COMPLIT 122 - Writing World Literatures
Section: 101 Culture & Memory: Translating National Tragedies
Term: SP 2009
Subject: Comparative Literature (COMPLIT)
Department: LSA Comparative Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Societies are often brought together and defined by the collective tragedies they endure, such as the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks, 9/11, or the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia. In an increasingly interconnected world, it is therefore crucial, in order to understand one another, that we understand and empathize with the traumas other societies have endured. What role does literature have to play in this process? How, in other words, do authors translate the experience of national tragedies, which often defy description, into literary language, and how do these authors' translators then bring this into an entirely different language and a different cultural milieu? In this course we will address these questions by reading translations of short works by three recent and highly acclaimed international authors: W. G. Sebald, Haruki Murakami, and Roberto Bolaño. Each of these authors deals with a distinct national tragedy, often in surprising and indirect ways. Sebald deals with the fire-bombing of the German cities during World War II, Murakami with the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan, and Bolaño with the 1973 military coup in Chile.

One of the main goals of this course is to improve students’ college writing skills. In addition to discussion of the readings, class-time will be devoted to group writing workshops and exercises. There will be no final exam; instead, students will be evaluated based on a series of papers and drafts.

COMPLIT 122 - Writing World Literatures
Schedule Listing
101 (REC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780375713279
After the quake : stories, Author: Haruki Murakami ; translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin., Publisher: Vintage 1st Vintag 2003
ISBN: 9780811215473
By night in Chile, Author: Roberto Bola?o. Transl. from the Spanish by Chris Andrews., Publisher: A new directions book 3. print. 2003
ISBN: 9780375756573
On the natural history of destruction, Author: W.G. Sebald ; translated by Anthea Bell., Publisher: Modern Library Modern Lib 2004
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