For your final paper I would like you to explore the idea that our texts are not just discrete units on the syllabus but that they speak to each other directly and indirectly. Thus, in this paper I would like for you to take an intertextual approach and to perform comparative analysis.
You will choose any two texts or films (or, if it works, one text and one film) from the syllabus and analyze the authors’ handling of a particular topic/theme. Try to interweave your discussion of the two texts, instead of dividing the paper into two distinct halves and merely demonstrating that the first text does A while the second text does B. Take your argument a step further by considering the larger significance of the authors’ respective approaches. What can we learn about each text by studying the comparative uses of this topic/theme? For example, if your topic is the role of sexuality in the films of Dassin and Godard : what is each filmmaker trying to accomplish through the depiction of the sexuality of his characters? (what thematic/critical points are being made?)
Feel free to apply any notes or materials from class, but it is not necessary to conduct any outside research – I am interested in your analysis. Again, the analysis will be most effective if you support and illustrate it with specific pieces of textual quotation. Please do not to lapse into extended plot summary at the expense of critical analysis. Remember to create an appropriate title for your paper. It is not necessary to use a cover page or a works cited page, but do cite the page numbers of your quotations within the paper.
Possible topics (these are just suggestions; please do not limit yourself to this list):
*historical and cultural markers in M’As-tu vu en cadavre and L’Inconnue du terrain vague
*the role of guilt in L’Assassin habite au 21 and L’Inconnue du terrain vague
*character study: the single woman in L’Assassin habite au 21 and M’As-tu vu en cadavre
*articulating the mystery: narrative style in L’Inconnue du terrain vague and Celle qui n’était plus
*male-female intrigue in Rififi and A Bout de souffle
*metaphor and mystery : the use of imagery in L’Inconnue du terrain vague and L’Assassin habite au 21
*critiques of the urban scene/societal values in L’Assassin Habite au 21 and Celle qui n’était plus
While you do not need to submit a paper proposal, please contact me to discuss your topic/ideas if you would like help clarifying the focus of your paper.
Papers should be seven to eight pages, typed, double spaced. Please print papers and deliver them to the box outside my office door. Though the due date is December 16, which is the last day of exams, I will be glad to accept papers early.
Now to decide on a topic--whether to use one of her suggested topics or to choose one of my own.