Literature of the Holocaust (LIT2526.01)

Sandra Simonds

Philosopher Theodor Adorno famously claimed that writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric. Adorno didn’t write this statement to silence poets. Specifically referencing the poet Paul Celan, he meant that poetry after the Holocaust would need to be radically different to account for these historic atrocities. We will begin by reading Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel, The Castle, a book which portends the coming brutalities. Next, we will take a close look at Paul Celan’s poetry, his fraught relationship with philosopher Martin Heidegger, as well as his correspondence with writers Nelly Sachs and Ingeborg Bachmann. Readings will include sections from Phillippe Lacoue-Labarthe’s Poetry as Experience, Kafka’s diaries, Walter Benjamin’s On the Concept of History, and relevant textual passages from Heidegger. Students are expected to write a shorter midterm paper and a longer final paper.

Learning Outcomes:
*Conceptualize the themes and ideas relevant to 20th century Jewish writers and their relationships to other writers and philosophers.
*Develop and refine skills in close reading poetry and philosophy.
*Conduct independent scholarly research to produce insightful and well-written critical work.
*Make meaningful connections between world historical events and literature.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
Click here for course meeting days/times. (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature