Spring 2014 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Between Tradition and Modernity: The Literature of Weimar Germany
This course will examine some of the most significant literary works written in Germany, in the period of the Weimar Republic (1918-1933). In addition, it will pay attention to the cultural-political forces that shaped the artistic imagination of the time and to the formative influences that preceded this era. We will undertake this study by relying mostly on primary sources -- novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, confessions and statements of creative writers, artists, and critics of art. This approach will allow us to gain insight into the artistic and intellectual achievement that characterized the literature and culture of the Weimar Republic, into the cultural and intellectual tensions and transitions making themselves felt in Germany before and during World War I, and into the disillusionment following the war, including the polarization of the country\'s culture and the major social, political, and ideological upheavals during the 1920s and early 1930s.
B. Brecht, The Threepenny Opera;
B.I. Lewis, Georg Grosz: Art and Politics in the Weimar Republic
Heinrich Mann, Man of Straw;
Thomas Mann, "Death in Venice";"Mario and the Magician," The Magic Mountain
Peukert, Weimar Culture
E. M. Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front;
Eric D. Weitz, Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy
In addition, we'll read essays by S. Freud, Thomas Mann, Heinrich Mann, and Schoenberg, study the art of Georg Grosz, and consider some of the major poems of Gottfried Benn, B. Brecht, Elsa-Lasker-Schueler, Hoddis, Lichtenstein, Trakl, and Rilke.
Schedule of Classes:
January 13, 2014: Introduction and viewing The Blue Angel
20: *Herwig, 79-114;Heinrich Mann, Man of Straw.
27: *Herwig, 193-225; Heinrich Mann, Man of Straw.
Febr. 3: *Heinrich Mann, "Zola"; *Thomas Mann, "Soul Searching," 47-70; *George S. Williamson, "Epilogue," 285-298.
10: *Freud,Civilization and Its Discontents," 33-63; Thomas Mann, "Death in Venice."
17: Thomas Mann, "Death in Venice," Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
24: Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front; Thomas Mann,"About German Democracy."
March 3: Thomas Mann, "Mario and the Magician," Peukert, Weimar Culture
March 10: Spring Break
17: D Peukert, Weimar Culture.
24: B. I. Lewis, Georg Grosz: Art and Politics in the Weimar Republic
31: Poetry: Gottfried Benn, B. Brecht, Elsa Lasker-Schueler, Hoddis, Lichtenstein, Trakl, and Rilke.
April 7: Weitz, Weimar Germany and Schoenberg
14: Weitz, Weimar Germany and Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
21: Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
28: Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
May 5: Discussion
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Assigned readings and participation in class discussions; one class presentation, and one research paper (10-15), including a short (2-pages) annotated bibliography.