SLAVIC 320 B: The Other Europe: Post-World War II East European Fiction

Winter 2024
Meeting:
TTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm / SMI 309
SLN:
20101
Section Type:
Lecture
Joint Sections:
C LIT 252 A , GLITS 252 A
Instructor:
INTRO TO GENRES: THE NOVEL
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

 

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THE NOVEL: LIFE IN LONG FORM

"The novel is the book of life." - D.H. Lawrence

 

Please note: C LIT 252 A IS THE SAME AS GLITS 252 A and SLAV 320 A, "EAST EUROPEAN FICTION."  IF ONE OF THESE SECTIONS IS FULL, PLEASE JUST ENROLL IN THE OTHER! 

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

While we can be outdoing ourselves with how brief and short-lasting our verbal expression gets in tweets or snapchats, the novel – the longest literary form – happily lives on over the centuries and into our times. More than that: Don Quixote (1605), a novel by Miguel Cervantes, for example, sold five hundred million copies few years ago. In general, the novel as a literary form continues to be the preferred reading of readers world-wide.

What is it about this literary form that makes it so appealing, enduring, and global? What do readers find in it? Your online dictionary provides an easy answer, defining the novel as "a fictitious prose narrative of considerable length and complexity, portraying characters and usually presenting a sequential organization of action and scenes." This class will look into this genre more carefully and provide a taste of several major novels from around the world, including lesser known yet fascinating East European and Slavic novels. We will delve more deeply into three novels—James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, Hungarian Magda Szabó’s The Door, and Estonian Tõnu Õnnepalu's Border State, with two of them being rather short to allow for the quality reading time. We will try to get acquainted with some of the novels that have made a global impact and some that are known to only a few, and we will try to find the reasons for this fictional genre’s lasting human attraction. One film adaptation of a famous novel will also be looked at.  At the end of the class we will also address broader questions such as “what is literature?” And – why study literature in a global context? No prerequisites.

Please note: this is an in-person class. There will be no additional or separate class offered online.

REQUIRED TEXTS

  1. James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room (USA, 1956)
  2. Magda Szabó, The Door (Hungary, 1987)
  3. Tõnu Õnnepalu, Border State (Estonia, 1993)

 

Catalog Description:
Introduces post-WWII Eastern European fiction created during and after the communist era, both in Eastern European countries and in exile. Includes works by Polish, Czech, Yugoslav, post-Yugoslav, Hungarian, and Baltic writers. Taught in English.
GE Requirements Met:
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Credits:
5.0
Status:
Active
Last updated:
June 8, 2024 - 12:46 am