HL 207 Contemporary Literature(1)

By Jesse Reynolds,2014-08-21 03:53
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HL 207 Contemporary Literature(1)

    HL310 European Literature

This course explores two important traditions of European literature through a

    selection of works that span the continent from north (Norway) to south (Italy) and

    east (Russia) to west (Germany, France and Portugal). All texts of course will be read in English translation.

    The first tradition we shall look at is the Fantastic, which might be described as continental Europe’s counterpart to Gothic literature. The German Romantic Fantastic is illustrated by two of E. T. A. Hoffmann’s bizarre and disturbing

    modern fairy tales’, and the Russian genius for this genre, by Bulgakov’s equally zany masterpiece in which the Devil arrives in Stalinist Moscow accompanied, amongst others, by a very mischievous cat ...

    Our second topic is the lucidity with which early Modernist continental European writers explore the translation of vivid personal experience into literature. A selection of Baudelaire’s poems illustrates the origins of European Modernism. Hamsun’s short but powerful Hunger illustrates the birth of the

    modern novel. And we shall conclude with a selection of short texts by Fernando Pessoa, one of the most extraordinary, but also one of most accessible poets of the twentieth century.

    The objective is to introduce these two influential continental European literary traditions, the tension they each exhibit between a social reality and the reality of the imagination, the nature and implications of their concern with self-consciousness, and the redefinition of the scope and subject of literature proposed by each of our texts. Our final text brings all of these concerns together: Calvino’s playful postmodern novel of 1979 is about the problems of reading, writing, and the nature of literature that lie at the heart of this course.

    1. Core Texts * = to purchase: available at Popular Bookshop

     Hoffmann two short-stories (1814-16) available on edveNTUre

    The Master and Margarita (1930s/1966) Bulgakov *

     Vintage/Random House, 0-679-76080-6

     Baudelaire selection of works (1857-67) available on edveNTUre

    Rebel/Canongate 0-86241- 625-6 Hunger (1890) Hamsun *

     Pessoa selection of works (1910-1930) available on edveNTUre

    If on a winter’s night a traveler (1979) Calvino *

     Harvest/Harcourt Brace, 0-15-643961-1

    2. Method of Instruction & Course Assessment

    Method of Instruction Assessment

    Lectures: 2 hours per week Continuous Assessment: Participation, etc: 20% Tutorials: 1 hour per week 2 short essays: 30%

     Final Examination: 50%

Coordinator/Lecturer office room no. e-mail address

    Dr. Terence Dawson S3.2B426

    Proposed Lecture Schedule (Wednesday 11.30-13.30, LT 15, NS1-4-7)

     1 8 Aug Introduction

     2 15 Aug Hoffmann ‘The Golden Pot’

     3 22 Aug Hoffmann ‘The Sandman’

     4 29 Aug Bulgakov The Master and Margarita

     5 5 Sept Bulgakov The Master and Margarita

     6 12 Sept The Fantastic

     7 17 Sept Baudelaire Selected Poems [alienation and modernism]

     8 26 Sept Recess

     9 3 Oct Hamsun Hunger

    10 10 Oct Hamsun Hunger

    11 17 Oct Pessoa Selected poems [the enigma of identity] 12 24 Oct Calvino If on a winter’s night a traveller 13 31 Oct Calvino If on a winter’s night a traveller + Conclusion


    T1 Wednesday 15.30, in TR 108 (SS4-1-38)

    T2 Wednesday 16.30, in TR 108 (SS4-1-38)

Recommended Secondary Material

Audio-Visual DVDs, available in Media Resources

    Henning Carlsen (dir.) Hunger (112 mins; 1968)

    Jan Troell (dir.) Hamsun (154 mins; 1997)


    Freud, Sigmund The Uncanny (1919)

    Todorov, Tzvetan The Fantastic (1970)

    Jackson, Rosemary. Fantasy: the Literature of Subversion (1981)

    Negus, Kenneth E.T.A. Hoffmann's Other World, the Romantic Author and His New

    Mythology (1965)

    Bergstrom, Stefan Between Real and Unreal: A Thematic Study of E.T.A. Hoffmann's Die

     Serapionsbruder (2000)

    Brown, Hilda M. E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Serapiontic Principle: Critique and Creativity


    Wright, A. C. Mikhail Bulgakov (1979)

    Natov, Nadine Mikhail Bulgakov (1985)

    Milne, Lesley Bulgakov: The Novelist-Playwright (1996)

    Benjamin, Walter The Writer of Modern Life: Essays on Charles Baudelaire (2006) Peyre, Henri, ed. Baudelaire: A Collection of Critical Essays (1963) Hyslop, Lois Boe Charles Baudelaire Revisited (1992)

    Lloyd, Rosemary Baudelaire's World (2002)

    Lloyd, Rosemary, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Baudelaire (2006) Sanyal, Debarati The Violence of Modernity: Baudelaire, Irony, and the Politics of Form


    Hamsun, Knut Knut Hamsun Remembers America: Essays and Stories, 1885-1949, ed.

    R. N. Current (2003)

    Lyngstad, Sverre Knut Hamsun, Novelist: A Critical Assessment (2005) Pessoa, Fernando A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems (tr. Zenith, 2006) Pessoa, Fernando Fernando Pessoa & Co.: Selected Poems (tr. Zenith, 1999) Markey, Constance Italo Calvino: A Journey Toward Postmodernism (1999) Bloom, Harold (ed.) Italo Calvino (2000)

    Bolongaro, Eugenio Italo Calvino and the Compass of Literature (2003)

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