College of Arts and Sciences | Cloak and Dagger
C103 | 29216 | Arnaudo, M.
COLL-C 103 29216 Cloak and Dagger (Arnaudo, M.: French and Italian) (A
& H) (3 cr.)
7:15-10:00PM T Film screening
See Schedule of Classes for discussion section times
This course introduces students to one of the most basic concepts of
literary criticism - literary genres - with specific reference to a
popular genre such as the so-called “thriller.” “Thriller” is a term
that came into use in the late nineteenth century and was applied not
only to the detective story, the most famous examples of which were A.
Conan Doyle's tales about Sherlock Holmes, but also to a closely
related literary genre, the spy novel, that also attained great
popularity during the period.
The primary focus of this course will be to teach students how to
understand the conventions and traditions that govern any literary
genre, with specific reference to the “thriller” as exemplified by
selected detective and spy stories in both literature and film.
Attention will be paid to basic critical concepts such as style, form,
structure, point of view, and implied reader, in order to provide
students with analytical tools that will be valuable in the years to
come. It is my hope that students will apply the lessons they learn
about genre in this class to any literary genre, not only genres
typical of popular culture.
Readings will include the detective fiction of Poe, Conan Doyle,
Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, and Friedrich Dürrenmatt. We will
also examine several detective-mystery movies, including the recent
Sherlock Holmes (2009), and the classic masterpieces of the noir
tradition, including The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep. For the spy
genre, we will read the pre-Cold War novel A Coffin for Dimitrios, at
least one James Bond novel by Ian Fleming, and a Cold War spy novel by
John Le Carré. In addition, we will screen two very different James
Bond films: one made during the height of the Cold War, and Martin
Campbell's Casino Royale (2006).