If you’ve ever wondered why there is so much poo in French literature, Harvard University has a course for you.
“Cacaphonies: Toward an Excremental Poetics”, a four-credit course for graduate students taught by Assistant Professor Annabel Kim this spring, presents “a wide range of scatological texts»Of the 20th and 21st centuries, according to the course catalog.
“If literature is excrement, then the canon is a chamber pot,” suggests the list of courses.
“French literature, from the Middle Ages to the present day, has been constantly and remarkably scatological”, we read in the description of the course. “Fecal matter is omnipresent in the works and authors that we consider canonical (e.g. the fabliaux, Rabelais, de Sade, Beckett, Céline) and yet its presence has been remarkably overwhelmed or ignored in the reading and critical reception of the modern and contemporary French literature. “
The course description offers excretion as a metaphor for the creative process, noting that “the task of excretion – we excrete what we take in, process it and give it a new form – is also the task of literature”.
The course will also examine how feces affect women in French literature and “the gender of constipation as a female condition”.
The course, designated French 241, will be conducted in English but requires reading in French. It is open to undergraduate students with the permission of the professor.
Kim, assistant professor of Romance languages and literatures at Harvard, also teaches French science fiction and queer fiction.
“I am interested in feminist writing and theory, the novel (in particular the contemporary novel) and, more broadly, the ethical and political implications of writing and reading fiction, ”she wrote on her university bio page. “Although I specialize in 20th and 21st century French literature, I have a soft spot for 18th and 19th century literature, despite the multiple ways it kills its wives.
Kim could not be contacted and Harvard University declined to comment on the course, Fox News reported.