Smolny Beyond Borders

A Liberal Arts Initiative

French Modernism


Course Schedule:

Friday 4:10 – 7:10 PM Berlin (UTC + 2)

Professor: Larissa Muravieva
Semester: Spring 2024 (January 29  – May 21)
Subject: LIT
Course Level: 300
Number of Bard Credits: 4
Course Title: French Modernism
Max Enrollment: 22
Schedule: FRIDAY 4:10 – 7:10 PM Berlin (UTC + 2)
Distribution Area: FLCL
Core module VI (BCB): Modernism
Language of Instruction: Russian

Modernism is generally thought of as a period characterized in literature and art by radical experimentation, by the invention and re-invention of new forms, and by an aesthetic that privileged the present, the modern, the new. French literature and culture was of particular importance for the formation of modernist aesthetics. French literature and culture became a space for philosophical reflection on the idea of modernity and experiments with form. The course will examine key figures, phenomena and trends within the space of French literary modernism, paying special attention to such literary phenomena — from Baudelaire to Céline — that influenced the formation of modernist aesthetics. Special attention will be paid to the problems of the crisis of representation, the construction of a new type of urban imaginary and the formation of new links between aesthetics and political reflection among French modernist writers. The course will focus on three related topics, which will be investigated in relation to each other through a variety of literary, philosophical and theoretical texts: 1) The Idea of Modernity in Space and Time; 2) Modernist Literature: Age of Experiments; 3) Modernist Aesthetics and Politics. By reading and discussing works by Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Huysmans, Proust, Gide, Valéry, Colette, Celine, Roussel and others, students will be able to delve deeper into the problem of modernist sensibility constructed at the intersection of poetics, aesthetics and philosophy of Modernism.