This class will be devoted to a parallel reading of Proust’s and Kafka’s major works. The authors never met but shared similar concerns and a common fascination for the literary model embodied by Gustave Flaubert. Both explored the ways in which language structures subjectivity while meditating on faith, domination and resistance to oppression. Before examining parallels between Ulysses and The Castle,Finnegans Wake (fragments) and The Trial, we will focus on the short stories. We will investigate Joyce’s and Kafka’s diverging aesthetic theories and also provide an account of the complex hermeneutics involved by their works. Kakfa’s texts will be studied in translations. If no previous acquaintance with the works is required, it is expected that the readings will be demanding.
The following will determine your final grade:
1) Attendance, participation and oral presentation: 20%,
2) First paper (8 pages max.): 30% (in some cases, a rewrite will be allowed);
3) Final paper (15 pages max.): 50%.
Paper topics are eligible, to be discussed in class; an abstract will be handed in one week before due date. Oral presentations should not exceed 15 minutes and should be accompanied by a short handout. They should focus on the concepts discussed in the text and not give biographical or bibliographical information.
No final exam.
N. B. You must attend class. Habitual truants will fail the course; three absences without a medical reason constitute "habitual truancy."