Frankenstein read Goethe. Shouldn’t you?
What’s in a classic? Why read them? How do they shape our vision of the self and the world, the past and the present? – These are some of the questions to be posed in this course. It introduces students to a number of innovative and inspiring writers and thinkers in the German and Austrian tradition—Goethe, Nietzsche, Kafka, Canetti, Bachmann, Schnitzler, among others--whose texts and ideas are of continued relevance to us today. Readings range from Weimar Classicism to Viennese and Prague Modernism and beyond to some more recent writers in German-speaking Europe. Students will gain a basic historical understanding of modern German literature and culture in the broader European context. They can expect to hone their imagination and critical skills. Course requirements include active participation in class, reading journals, a midterm and a final exam essay, plus some creative team work.
Texts and discussion are all in English.