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Prague, Vienna, Sarajevo: 20th-Century Novels from Central and Eastern Europe
RUSS 255
Fall 2023
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: REES 255, RULE 255, WLIT 259

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; Volodymyr Rafeyenko's Mondegreen is an experimental narrative told through the eyes of a refugee from the Ukrainian Donbas region in Kyiv who struggles with language and identity; Nobel Prize-winner Olga Tokarczuk's Flights provides a constellation of short narratives that attempt to capture the place of the body in the world of travel and migration; 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.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA REES
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (REES-MN)(REES-Lang/Lit/C)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUN-24-2024
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