Tales of Transcendental Homelessness: Journey, Adventure, and the Foreigner Before the Novel
Spring 2021 not offered
"Happy are those ages when the starry sky is the map of all possible paths. The world is wide and yet it is like a home," wrote Georg Lukács in his 1916 Theory of the Novel. How do the conditions of linguistic, cultural, metaphysical, and material homelessness occasion the ways in which identity is lexically structured and recast? This course examines the role that travel, new encounters, playing the foreigner, greeting the visitor, and sojourning through multicultural landscapes played in the growth of imaginative literature during the European Renaissance. In addition to a focus on early modern rise of novelistic storytelling in Boccaccio, de Navarre, Colonna, Montalvo, Montemayor, Cervantes, Basho, Voltaire, Sterne, and anonymous authors, readings will include selections from Ancient Greek, Latin, and Medieval forms of novelistic prose. We will conclude with a contemporary piece of journalistic storytelling--Fractured Lands (August 14, 2016)--a full-length narrative account of life in the Middle East following the Arab Spring. Through a discussion of the ways in which previously observed narrative forms are employed to recast international news within the context of a national newspaper we will engage our study of narrative structure with several contemporary problematics involved in the representation of life outside the United States. Throughout this course we will engage with Lukács's sense of our own modern transcendental homelessness and examine how the historical conditions of various cultures gave rise to the invention and transmutation of aesthetic forms. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which characters and authors navigate literary (and self-) representation in the absence of a set linguistic home.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar
|Grading Mode: Graded
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None