Referred to by some as 'similar opposites', Franz Kafka and Thomas Mann represent the poles of modernism in European literature as perhaps no two authors do. Contemporaries for a time, the pair read each other's works, and - as quite different in style as their writings were -- expressed great mutual admiration. Since their deaths, literary theorists have sought to understand European literary trends precisely through the comparison of Kafka and Mann. This course will examine selected works by the German-speaking Jewish author from Prague, Franz Kafka, noted for his understated wit and his gripping, often bizarre, nightmarish, portrayals of the human condition, alongside works by the German, Nobel Prize-winning author Thomas Mann, known for his intricate, at times deliberately overstated depictions of intellectual and artistic genius. Together, the two authors explored themes of sexuality, psychology, aesthetics, moral decadence, societal marginalization and death, drawing from references to visual arts and music. We will also examine selected cinematic renderings of these authors' works and lives. Taught in German with readings in German. Prerequisite: Ger300-level course or instructor permission.
Ricci Bell, Michele
Location & Meeting Time
Golub House-105+ M/W/F 09:15AM-10:20AM LEC