Comparative Literature | Lit in Intellect/Cultural Cntxt
C641 | 28425 | Prof. Johannes Turk

Department of Comparative Literature- Fall, 2007

Lit in Intellect/Cultural Cntxt
Topic: Soliloquies of Finitude: Narrations of Time, Life, and
History in the Late Nineteenth Century
CMLT-C 641/28425   4:00-5:15   MW

above class meets with GER-G 575

This course examines narrations of life in major novels of the
German and the European tradition from Gustave Flaubert and Adalbert
Stifter to Theodor Fontane. It will explore how the novel—a genre
that is poor in formal conventions—relies on temporality to give
life its specific contours: narrative is meaningful to the extent
that it portrays temporal experience. Its essence is the repertoire
of meaning unfolding within the limits of finitude in which beings
are enclosed. The nineteenth century sees the intrusion of time into
history, biology, economy and psychoanalysis. Whereas traditional
metaphysics situates essence outside temporality and conceives
becoming as teleological, time now defines how and why the beings
populating the world are what they are. Life is in essence limited
and unfolds its finite resources in the dimensions of history and
biology. The novel is the genre that corresponds to the modern way
of being in the world and its rise to the most prominent among the
modern genres may well be due to its formal indetermination. Thus
the course will question the link between time, the novel as a
genre, and the sciences of man. We will examine a selection of texts
by Darwin, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Ricardo and Freud to trace the
emergence of temporality in the positive sciences, and discuss
novels such as Flaubert’s Éducation sentimentale, Fontane’s Effi
Briest, and Stifter’s Nachsommer. Excerpts from texts by Ian Watt,
Paul Ricoeur, Gilian Beer and others will illuminate the poetics of
the novel in our discussion.

The course will be taught in English – students of Germanic Studies
are kindly asked to read the novels in the German original listed
below. Participants are recommended to read Ricoeur’s Time and
Narrative volumes I. and II. during the summer.

Darwin, The Origin of Species (Oxford World’s Classics)
Oxford University Press, USA; Reissue edition (July 9, 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 019283438X
ISBN-13: 978-0192834386

Gustave Flaubert, A Sentimental Education. The Story of a Young Man
Oxford University Press, USA; New edition (May 18, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0192836226
ISBN-13: 978-0192836229

Theodor Fontane, Effi Briest
Penguin Classics; Reissue edition (July 3, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0140447660
ISBN-13: 978-0140447668

Michel Foucault, The Order of Things. An Archeology of Human Sciences
ISBN-10: 0679753354
ISBN-13: 978-0679753353

Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle
W. W. Norton & Company (February 1990)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0393007693
ISBN-13: 978-0393007695

Gottfried Keller, Green Henry
Overlook Press (Nov 2003)
ISBN-10: 1585674273
ISBN-13: 978-1585674275

Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disandvantage of History
for Life
Hackett Publishing Company; New Edition (June 1980)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0915144948
ISBN-13: 978-0915144945

Adalbert Stifter, Indian Summer
Peter Lang Publishing
ISBN-10: 3039109502
ISBN-13: 978-3039109500

Students in Germanic Studies should read the following texts in

Fontane, Effi Briest
Suhrkamp; Auflage: 1 (August 2004)
Sprache: Deutsch
ISBN-10: 351818847X
ISBN-13: 978-3518188477

Sigmund Freud, Das Ich und das Es
(darin: Jenseits des Lustprinzips)
ISBN 978-3-596-10442-0
Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag

Gottfried Keller, Der grüne Heinrich
Erste Fassung
insel taschenbuch 2944
944 Seiten, Broschur
ISBN 978-3-458-34644-9

Friedrich Nietzsche, Von Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie für das
Verlag: Diogenes Verlag; Auflage: 3., Aufl. (Oktober 1994)
Sprache: Deutsch
ISBN-10: 3257211961
ISBN-13: 978-3257211962

Adalbert Stifter, Der Nachsommer
Patmos; Januar 2007
Sprache: Deutsch
ISBN-10: 3491961912
ISBN-13: 978-3491961913