Lewis Honors College Capstone Collection

Year of Publication



Arts and Sciences



Degree Name

B.A. in Psychology and Modern & Classical Languages

First Capstone/Thesis Advisor

Bess Dawson


In defining what qualifies a sport, dance historically seems to lie closer to the description of art instead of sport. However, dance is better defined as a living and athletic art—combining art and sport in an unmatchable hybrid of the two. In French youth literature, Catherine Certitude (written by Patrick Modiano, published in 1988) recalls a childhood flashback of the protagonist, Catherine, and her life in Paris with her father, Georges. This paper argues that family dynamics and gender roles, a battle between two cities for the story’s location, and a clear presence of mystery throughout the story show distinct characteristics in the lives of dancers. To illustrate more clearly these three topics in this paper, I look further at the relationship Catherine has with her father and her unnamed mother, the differences between action in New York City and Paris, and the role of Catherine’s eyeglasses in the mysteriousness of her life as a dancer.