CZECH 484 - Modern Czech Literature
Section: 001
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Czech (CZECH)
Department: LSA Slavic Languages & Literatures
Requirements & Distribution:
Honors, WorldLit
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 Hasek). 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.

Class will alternate lectures with discussion of assigned readings. All readings are in English translation. No prior knowledge of Czech and Slovak history is necessary. Evaluation of students' work will be based on an essay, midterm examination, and class-participation.

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: 0140449914
The good soldier Svejk, Author: Jaroslav Hasek ; translated with an introduction by Cecil Parrott., Publisher: Penguin 2005
ISBN: 0805210407
The Trial, Author: Franz Kafka
ISBN: 0140187669
Life with a star, Author: Jiri Weil ; with a preface by Philip Roth ; translated from the Czech by Rita Klimova with Roslyn Schloss., Publisher: Penguin Books 1993
ISBN: 006099505X
The Joke, Author: Milan Kundera
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