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Reality and Escape: Four Contemporary German Novels
GRST 342
Spring 2015
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: COL 316

In this advanced seminar, we will read and analyze four contemporary German novels that range from attempts to convey detailed accounts of how we live under the conditions of an all-pervasive capitalist system to novels that allow us to escape to other worlds, either in (imagined) history or entirely in our fantasy. Our objective is threefold: (1) We want to come to a genuine understanding of what kinds of novels have been written in Germany since the turn of the century; (2) We want to analyze our four novels with regard to how they represent (or refuse to represent) historical and social reality; (3) We want to arrive at a better understanding of what it means to refer to a work of literature as "contemporary:" does it mean, simply, that the text was written in recent years, or are we justified in demanding that the text somehow convey a truthful image of the historical time that we inhabit now? Under the rubric "reality," we will read and discuss Ernst-Wilhelm Händler's WENN WIR STERBEN (2002) and Rainald Goetz' JOHANN HOLTROPP: ABRISS DER GESELLSCHAFT (2012). Under the rubric "escape," we will read and discuss Christian Kracht's IMPERIUM (2011) and Felicitas Hoppe's PARADIESE, ÜBERSEE (2003).
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA GRST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GRST-MN)(GRST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on JUN-16-2024
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