Reading and discussion of significant novels by Knut Hamsun, whose oeuvre is considered in the context of works by other European modernist writers. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 482.
We will read and discuss a number of Hamsun's early novels (Hunger, Mysteries, Pan, Victoria, Rosa, Growth of the Soil) as well as some other literary works of early European modernism (Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge and Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, for example).
Student learning goals
Become familiar with some of Hamsun's works and other modernist texts.
Learn to use some of the conceptual vocabulary used in the analysis of narrative.
Develop some familiarity with major trends in European literature 1890-1920.
Develop general skills in literary analysis.
General method of instruction
Informal lectures, class discussion (mostly the latter, hopefully).
Nothing is required, but it would be helpful if you have had other college-level literature courses.
Class assignments and grading
There will be two papers (4-6 pages each), a midterm and a final exam. The midterm and final will be strictly essay exams.
Each paper will count for 10 percent of the grade (they serve as practice for the two exams), the midterm is 30 percent, the final is 40 percent, and class participation is 10 percent.
The emphasis will be on the quality, originality, and creativity of the written work and of the class participation. I do not grade on the curve.