Semester II, 2001-2002
This Comparative Literature module will familiarize students with selected European works of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The approach is inter-disciplinary linking literature to society and intellectual history. French works will be taught in translation.
The main focus of this course is on literary representations of Asia in European writings. The objective will be to study the construction of exotic space in these works and to examine to what extent the western representations of the East address the West itself. Said's critique established in Orientalism (1979) holds that there is a distinctive history of European representation of the colonies and cultures of North Africa, the Middle east and those of Asia (Said 1979). "Orientalism" is a way of perceiving these areas that has been supported and justified by the West's colonialist and imperialist ventures. The lectures will elaborate upon Said's initial framework and insights from various standpoints and also incorporate more recent developments in the study of colonialist and post-colonialist cultures.
The module will begin with an introduction to the Orient in the European imagination during the nineteenth century. In the first part of the course, readings will include the translated version of Pierre Loti's Aziyadé (1879). References will be made to excerpts from Flaubert's Voyage en Orient (1835). This will be followed by a detailed study of Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim (1900).
The second part of the course will look at Henri Michaux's A Barbarian in Asia (Un Barbare en Asie 1933), André Malraux's Man's Fate (La Condition Humaine 1933) References will be made to Henri Fauconnier's The Soul of Malaya ( Malaisie 1930) and to the film Lawrence of Arabia for comparative purposes..
In the concluding part of the course, a detailed study of The Lover (L'Amant 1984) will examine the Durassian vision of the East.
Tutorial participation is compulsory
|2.||In class essay||10%|
In the NUS Library Reserve Books/Readings Collection:
References will be made to selected pages from:
Wednesday 8-10 am
|No.||Week Beginning||Lecture Topic|
|1||7 Jan 2002||
|2||14 Jan 2002||
The Orient in 19th century European imagination.
Loti (Aziyadé)- an introduction
|3||21 Jan 2002||Loti (Aziyadé)|
|4||28 Jan 2002||Conrad (Lord Jim)|
|5||3 Feb 2002||Conrad (Lord Jim)|
|6||10 Feb 2002 (Chinese new Year week)||No lectures|
|7||1 7 Feb 2002||Henri Michaux (A Barbarian in Asia)|
|9||3 March 2002||In class essay|
|10||10 March 2002||Malraux (Man's fate)|
|11||17 March 2002||Malraux (Man's fate)|
|12||24 March 2002||Duras (L'Amant)Malraux (Man's fate)|
|13||31 March 2002||Duras (L'Amant)|
|14||7 April 2002||Review lecture|
Friday 11 am -12 noon
1. Week beginning 21 January 2002
Orientalism and exoticism
Question: Discuss the concepts of exoticism ( Todorov) and Orientalism ( Said)
Photocopies of excerpts will be distributed during the lecture
2. Week beginning 28 January 2002
The exotic novel and the colonial novel
3. Week beginning 4 Feb 2002
Exoticism and Orientalism in painting
Click on this link: Rhameses in his Harem.
Study the Orientalist painting by Du Nuoy by referring to Olivier Richon's article in Europe and its Others.
Compare this painting with Women of Algiers (Delacroix, 1834) and Mackenzie (Thomas Hickey, 1816). Refer to Richon's article as framework for your analysis.
4. Week beginning 11 Feb 2002 (Chinese New Year week)
5. Week beginning 18 Feb 2002
Read the article
Ruppel on Lord Jim. Would you agree that both Imperialism and romanticism
fail in the book?
6. Week beginning 4 March 2002
Michaux oriental representations.
7. Week beginning 11 March 2002
A Barbarian in Asia and Persian Letters- a comparison
Photocopies of excerpts from Persian Letters will be distributed before the tutorial session
8. Week beginning 18 March 2002
Malrauxs China and Chinese philosophy
9. Week beginning 25 March 2002
Malraux and Duras
Encounters with the East in " fiction, autobiography and auto-fiction"
10 Week beginning 1 April 2002
Duras- subverting Orientalist imagery?
Last Modified 15 February 2002