SessionIIIDangerousLiaisons.ppt - French Cultural Studies...

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Unformatted text preview: French Cultural Studies FCS292H1S “Love, Sex and Desire in French Literature and Cinema” Session III Instructor: Marie-Anne Visoi University of Toronto Pierre Choderlos de Laclos “Dangerous Liaisons” 1782 “Dangerous Liaisons” Epistolary novel: 175 letters Date of publication: 1782 Setting (time and place) • the letters are written between the months of August and January 17** • a novel of interiors: aristocratic “chateaux” Foreshadowing De Laclos manipulates the reader through the use of two “metatexts” (texts describing other texts) :“Publisher’s note”; “The Editor’s Preface” he employs “foreshadowing”, a literary device,to set the stage for the story and anticipate events Narration(the act of telling a story) novel starts in “media res” (in the middle of things): flashbacks to what happened in the past absence of an “omniscient narrator”(a narrator who knows everything about the characters and the events in the story) multiple narrators; main correspondence is between Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont De Laclos offers different points of view on identical events through sequencing of letters complex plot Love, sex and desire in the novel “negotiation” of desire through letter writing conception of love: aristocratic model of military conquest versus naïve, romantic love aristocratic values versus “bourgeois” values models of sexual conquests sexual corruption portraits of the male and female “libertine” Merteuil-Valmont relationship remains spiritual (courtship through letterwriting) Merteuil’s constant struggle to control “desire” and seduce through writing: describes intimate scenes, provokes Valmont by promising sexual rewards Art of seduction in the “ancien régime” the art of seduction was held in high esteem: courtly love, erotic games perversion: many lovers, loose morals erotic games were played in order to intensify desire sex was not considered as important; once the sexual intercourse took place, women knew that men might lose their interest How to analyze a literary passage? Identify basic ideas, events and names of characters for each part of the novel. Depending on the complexity of the book, this requires additional review of the text, re-reading of specific passages. Think through your personal reaction to the book: identification with characters, enjoyment, significance. Identify and consider the most important ideas as they are related to the theme of the course. Return to the text to locate specific evidence and passages related to the major ideas discussed in previous sessions(for instance, the representation of “desire” or “love” as influenced by ancient writings or examples of “courtly love”). Record what happens in the passage and why it is significant to the work as a whole. Consider what is said, particularly subtleties of the imagery , the style of writing used in various letters, and the ideas expressed (for instance, reflect on the differences of Cécile’s and Madame de Merteuil’s writing : how is the style or content of their letters different and why?). Underline or highlight keywords or important phrases as you read. Write down questions or comments you might want to ask or present in the Discussion Board Forum. Consider how the word choice, the ordering of ideas, sentence structure, etc., contribute to the meaning of the passage. Explain what it means, tying your analysis of the passage back to the significance of the text as a whole. Repeat the process of context, quotation and analysis with additional support for your arguments. “Dangerous Liaisons” Passage Analysis Read Letter 1, page 11 Discuss: • characters • what happens in the passage • why is the letter significant to the work as a whole • word-choice, style, content of letter • your own reaction to the passage ...
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