Reality and Escape: Four Contemporary German Novels|
Spring 2019 not offered
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 objectives are threefold: We want to (1) come to a genuine understanding of what kinds of novels have been written in Germany since the turn of the century; (2) analyze our four novels with regard to how they represent (or refuse to represent) historical and social reality; (3) 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).
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GRST-MN)(GRST)
Ernst-Wilhelm Händler, WENN WIR STERBEN (Fischer Verlag) ISBN 978-3596190027
Rainald Goetz, JOHANN HOLTROPP: ABRISS DER GESELLSCHAFT (Suhrkamp Verlag) ISBN 978-3518465127
Christian Kracht, IMPERIUM (Fischer Verlag) ISBN 978-3596185351
Felicitas Hoppe, PARADIESE, ÜBERSEE (Fischer Verlag) ISBN 978-3596171279
|Examination and Assignments: |
Four 2 1/2-page papers and rewrites; two oral presentations
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
All readings, papers, and class discussions will be in German. If you haven't taken GRST 217, but feel that your language proficiency is sufficient to enroll in this course, please contact the instructor for a prerequisite override.