Fall 2010 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Realism and Naturalism emerged among the major aesthetic movements in the field of literature and the arts in nineteenth-century Europe. Inspiring heretofore unimaginable visions, subject matters, and approaches, Realism aimed at a "direct" and "objective" depiction of reality, while Naturalism attempted to follow the principles and methods of natural sciences. Both movements wished to present life truthfully and accurately, rather than idealize or morally circumscribe the world. For the first time in literary history, the characters that appear in these fictional texts struggle with their own instinctual drives and obsessions, hereditary compulsions, elemental passions, and drinking habits. They often emerge as victims of their society, their oppressive environment, and the social-economic pressures under which they live.
We will read novels, dramas, and short stories by some of the major authors of both artistic movements and discuss their aesthetic flowering as well as the social and psychological insights they have inspired.
H. Balzac, FATHER GORIOT; M. Dostoevsky; T. Hardy, TESS OF THE D'URBEVILLES; Gerhard Hauptmann, THE WEAWERS; T. Mann, THE BUDDENBROOKS; E. Zola, THE DRINKING DEN
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Regular class attendence; participation in class discussions; two tests, and two papers (each 5-6 pages).