Horror and the Grotesque
German literature is seldom lighthearted, but at certain periods in history authors wrote some especially dark and creepy texts, many of which are bizarrely funny at the same time. Suppose you woke up as a cockroach? Or sold your shadow in exchange for a bottomless bag of gold? Or started to resemble the slimy snails you had poisoned in your garden? In this course we’ll discuss works of horror (fiction, as well as some paintings) from German Romanticism, Expressionism, and the present day. We’ll explore how writers used extreme modes of expression to reflect their everyday social, psychological, and political realities. Authors considered will include Franz Kafka, Karen Duve, and others. This course will familiarize you with some major periods in German literature and will improve your reading, speaking, and writing skills.