Goncourt

Course Code :2019FLWTLF
Study domain:Culture
Academic year:2019-2020
Semester:1st semester
Contact hours:30
Credits:3
Study load (hours):84
Contract restrictions: Exam contract not possible
Language of instruction:French
Exam period:exam in the 1st semester
Lecturer(s)Kathleen Gyssels
Isa Van Acker

3. Course contents *

In this course, we focus our reflection on the mise-en-scène of writers in contemporary written press and its stakes. We reflect upon the importance and significance of winning a Prize, on the impact on the career of the writer, on the different “measures” and criteria used by the members of the jury in the mechanism of awarding a literary Prize, etc.

The corpus is composed by some notorious cases of Goncourt Prize Winning novels, to give but one example  The Last of the Just by André Schwarz-Bart, Goncourt 1959 and its “plagiaire”, Yambo Ouologuem (Le Devoir de violence, 1968, Prix Renaudot). The students will be asked to read supplements and literary columns in the daily national press and in two newsmagazines, such as the Nouvel Ob’s, Lire, etc.

We will show that those are the place where literature is asserted, as these supplements are presenting themselves as a sort of informal and non-official “Academy” which consecrates the talented and “true” writers and tries to oust the sometimes unjustly the weaker and even considered “false” ones.

Our class aims at bringing out the different levels of evaluation which writers are subjected to, and the repercussions of winning or not a literary Prize for their respective careers.

Those levels go from a clearly marked axiology in the critical reviews to discursive practices which are used to establish various levels of legitimacy. These scénographies are disparate from one press title to the other, and borrow from models not coming from the literary field. The class benefits from a double series of conferences on award or wishful-thinking “winning” authors: the Goncourt: le choix des Belges, implies our participation in a series of discussions “Café Goncourt”, on the one hand, and a series of Conferences with Alliance Française d’Anvers, at the other hand. We start with an ex-UA student, Jeroen Olyslaegers, and his prestigious novel Wil (translated as Trouble) who will speak to us at September 30th, on Campus Rodestraat (cf. Website AfA).