GERM-166 Mysteries, Madness, Murder
Spring for 2014-2015
This course examines stories of crime, murder, and madness in 18th to 20th-century German literature, in drama, novella, poetry, novel, and film as expressions of the search for understanding what might be called the “darker” side of human existence, in the individual and in society. Seen more broadly, literary treatments of the topic are a search for a more expansive, multi-dimensional ‘truth’, often linked to issues of culpability and justice that frequently pertain to the treatment of non-mainstream, less privileged members of society. We will explore how German literature has used various genres to highlight, expose, assert or question accepted moral values by showing that which is deemed to be evil, mad, or criminal – and, upon closer inspection, might not be!
In addition, we will work with secondary literature that introduces you to various issues pertaining to the theater, the novella, poetry, the novel, and film in relation to literary periods and styles. We will relate this literature to the persistent moral and ethical questions associated with the topics of murder, mysteries, and madness.
As a level-IV course, “Mysteries, Murder, Madness” seeks to
• refine students’ perception of literary style
• enable students to discuss, orally and in writing, ethical and social issues on a stylistically sophisticated level
• present principal analytical approaches and forms of expression for literary analysis, in preparation for more research-oriented courses on Level V
Prerequisites: completion of 102 or 111 or equivalent
Other academic years
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