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Comparative Literature Courses
Any literature course in any language, including English, at the 3000 level or above
CPLT 2010 History of European Literature I
Tu Th 2:00-3:15
This 4-credit course surveys European literature from its origins in Ancient Greece and Rome into the European Renaissance. As a course in literary history, it seeks to develop an understanding of period concepts, such as Republican Rome, Medieval and Renaissance, as well as concepts of genre, such as epic, tragedy, and comedy. Readings, sometimes in the form of selections, include: Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and Euripides' The Bacchae, Virgil's Aeneid, Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, the Inferno from Dante's Divine Comedy, several of Montaigne's Essays, Hamlet, and Don Quixote. All foreign language works will be read in English translation.
GETR 3590/CPLT 3590 Guilty Secrets: Literature and Its Politics
The course will approach directly the question of why it is often difficult to “understand” a literary work. Is obscurity a necessary or an accidental quality of literary works? Does it belong inherently to a particular work or does it arise only in the process of interpretation? What is the political dimension of this whole area of thought? The course will begin with several texts of Kafka that appear to suggest relatively cynical answers to these questions, but in the end only generate further questions. Works discussed in the course will be mainly poems, short plays, and short prose works. Authors treated will include Shakespeare, Eliot, Rimbaud, Goethe, Melville, Rilke, e.e. cummings, Hölderlin, Ionesco, Jarry, Kokoschka, Beckett. Space will be left in the syllabus for texts suggested by the students. All non-English texts will be read in English translation.
GETR 3710/ (3) Kafka and his Doubles
The course will introduce the enigmatic work of Franz Kafka: stories including "The Judgment," "The Metamorphosis," "A Country Doctor," "A Report to an Academy," "A Hunger Artist," "The Burrow," and "Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk"; one of his three unpublished novels (The Trial); The Letter to His Father; and some short parables. But we will also look at Kafka's "doubles": the literary tradition he works with and the way in which he, in turn, forms literary tradition. Thus: Kafka: Cervantes; Kafka: Bible, Kafka: Aesop; Kafka: Dostoevsky; Kafka: Melville; Kafka: O'Connor; Kafka: Singer; Kafka: Calvino, Kafka: Borges. Readings will center on four principal themes: conflicts with others and the self (and Kafka's psychological vision); the double; the play with paradox and infinity; and artists and animals. Requirements include a short midterm paper (5-7 pages) and a longer final paper (10-12 pages).
Courses of Special Interest to Comparative Literature Students
GETR 3590 The Frankfurt School and Its American Legacy
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