Fall 2006 not offered
F. Scott Fitzgerald proposed that personality might be "an unbroken series of successful gestures." Is there more to the self than the style that characterizes it? Can style--in particular, literary style--be a means of self-realization? This course will explore these questions and also examine the different ways that style can position the individual within a community. A person can claim membership in a group through adopting a style; or he or she can use a style to demonstrate his or her singularity and difference. Authenticity can be taken as proof that one is a responsible moral being--but who gets to decide what the markers of authenticity are?
We will begin with a study of Flaubert's MADAME BOVARY, a book whose heroine sets the high water mark for inauthenticity in modern literature. We will read some central texts of existentialist philosophy, including works by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. The main section of the course will focus on existentialism's influence on American literary and political culture in the 1950s and early 1960s; we will read the work of poets, novelists and critics grappling with questions of style and authenticity. The course will conclude with a reconsideration of the postmodern and its purported emphasis on style without depth.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None