CZECH 484 - Modern Czech Literature
Section: 001
Term: WN 2013
Subject: Czech (CZECH)
Department: LSA Slavic Languages & Literatures
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The twentieth century has been a period of turmoil, rupture, and change in Central Europe. Czech culture often tended to respond with humor, subterfuge, and absurd wit. In this course, we will read literary works and study other areas of culture to see how individual authors reacted to the changing forces of history. The initial segment deals with the late days of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (including the Czech-German-Jewish culture of Prague before 1914) and the impact of World War One (including the work of Jaroslav Hašek). The next segment focuses on the First Republic (1918-1938), both as a literary phenomenon and a period during which a modern lifestyle, comparable to that of the German Weimar period, emerged. Works by Karel Èapek and Milena Jesenská are among those discussed. The World War Two period, the so-called Protectorate (1939-1945), is represented by Holocaust authors, including Jiøí Weil. Finally, the post-1945 era will be surveyed, with foci on liberalization in the 1960s and the underground literature of the dissidents after 1968. Authors of this segment include Havel, Hrabal, and Kundera.

Throughout, the course will emphasize the overall cultural fabric of the period. There is substantial treatment of visual arts (Czech Cubism, Poetism, and Surrealism), film, as well as the interface of political power and literature.

All readings are in English translation.

Course Requirements:

Evaluation of students' work will be based on an essay, midterm examination, and class-participation.

Intended Audience:

No prior knowledge of Czech and Slovak history is necessary.

Class Format:

Class will alternate lectures with discussion of assigned readings.

CZECH 484 - Modern Czech Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780140449914
The good soldier Svejk and his fortunes in the World War, Author: Jaroslav Hasek ; a new and unabridged transl. from the Czech by Cecil Parrott ; with the original ill. by Josef Lada., Publisher: Penguin 2000
ISBN: 0141194715
The trial, Author: Franz Kafka, translated by Idris Parry., Publisher: Penguin Books 2010
ISBN: 0810106639
War with the newts, Author: Karel Capek ; introduction by Ivan Klima ; [translated by M. & R. Weatherall]., Publisher: Northwestern University Press 1985
ISBN: 9780374187378
Life with a star, Author: Jiri Weil ; with a preface by Philip Roth ; translated from the Czech by Ruzena Kovarikova with Roslyn Schloss., Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux 1989
ISBN: 9780060149871
The joke, Author: Milan Kundera ; translated from the Czech by Michael Henry Heim., Publisher: Harper & Row 1st U.S. e 1982
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