Germanic Languages | Introduction to German Literature - Themes
G306 | 7597 | Lawson


Description: Throughout western literature--and throughout one’s own
experience as well—the idea of Zufall  takes many twists and turns.
Is there such a thing as a “chance encounter” or does everything
happen according to some unknown plan?  And if there is a plan, whose
is it?  Does chance (or a fluke, happenstance, coincidence, luck,
etc.) lead a person to a path he or she never would have otherwise
taken?  Is that path less legitimate than the one before?  In G306, we
will examine the treatment of themes and motifs of Zufall 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 how
characters deal with the effects of chance. 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 German.

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.

Texts and materials: We will read/see/discuss not necessarily in this
order:

1)	Die Panne, the 1951 radio play by Swiss playwright Friedrich
Dürrenmatt. Diogenes Verlag, 1998.  ISBN: 3257230567

2)	Hiob: Roman eines einfachen Mannes., a 1930 novel by Joseph Roth.
DTV, 2002. ISBN: 3423130202

3)   A selection of short stories by Wolfgang Hildesheimer, Paul Zech,
Ingrid Noll and others,   TBD, but available either online or on reserve

4)	Two or more scholarly articles on the topic, which will be posted
on Oncourse.

5)	A modern film, TBD

Students should own or have access to a good German-English dictionary
as well as to a reference grammar.  From time to time, they will also
be asked to consult a standard German literary history—reference
library sources may be real or online--details for which will be
provided later.