Empire, Love, and War: 20th-Century Novels from Central and Eastern Europe
Fall 2016 not offered
REES 255, RULE 255
This course is a survey of 20th-century prose fiction of Central and Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on the Czech novel. The novels we will read make history come alive through the eyes of vividly individual characters. In Joseph Roth's RADETZKY MARCH, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is viewed through the lens of a single heartbroken family; in Bohumil Hrabal's I SERVED THE KING OF ENGLAND, the Czech experience in World War II and postwar Stalinization is embodied in the figure of a diminutive hotel waiter; Milan Kundera's THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING refracts the Soviet domination of Czechoslovakia through the traumas and love affairs of a quartet of characters; in Witold Gombrowicz's TRANS-ATLANTYK and Aleksandar Hemon's THE QUESTION OF BRUNO, the main characters find themselves in a foreign land when their home countries (Poland and Yugoslavia, respectively) are torn apart by war. All the works we will read exemplify the high level of narrative sophistication, in realist, absurdist, and experimental modes, that is a hallmark of Central and Eastern European literature.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar
|Grading Mode: Student Option
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (REES-MN)(REES-Lang/Lit/C)
Miroslav Krleza, ON THE EDGE OF REASON; stories
Joseph Roth, THE RADETZKY MARCH
Jaroslav Hasek, GOOD SOLDIER SVEJK
Mesa Selimovic, DEATH AND THE DERVISH
Sholem Aleichem, TEVYE THE DAIRYMAN
Bohumil Hrabal, CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS; I SERVED THE KING OF ENGLAND
Tadeusz Borwoski, "This Way to the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen"
|Examinations and Assignments:
Three papers (5-7 pp.) Frequent short papers.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments:
Conducted in English. Attendance and participation are required.
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