Honors | Magical Realism
H203 | 0008 | L. Davila

	This seminar is about the magic of literature and the magical
happenings sometimes found therein. It will explore the spell that
literature casts upon us, even when it is perfectly implausible.  Why,
for instance, the huge popularity of the Harry Potter books, and the
abiding appeal of books such as the Wizard of Oz?  We shall not read
these aforementioned books, but we will keep them in mind as we read,
discuss and write short pieces on the magically real or fantastic
short stories by Russian (Gogol, Tolstoy, Nabakov), Czech (Kundura),
and Germanic writers (Mann and Kafka).  Above all, we will read
narratives by Spanish-speaking writers (Borges, Allende, Esquivel,
Fuentes and others) and English-speaking writers (D.H. Lawrence,
Faulkner, Welty, Woolf. Henry James and others) and try to make
interesting and instructive comparisons and contrasts. Throughout the
seminar, we shall also make distinctions as to what might be magically
real, and what might be better classified as being fantastic.  For
this purpose, we shall consider what Franz Roh, Tzvetan Todorov, Alejo
Carpentier, Angel Flores, Eric Rabin and others have said about the
fantastic and magical realism, so as to guide our discussions and
develop our own working definitions of the literature being read.

	All the readings will be in English.  The literature selected
for this course, I believe, is truly exciting as well as culturally
significant. The readings are not laborious, yet excellent and very
revealing of the societies from which they spring.

	Readings, discussions, dialogue, and written exercises will
help us properly frame and learn from our seminar.  I look forward to
working with all of you who may decide to take this course.

					Luis Davila.