Germanic Languages | TRADITION & INNOVATION IN GERMAN LIT
E311 | 27188 | Marc Weiner


(2nd eight-weeks)
Professor Marc A. Weiner
BH664, 5-2033; weiner@indiana.edu
Office Hours: TR1:00-2:00, and by appt.


In the past 200 years, Germany and Austria have produced some of the
greatest artists the Western world has ever known, among them writers
of fiction, poetry, and drama, opera composers, and film directors.
However, it seems that there was always something rather different or
uniquely German about that writing, music, and film, so much so that
it came to have the reputation for being among the weirdest art ever
created.  Imagine stories about a kind of love that’s so intense it’s
psychotic; about someone running an ad for a father in a local
newspaper; about immorality, insanity, and sadomasochism; someone who
thinks he’s an insect; a man terrified of being seen; a weaver of
spells and magic; and about rape; a sex-starved society; sorrow and
suicide.

That’s the kind of thing you’ll find in this course.  You don’t need
to be able to read German.  All you need is an interest in an
out-of-the-way sort of literature, some of it profound, some of it
weird, and all of it enjoyable.  Through analysis of diverse
genres—poetry, short story, novella, drama, music drama, novel,
film—the course will also familiarize you with various methods of
interpretation.

All texts will be read in English translation.  No knowledge of German
is required.  No credit given in Germanic Studies.  However, the
course counts toward the College’s distribution requirement in the
Arts and Humanities.

There will be one midterm and one final exam.  Students have the
option of substituting a paper—ca. 12 pp. in length—for one of the
exams, which will be due the date of the exam.  If this option is
taken, the subject of the paper must be agreed upon by the Instructor
and the student at least two weeks prior to the date of the
exam/paper.  Participation (not mere attendance) is essential to the
class being successful, and therefore it will receive as much weight
as the exams/paper.  Grades will be computed as follows:

Participation = 34%
Midterm exam/paper = 33%
Final exam/paper = 33%.