Kafka and Beckett (LIT2273.01)

Annie Dewitt

Often lauded as literary iconoclasts and Modernist visionaries, Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett are known for “making things strange.” This course will examine these writers’ signal works alongside their shorter works and diaries. In approaching Kafka, we will explore several of his essays, including: “Letters to My Father,” “The Blue Octavio Notebook,” and his manifesto on art-making “Reflections on Sin, Suffering, Hope and The True Way.” In addition, we will cover a wide range of work from his collected short stories, including “The Hunger Artist”, “The Judgement,” “A Country Doctor”, “In the Penal Colony,” as well his novel Amerika. Our foray into Beckett’s work will begin with his wonderfully erratic short sketches in the collection Stories and Texts For Nothing. Other texts will include First Love and Other Shorts and his essential work of minimalist drama Waiting for Godot. Central themes to be examined in the course include: alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, repetition, recursion, and absurdity. The classroom conversation will be a mixture of narrative patterns noted, themes observed and traced, meanings analyzed and proposed, with close reading and regular student participation essential.

Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 4
M 4:10pm - 6:00pm; Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as Four Credit, Literature, 2000, Monday and/or Thursday Afternoons, Annie Dewitt, All courses, and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .