WORLD LITERATURE

World Literature (WL) courses explore the interrelations among literary cultures throughout the world. They pay special attention to such topics as translation, cultural difference, the emergence of diverse literary systems, and the relations between global sociopolitical issues and literary form.

 

92612

LIT 213

 Literary Responses  to Totalitarianism

Francine Prose

    F        1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 101

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Human Rights  In this class we will read novels, stories, memoirs, poems and plays that describe the experience of human beings suffering--or thriving--under totalitarian regimes. Among the writers we will study are Roberto Bolaño, Nadezhda Mandelstam, Peter Handke, Gitta Sereny, Primo Levi, Philip Roth, Norman Manea, Zbygniew Herbert, Wallace Shawn, Nuruddin Farah, and Jung Chang. We will focus on narrative structure and literary style as well as historical and political content. Students wishing to take the course should email Prof. Prose at prose@bard.edu, explaining their reasons. Students should know that several of the texts are very long. Admitted students will receive a list of the longer books to begin reading over the summer.  This course is part of the World Literature offering.  Class size: 15

 

91911

CHI 230

 Modern Chinese Fiction

Li-Hua Ying

M  W       3:10 pm-4:30 pm

OLINLC 118

FL

FLLC

Cross-listed: Asian Studies; Literature   Conducted in English, this course is a general introduction to modern Chinese fiction from the 1910s to the present. China in the 20th century witnessed a history of unprecedented upheavals and radical transformations and its literature in this period was often a battleground for political, cultural, and aesthetic debates. We will read English translations of representative works by major writers from three periods (1918-1949; 1949-1976; since 1976) such as Lu Xun, Ding Ling, Ba Jin, Shen Congwen, Lao She, Mao Dun, and Chang Eileen from the May Fourth Movement and the intellectual radicalization of the first half of the 20th century, and Mo Yan, Yu Hua, Can Xue, and Han Shaogong out of the Cultural Revolution and the liberalization of the post-Mao era.  In addition, we will study works by authors from Taiwan and Hong Kong such as Pai Hsien-yung, Wang Wen-hsing, Li Ang, Li Yung-p’ing, Chu T’ien-wen, Xi Xi, and Shi Shu-ching. We will consider issues of language and genre, nationalism and literary tradition, colonialism, women’s emancipation movement, the influence of Western literary modes such as realism and modernism on the inception of literary modernity in China, and the current state of critical approaches to the study of modern Chinese literature.   This course is part of the World Literature offering.   Class size: 18

92135

LIT 2404

 Fantastic Journeys in the Modern World

Jonathan Brent

    F        3:00 pm-5:20 pm

OLIN 202

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Jewish Studies; Russian   We will  explore the literature of the Fantastic of Eastern Europe and Russia from the early 20th century to the 1960s in writers such as Ansky, Kharms, Kafka, Capek, Schultz, Mayakovsky, Erofeyev, Olesha and others.  Fantastic literature, as Calvino has noted, takes as its subject the problem of "reality." In this class, we will discuss questions of identity, meaning, consciousness, as well as understanding of the relationship between the individual and society in these writers.    This course is part of the World Literature offering. Class size: 25

91701

LIT 276B

 Chosen Voices: Jewish Authors

Elizabeth Frank

  W Th    1:30 pm-2:50 pm

ASP 302

LA

D+J

ELIT

DIFF

Cross-listed: Jewish Studies; Russian  In this course we will read major nineteenth and twentieth-century Jewish authors who, in their attempts sometimes to preserve Jewish tradition and just as often to break with it (or to do a little of both), managed to make a major contribution to secular Jewish culture. The struggle to create an imaginative literature by and about Jews is thus examined with respect to often conflicted literary approaches to questions of Jewish identity and history (including persistent anti-Semitism in the countries of the Diaspora and the catastrophe of the Holocaust). In the process we will discuss such notions as Jewish identity and stereotypes, questions of "apartness" and "insideness," and explore literary genres such as the novel, the tale, the fable, the folktale and the joke in relation to traditional forms of Jewish storytelling, interpretation and prophecy. We will look as well at what it is that makes "Jewish humor" both Jewish and funny and consider the consequences of a particular author's decision to write in either Hebrew or Yiddish, or in a language such as Russian, German or English. We will discuss as well Jewish participation in literary modernism. Authors include Rabbi Nachman of Bratzslav, Isaac Leib Peretz, Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, Franz Kafka, Bruno Schulz, Primo Levi, Isaac  Bashevis Singer, Bernard Malamud, Grace Paley, Aharon Appelfeld, Leslie Epstein, and Angel Wagenstein."  This course is part of the World Literature offering. Class size: 22

92146

LIT 313

 Literary Responses  to Totalitarianism

Francine Prose

    F        1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 101

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: Human Rights  In this class we will read novels, stories, memoirs, poems and plays that describe the experience of human beings suffering--or thriving--under totalitarian regimes. Among the writers we will study are Roberto Bolaño, Nadezhda Mandelstam, Peter Handke, Gitta Sereny, Primo Levi, Philip Roth, Norman Manea, Zbygniew Herbert, Wallace Shawn, Nuruddin Farah, and Jung Chang. We will focus on narrative structure and literary style as well as historical and political content. Students wishing to take the course should email Prof. Prose at prose@bard.edu, explaining their reasons. Students should know that several of the texts are very long. Admitted students will receive a list of the longer books to begin reading over the summer.  This course is part of the World Literature offering.  Class size: 15

92148

LIT 339

 Writing After Modernism: quixote, the boom and postmodern play

Mark Danner

  W         1:30 pm-3:50 pm

OLIN 308

LA

ELIT

How to account for the startling rise of an artistic movement that seizes on the innovations of modernist giants Joyce and Faulkner and Woolf and pushes them further in untrammeled and boldly vertiginous directions? The Boom dominated Latin American letters for scarcely twenty years -- decades in which Latin America found itself in the full glare of the Cold War struggle for influence -- and yet it produced a score of masterpieces and its reverberations in world literature are still being felt. In this seminar we will trace some of the Boom's antecedents, particularly in Miguel Cervantes' woeful knight and Jorge Luis Borges' intricate fictional mazes; examine its classics, from Carpentier, Cortazar, Donoso, Fuentes, Garcia Marquez and Vargas Llosa; and delve into the work of some of its irrepressible second generation -- seeking throughout to discover what might account for this brief efflorescence of bold literary experimentation. Conducted in English.  This course is part of the World Literature offering.  Class size: 18

92138

LIT 3640

 Memorable 19th Century Novels

Justus Rosenberg

   Th       10:10 am-12:30 pm

OLIN 302

LA

ELIT

Cross-listed: French Studies; Russian  In this course we isolate through close critical reading, stylistic, thematic, ideological and other possible factors that make the following novels have become part of the literary canon:  Crime and Punishment by  Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Red and the Black by Stendhal, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, Father Goriot by Honoré de Balzac, Effie Briest by Theodor Fontane, and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Prior knowledge of European 19th century general history is recommended but not required. This course is part of the World Literature offering.   Class size: 15