Section Information for Fall 2017
This course focuses on the four main trends in fiction writing during the turbulent period from 1880-1950. Authors come from Russia, Italy, France, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Belgium and will read in translation.
Chekhov and Verga open the course by illustrating the naturalism that flourished just before 1900. Then come two waves of innovation that rejected naturalism: the modernist fiction of Musil and Proust followed by Kafka's and Nabokov's experimental novels. The crisis fiction by Zamiatin, Yourcenar, and Camus reflects the wars, revolutions, and dictatorships that grew in strength from 1914-1950.
Classes will combine discussions of the readings with presentations by the instructor. Written work includes several in-class exercises, two short papers on interpreting key passages from Proust and Kafka (the most famous figures covered in the course), a course paper and a final.