Napoleon (COMPLIT 124C)
Who was Napoleon? A fierce patriot or a traitor of the Revolution? A beloved emperor or a merciless dictator? There is not one single or indeed final answer to these questions: in this course we shall learn to make a distinction between the historical figure (his life and actual deeds) and the literary character (how his detractors or enthusiasts represented him). We will explore the multi-faceted representations of Napoleon with a particular focus on his portraits in poems, novels, essays, paintings and sculptures. The syllabus will include readings and excerpts from Balzac, Stendhal, Dumas, Hugo, Thackeray, Tolstoy, Manzoni, Foscolo, Calvino. Taught in English.