Empire, Love, and War: 20th-Century Novels from Central and Eastern Europe
Spring 2017 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)
Joseph Roth, THE RADETZKY MARCH
Sholem Aleichem, TEVYE THE DAIRYMAN
Bohumil Hrabal, CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS; I SERVED THE KING OF ENGLAND
Tadeusz Borowski, "This Way to the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen"
Milan Kundera, THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING; THE JOKE
Witold Gombrowicz, TRANS-ATLANTYK
Dubravka Ugresic, STEFFLE SPECK IN THE JAWS OF LIFE; LIFE IS A FAIRY TALE
Aleksandar Hemon, THE QUESTION OF BRUNO
Ivo Andric, STORIES
|Examinations and Assignments:
Three papers (5-7 pp.) Frequent short papers. Oral presentation.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments:
Conducted in English. Attendance and participation are required.
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