French Literature of the Eighteenth Century - 1st semester


a) Identify the characteristic features of the 18th-Century French Literature through the reading of some representative poetic and doctrinal texts;
b) Understand the singular characteristics of the literary phenomenon in the eighteenth century (the evolution of the concept of author; the dialogue between philosophy, literature and arts, etc.);
c) Acquire knowledge about the most cultivated literary genres most in the 18th-Century;
d) Identify the status and specific characteristics of the french novel in the 18th- Century;
e) Being able to analyze and interpret, in a comparative and critical perspective, the works on the programme;
f) Acquire autonomy for research in the context of 18th-Century French Literature (bibliographical research, critical analysis of sources, development of a pessonal reflection).

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Carlos Clamote Carreto


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Intermediate level of French (A2.2.)


Brewer, Daniel (dir.) (2014). The Cambridge Companion to the French Enlightenment. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

BURGWINKLE, William, HAMMOND, Nicolas e WILSON, Emma (dir.) (2011). The Cambridge History of French Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
DARMON, Jean-Charles; DELON, Michel (dir.) (2006).Histoire de la France littéraire. Classicismes : XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles. Paris: PUF.

DELON, Michel. «XVIIIe siècle» in TADIÉ, Jean-Yves (dir.) (2007). La littérature française: dynamique & histoire II. Paris: Gallimard, p. 9-294.

DARNTON, Robert (2002). Pour les Lumières défense, illustration, méthode. Bordeaux: Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux.

GOULEMOT, Jean-Marie (2005). La Littérature des Lumières. Paris: A. Colin.

MASSON, Nicole (2003). Histoire de la littérature française du XVIIIe siècle. Paris: Honoré Champion.

OUTRAM, Dorinda (2005). The Enlightenment, Cambridge, Cambridge Univ. Press.

_______________ (2006), Panorama of the Enlightenment, Getty Publications

Teaching method

Evaluation method

1 tests - 60%; 1 assignment- 30%; Attendance and/or participation - 10%.
Worker-Students should contact the teacher in the first two weeks of classes in order to establish a work programme.

Subject matter

I - Literature and ideology in the French Enlightement

1.1.The Enlightement: ambitions and limits of a metaphor
1.2. The Philosopher and the Libertine: towards a new pedagogy
1.3. The world of publishing and reading: the author and the new forms of literary sociability
1.4. Utopias and dystopias: a brief history of ideas in the 18th Century

II - Literary forms and genres: tradition and innovation

2.1. Diversity and heterogeneity of the literary production in the 18th Century
2.2. The theater: L´Île des esclaves by Marivaux
2.3. The aesthetics of brevity: the philosophical tale (Candide by Voltaire)

III - The novel redeemed

3.1. The ambiguous status of the novel in classical poetics
3.2. The first-person novel and the culture of sensibility: Manon Lescaut by Prévost
3.3. The rhetoric of the letter and the epistolary novel: the (de)construction of authenticity (Les Liaisons dangereuses by Laclos)
3.4. Rousseau: autobiographical temptationor the story of an impossibility