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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nikolai B. Popov
ENGL 313
Seattle Campus

Modern European Literature in Translation

Fiction, poetry, and drama from the development of modernism to the present. Works by such writers as Mann, Proust, Kafka, Gide, Hesse, Rilke, Brecht, Sartre, and Camus.

Class description

“Modernity is a word in search of its meaning” says Nobel-Prize winner Octavio Paz. This course will introduce you to celebrated novelists, playwrights, and thinkers whose works challenged and changed the fundamental ideas of art, language, history, and human nature. Reading list: Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (any edn); Gide, The Immoralist (any edn); Ibsen, Ghosts (Dover Thrift); Kafka, The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, and The Burrow (any edn); Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author; Beckett, Endgame (Grove); Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (any edn); Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Requirements and Grading: final = 2 grade units; mid-term = 1 grade unit; quizzes, attendance, and participation = 1 grade unit.

Student learning goals

See above. The reading list includes authors who at some point provoked dismay and controversy but have since become mainstays of modernity. Students will learn how to approach ground-breaking works of late- nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, and develop a sense of radical complexity. The class is suitable for students with serious interests in modern literature and the intellectual cross-currents of the twentieth-century.

General method of instruction

Brief introductions by instructor followed by general discussion.

Recommended preparation

Read each work before the respective introductory talk. Do extra reading and research as needed.

Class assignments and grading

Quizzes on each book; short weekend assignments on specific books/problems. Midterm and final on the entire material.

Final and midterm will be graded according to familiarity with the subject matter and ability to construct a concise persuasive argument in acceptable English prose.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Nikolai B. Popov
Date: 09/19/2013