Germanic Languages | Introduction to German Literature: Themes
G306 | 7895 | Julia Lawson

Introduction to German Literature: Themes

Description: In common language, the ideas of revenge and retaliation
are expressed in many and various ways: “settling the score,” getting
even,” “what goes around comes around,” and so on, and yet in modern
society, individual, premeditated revenge is in most cases considered
unlawful or at least wrong. We make a distinction between revenge and
justice. In G306, we will examine the treatment of themes and motifs
of revenge vs. justice in works from different genres and different
times in German literature and ask, among other things, how these
treatments differ; how they drive the plot, the character development,
and the atmosphere of the play, poem, or work of narrative fiction in
which they occur; and whether it matters who is getting even with
whom.  The readings will be in German and the course will be conducted
in German, with the understanding that students need guidance in
developing proficiency in all skills.  The readings are challenging
and are intended to enable students to improve their reading skills in
German.  Class work will include systematic vocabulary building and
attention to points of advanced grammar and usage with the aim of
giving students the tools they need to discuss literary themes in

Prerequisites:  Any student may enroll in G306 who has either
completed G300 at IUB with a grade of C- or higher or achieved an
official qualifying score on the IUB German Placement Test
(administered by the IUB Bureau of Evaluation Services and Testing),
or on another standardized proficiency test.  Completion of G330,
however, is strongly recommended.  Students with a native or near
native command of German should consult with the Undergraduate Advisor
about substituting an appropriate 400-level course for G306.


1) Der Besuch der alten Dame, the 1956 play by Swiss playwright
Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Diogenes Verlag, 1998.  ISBN: 3257230451.

2) Happy Birthday, Türke!, a contemporary detective novel by Jakob
Diogenes Verlag, 1987.  ISBN: 3257215444