Germanic Languages | Topics in Scandinavian Literature
E363 | 28288 | May


Topic: Ibsen and Strindberg (3 cr.)

This class meets second eight weeks. It is taught in English, and
carries Arts and Humanities credit and Culture Studies credit.
The class meets with GER-K 507, WEUR-W 406 and WEUR-W 605.

The massive and intensive industrialization and urbanization that
swept the entire European continent in the 19th century made it
possible for intellectuals from the peripheries to reach the great
European cultural capitals and access centuries of cultural tradition.
Their fresh perspective, coupled with their unique outsider view,
produced highly imaginative avant-garde works, which distinguished the
Scandinavian literature at the time and exude power even today. Two
giants of the period  the Norwegian Henrik Ibsen and the Swede August
Strindberg  excelled in their art. Their accomplishments  both in
literature and in the development of intellectual thought - remained
unsurpassed for almost half-a-century, and move and inspire today as
well. Reading and discussing several of their plays, we will examine
their artistic, social and philosophical dimensions, and will address
the way we relate to them. By the end of the course you will be able
to analyze drama texts in terms of form and content and use them to
identify and question assumptions with which you approach the world.
You will understand important concepts from critical theory and will
be able to identify major periods in the development of European
society in the 19th c. You will gain general knowledge about
Scandinavia and its unique place in the world.

The final grade will be based on two response papers, a final exam, a
final paper, regular class attendance, and participation in the class
discussions.

Texts:
* Strindberg, August.  Strindberg, five plays.

* Ibsen, Henrik. Four Major Plays, Volume I: A Doll House, The Wild
Duck, Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder

* Ibsen, Henrik. Four Major Plays, Volume II: The Lady from the Sea,
John Gabriel Borkman, Ghosts, An Enemy of the People