GM3131 Narrative and Identity: The German Novel from the 18th Century to the 21st Century
GM3131 Narrative and Identity: The German Novel from the 18th to the 21st Century
Terms 1 and 2
Essay: 30%, 2,000-2,500 words; Exam: 70%.
Plus a formative piece of work, not counting towards the final mark.
From Goethe's canonical Werther via Schnitzler, Hesse, Bachmann and Handke, right up to contemporary writings by Karen Duve and Birgit Vanderbeke, German literature is always bound up with notions of identity. What makes a self? How do we come to be, and what role does language play in this process? This course examines how the (German) self is constructed through such factors as sex, class and nationality, as we explore how these complex and subtle texts affirm - or undermine - our ideas about what makes the modern self.
Key Primary Bibliography:
Block 1: Introduction - Narrative and Identity; Goethe's Werther
Goethe, Die Leiden des jungen Werther (Reclam) / The Sorrows of Young Werther, trans. David Constantine (Oxford World Classics)
Block 2: The Divided/Unconscious Self
Arthur Schnitzler, Traumnovelle (Reclam) (1926) / Dream Story, trans. J. M. Q. Davies (Penguin)
Hermann Hesse, Der Steppenwolf (Suhrkamp) (1927) / Steppenwolf, trans. David Horrocks (Penguin)
Block 3: Subjectivity, Reality, Politics
Ingeborg Bachmann, 'Drei Wege zum See', in Simultan (Piper) (1972) / 'Three Paths to the Lake' in Three Paths to the Lake, trans. Mary Fran Gilbert (Holmes and Meier)
Peter Handke, Wunschloses Unglück (Suhrkamp) (1972) / A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, trans. Ralph Mannheim (Pushkin)
Block 4: Gender, Family, Society
Birgit Vanderbeke, Das Muschelessen (1990) / The Mussel Feast, trans. Jamie Bulloch (Peirene)
Karen Duve, Regenroman (1999) / Rain, trans. Anthea Bell (Bloomsbury)