COMPLIT 241 - Topics in Comparative Literature
Section: 001 Magical Realism
Term: WN 2009
Subject: Comparative Literature (COMPLIT)
Department: LSA Comparative Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
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Advisory Prerequisites:
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May not be repeated for credit.
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What is magical realism? For most people, the phrase brings to mind literature from Latin America and the Caribbean, though in reality the tradition is much more diverse. But, the question remains, what does it mean to refer to a reality and a realism as magical? This class is an exploration of that question. Our task will be to trace out the genre's place between the strictly realistic and the purely fantastical in order to determine the effects of bringing the two together: magical-real. To understand one of its most subversive effects, we will examine the genre in the context of postcolonial challenges to dominant perceptions and representations of reality. However, we will also explore other contexts for thinking about the genre, for example its wide ranging connections and debts to other artistic medium and movements that have challenged dominant norms from within their own artistic traditions.

Our primary texts will comprise short stories, novels, films, as well as paintings from diverse cultures and periods.

A tentative reading list includes: The Arabian Nights Manifestoes of Surrealism - Andre Breton A Country Doctor - Franz Kafka The Aleph - Jorge Luis Borges The Smallest Woman in the World - Clarice Lispector A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings - Gabriel Garcia Marquez One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie The Book of Laughter and Forgetting - Milan Kundera The Distance of the Moon - Italo Calvino.

Possible film titles:
The Exterminating Angel
Like Water for Chocolate
Pan’s Labyrinth
Donnie Darko
Jacob’s Ladder

COMPLIT 241 - Topics in Comparative Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
2LSA Hnrs
MWF 10:00AM - 11:00AM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
003 (SEM)
MWF 12:00PM - 1:00PM
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