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Inspired by the News and Real Life: Reading and Writing Fiction and "Exofiction" in French

Flaubert found his inspiration for Emma Bovary, one of literature’s most unforgettable women, in a short news item from a local paper—a fait divers. Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano used a missing persons notice in the classified ads to create the main protagonist for his novel Dora Bruder. This course looks at the reality-inspired works of contemporary writers, including Emmanuel Carrère, Morgan Sportès, Régis Jauffret, and Jean-Yves Le Naour, who create memorable fictional characters inspired by facts. This course also explores “exofiction,” a new literary phenomenon similar to biopics, with works by award-winning authors such as Adrien Bosc, Laurent Binet, Simon Liberati, Philippe Vasset, Lydie Salvayre, Christine Angot, Yasmina Khadra, Colette Fellous, and Jérôme Ferrari. As a student in this online course, you will be able to post links and interviews about the subject matter that inspired these writers, in order to compare/contrast journalistic and literary treatments of the same subject. Every week, you will be provided with short excerpts from these novels and you will submit your own short piece of fiction in French based on exofiction or a fait divers. Classes are conducted entirely in French.
Students are strongly encouraged to register by Wednesday, September 12, 2018 to ensure a seat in the class. Please contact the Department of Foreign Languages at sps.foreignlanguages@nyu.edu with any questions, or call 212-998-7150 to register.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • A better knowledge of French prose style from reading excerpts of 21st-century writers
  • A wider vocabulary and a playful grasp of grammar and faux amis

Ideal for

  • Individuals who already possess high-intermediate or advanced French language skills and are interested in enhancing their writing skills
  • Writers, professionals, and students
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.


    • Section

    • Semester

      Fall 2018
    • Date

      Sep 17 - Nov 19
    • Day

    • Time

      • Online
    • Format

      • Online
    • Sessions

    • Location

    Tuition $450