Comparative Cultural Studies

CCS3054Crimes and Misdemeanors: Modern German Literature 3 ch (3C) [W]

An investigation of the themes of crime, murder, and justice in selected literary texts ranging from the late 18th to the 20th century. Prior and parallel to the emergence of the genre of crime fiction, authors have concerned themselves with the portrayal of crime, guilt, redemption, and forgiveness as expression of the ambivalence between man, woman and our world, the frailty of fortune and security, as well as the power of obsession and evil. We will closely read texts, discuss the ensuing moral, ethical, and philosophical questions, and explore how authors use crime fiction to either assert or question moral value systems. Emphasis will be placed on textual analysis and situating the texts in their literary historical context. Includes texts from various genres including film, and literary periods. Authors studied may include: Goethe, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Droste Hülshoff, Büchner, Kaiser, Brecht, Süskind, Arjouni, and Dürrenmatt. Conducted in English. Texts are read in English translation. Open to students who have completed at least 30 ch of university courses or by permission of the instructor. Students who have taken WLCS 3054, or GER 3054 may not attain credit for CCS 3054.