, Colin, coll. « Cursus », 5e édition, 2018.
TADIÉ, Jean-Yves (sous la dir.), La littérature française : dynamique & histoire. II, Paris, Gallimard (coll. « Folio Essais », n. 495), 2007 ; in particular di A. COMPAGNON, XXe siècle, pp. 545-650, 576-701, 748-772.
MITTERAND, Henri, La littérature française du XXe siècle, Paris, A. Colin, 20102, pp. 27-30, 35-42,63-72, 84-87, 93-98, 112-113.
Additional bibliographic references will be eventually provided during the course.
VIART, D. Le Roman français au XXe siècle, Paris, A. Colin, "Lettres sup", 2011.

The course will be in Italian (readings also in French).

The examination is an oral test, focusing both on the subjects analysed in the course and on the mandatory texts (i.e., the four novels read in their entirety, the 9 anthological texts in French, and the general documentation/bibliographies).
The oral test will be carried out in Italian, unless the student opts to take the test (partially or completely) in French. In any case, the student will have to know both the 9 indicated anthological texts and the four mandatory novels in their original French versions. More precisely, the student will be required to read aloud passages from these texts, translate them orally or at least paraphrase them in a sensible and essential way, and comment them accordingly.

The student will be tested in her/his/their ability to autonomously formulate a description/interpretation of the proposed passages, remarking the most significative aspects in the text. The ability to fluently extend such interpretation to the three mandatory novels will also be tested.
An adequate comprehension of the most relevant semantic aspects of the text will be paramount.
Additionally, the student may be asked to provide insights regarding the logical analysis of the text, its lexical choice, and syntactic and grammar structures.

The examination is roughly divided in three sections:
a) general questions based on Teroni’s and Sozzi’s manuals and on what explained in the lessons;
b) questions on the four mandatory novels chosen by the student, of which the student must demonstrate knowledge of content and essential characteristics, while being able to properly place them within the author’s opera omnia;
c) questions on part of one or more of the 9 indicated anthological texts, which the student must know and be able to adequately read, translate (free translation or paraphrase) and explain, mostly relying on course notes and other course material.

The bio-bibliographic knowledge of the authors, not treated in class, but indicated and specified in the above-mentioned authors list of the Teroni manual, is an integral part of the study and will be verified during the examination.
It should be noted that, in order to pass the oral test, the student's preparation must be sufficient in all 3 sections.
Lectures in Italian (weekly). However, all anthological excerpts will be read in the original French version and discussed in French.
Students lacking French in their three year Bachelor plan may answer to all questions in Italian, but will still be required to know the anthological texts in their original French version.

Attending/non-attending students
The programme is essentially the same for both attending and non-attending students. Non-attending students may ask the teacher for additional, integrative bibliography to compensate the knowledge gaps due to non-attendance.


This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 01/07/2022