Volume 9, Issue 2, February 2019

A Word from the Editor

In this issue you will find reviews of three classics.

Shannon Fogg returns us to the composition of Marguerite Duras’ The War, a Memoir (1985), which may or may not be actual recollection based on her wartime diary. The six stories revolve around the Resistance and Duras’s heart-rending longing for her husband Robert Antelme’s return from concentration camp. The first two have been combined in the 2017 film Memoirs of War [La douleur] by Emmanuel Finkiel, and Fogg offers suggestions on how the book and film can be combined with scholarly sources for effective classroom discussion.

Alan Morris doubts that Ariane Mnouchkine’s 1978 four-hour film Molière can be shown to students in its entirety, but segments could certainly be used to demonstrate Louis XIV’s theatrical monarchy. Altogether, although the biopic does not mean to be comprehensive, Molière depicts the theatricality of Molière’s own life and his experiences in city and country. It also revisists the conflicts and cruelties of the French court. Molière used these to move French theatre from comedia dell’arte to the classic comedy we so admire. Mnouchkine’s aesthetic choices, foreshadowed in the film’s Prologue, address performativity, Time’s arrow, and the ever-present shadow of death.

In her review of Gustave Flaubert’s L’Éducation sentimentale, Dominica Chang persuades us to consider teaching the novel. It is famous for its treatment of the Revolution of 1848, but is also a Bildungsroman that spans thirty years of its hero’s life, from law student to disillusioned adult. Chang encourages her students to reflect on the parallels between the choices they face in the twenty-first century and those faced by students in the 1840s. They also come away with an understanding of Flaubert’s literary innovations in the “long realist novel.”

Liana Vardi

University at Buffalo, SUNY

Table of Contents

Reviews

Film and Fiction? Marguerite Duras, La Douleur and The War, by Shannon L. Fogg
One Man in his Time Plays Many Parts: Ariane Mnouchkine’s Molière, by Alan Morris
Classics in the 21st-Century Classroom: Gustave Flaubert’s L’Éducation sentimentale, by Dominica Chang

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