This course is a comparative survey of seven nineteenth-century novels, four in French and three in other languages. Each is central in its national canon and in the rise of realism out of Romanticism. They are all male-authored fictions and the focal relation in them is on of adultry, in which the woman is married and a mother, and the man is (usually) single and younger than her. In comparing the relations within these fictions and the various modes of narrative creativity on the part of the six authors, students can develop both a general understanding of the realist novel and a grasp of how desire is embodied in fiction.
Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities