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Truth or Myth? Travel and Writing between Invention and Analysis

ENGL 210.302
Tuesday 1:30-4:30pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

This course will investigate Travel Writing as a genre that combines fictional invention with non-fiction scrutiny. It moves between reporting truths and inventing myths. Students will remember previous travel adventures, think about new jouurneys and test the limits of their travel imagination as well as the boundaries of reality. They will read contemporary literary works alongside critical analyses and compare the formal and informal approaches of writing in order to create travelogues. They will explore different modes of writing, invention or variation on a travel theme as well as the analyses of essays and their themes. Students will practice the ‘staging of authenticity’ of themselves and others. 


Key themes will be: Movement through Space and Time, the Ethics of Discovery, Similarity and Difference, Nature and the City. 


No midterms, no final exams. But active participation, enthusiastic discussion and generous criticism are required. The course will yield a set of essays & response papers (ca 400-500 words long).