C LIT 496
Offered occasionally by visitors or resident faculty. Content varies.
What follows is a general description of the course:
This course has a two-fold purpose. Firstly, it will offer an introduction to SÝren Kierkegaardís thought through reading and discussion of some on his core texts. Secondly, it will elucidate central European literary texts from the so-called decadent period. Hence, the first half of the course will focus on selections from The Concept of Irony, Either/Or, parts I and II, Fear and Trembling, The Sickness unto Death, Stages on Lifeís Way, and Concluding Unscientific Postscript (selections). In addition to providing an introduction to Kierkegaardís thought, these readings will help us theorize decadence as a literary phenomenon in European and Scandinavian literature during the period of approximately 1880-1914.
The second half of the course will consider representative texts of the decadent period from the perspective of a Kierkegaardian conception of decadence. The literary works read will include Joris-Karl Huysmans, Against the Grain (1884), Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), Arne Garborg, Weary Men (1891), Hjalmar SŲderberg, Doctor Glas (1905), and Thomas Mann, Death in Venice (1912). Some attention will also be given to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozartís opera Don Giovanni (with libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte) as in important intertext in some of Kierkegaardís works. We may also consider Henrik Ibsenís play Peer Gynt (1867) as a representation of Kierkegaardian aestheticism.
There will be midterm and final examinations (both of them essay exams) as well as a ten page paper.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading