Comparative Approach of European Literatures

lfial1130  2018-2019  Louvain-la-Neuve

Comparative Approach of European Literatures
3 credits
30.0 h
Dehoux Amaury; Deproost Paul; Latre Guido; Roland Hubert coordinator;
Main themes
This course will deal with periods, authors and example texts from European literature in chronological order from Antiquity to the twenty-first century, without differentiation on the basis of language, geographic origin or genre.
The historiographical particularities and lines of continuity such as the divergences which characterise different European literary traditions, will be studied via cross-cutting questions, comparisons and reading texts with commentaries. Cross-references between literature and other knowledge sources will also be set out gradually during the lessons as the material is tackled.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1. In terms of knowledge:
  • To achieve a grounding in basic knowledge by means of a chronology shared by the different disciplines being taught (archaeology, history, history of art, literature), in order to improve students¿ general understanding of culture so that they can take specialist courses offered by the Faculty;
  • To understand and apply the concepts, methods and practices for analysis which are particular to literary studies.
2. In terms of know-how:
  • To create links within the discipline and between the different disciplines in the shared semester, using the various approaches proposed by the teams of professors and the tutor;
  • To handle, in an appropriate and efficient manner, the different devices and tools for work made available by the instructors and tutor, in order to make their learning more successful and promote their chances of passing.

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
The primary aim of this course is to provide a broad introduction to European literatures, both in terms of texts and major periods, and in terms of methods of literary analysis. The course is designed to give the students an overview of historical developments in European literature by discussing the authors, works and currents that are deemed indispensable for a student in the Arts Faculty, and more generally, for the cultural background of all students.
Students will discover various approaches to literary texts, including the comparative method, applied to the major European authors and works of literature, without excluding in principle any language or period. The complex itinerary of this course will start at the origins of western culture (the Bible and Greek and Latin literature) and end in the 20th century, dealing along the way with the medieval and humanist traditions, the artistic and literary Renaissance, the Baroque, the Enlightenment and the 19th century. Some authors and some comparisons between texts will be studied more in depth.
Teaching methods
The course is taught by a team of four lecturers, each belonging to a separate discipline, i.e. Classical studies (Prof. Paul-Augustin Deproost), General and Comparative literature (Prof. Erica Durante), English literature (Prof. Guido Latré) and German literature (Prof. Hubert Roland). This diversity in the composition of the team of teachers will allow the students to become familiar with different approaches to literary studies.
Following a chronological structure from antiquity until the 20th century, and taking into account their own areas of specialisation, each lecturer will concentrate on one or more periods in the history of European literature, applying their own methods of presentation and evaluation, which may be different from those of their colleagues.
Within this general framework of European writing, the members of the team will draw the students' attention to literary works that are considered to have had profound influence on the development of European literature. In order to facilitate this task, they have made obligatory the reading of five literary texts that are representative of the different genres, periods, languages and cultures. The four teachers will devote a part of their lectures to comment on this required reading. However, students are also expected to complement these comments with in-depth knowledge of the contents of these works, in order to prepare themselves properly for the exam.
Evaluation methods
The assessment of this course consists of 3 written tests :
  1. a multiple choice exam based on Prof. Erica Durante and Prof. Hubert Roland's lectures and on 4 of the 5 required readings (all readings, except William Shakespeare's Hamlet, see below # 3);
  2. an open question on Prof. Paul-Augustin Deproost's lectures;
  3. an open question on Prof. Guido Latré's lectures and on William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Other information
Online resources
ICampus website
Lectures obligatoires (2015-2016) :

1) Enéide de Virgile
- Edition conseillée : Virgile, L'Enéide, traduction du latin par Paul Veyne, Paris, Albin Michel ' Les Belles Lettres, 2012, 784 p.
- Edition de poche : Virgile, Enéide, traduction du latin et édition par Jacques Perret, Paris, Gallimard, 1991 (Folio classique, n° 2225), 512 p.
- Traduction commentée en ligne d'Anne-Marie Boxus et Jacques Poucet sur le site de la Bibliotheca classica selecta à l'adresse :

2) Tristan et Iseut
- Edition conseillée : Tristan et Iseut (Les poèmes français, La saga norroise), édition et traduction par Daniel Lacroix et Philippe Walter, Paris, Le Livre de Poche, 1989 (Lettres Gothiques), 640 p.

3) Hamlet de Shakespeare*
- Traduction française conseillée : Shakespeare William, Hamlet, traduit de l'anglais par Jean-Michel Déprats, Paris, Gallimard, 2005 (Folioplus classiques, n° 54), 304 p.
- Texte en langue originale conseillé : Shakespeare William, The Oxford Shakespeare. Hamlet, édition par G. R. Hibbard, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008 (Oxford World's Classics), 416 p.
- Versions cinématographiques : Hamlet, réalisé par Gregory Doran, 2010 (sans sous-titrage français) et Hamlet, réalisé par Kenneth Branagh, 1996 (sous-titres en français disponibles).

4) Le Double de Dostoïevski
- Edition conseillée : Dostoïevski Fédor, Le Double, traduit du russe par Gustave Aucouturier, Paris, Gallimard, 1980 (Folio), 288 p.

5) Cahier d'un retour au pays natal de Césaire
- Edition conseillée : Césaire Aimé, Cahier d'un retour au pays natal, Paris, Présence africaine éditions, 2000 (Poésie), 92 p.
* Pour la référence bibliographique relative à Hamlet, les étudiants ont le choix entre la lecture du texte en langue originale, la lecture du texte en traduction française ou la lecture du texte en langue originale et en traduction française. Il est aussi vivement conseillé de regarder cette tragédie dans une de ses versions filmiques.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Bachelor in History

Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures : Classics

Bachelor in Philosophy

Bachelor in History of Art and Archaeology : General

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures: German, Dutch and English

Bachelor in Ancient and Modern Languages and Literatures

Bachelor in History of Art and Archaeology : Musicology

Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies

Bachelor in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : General

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures : General

Minor in French Studies

Minor in Literary Studies