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Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2022-2023.
"Prophetic Realisms" explores the notion that certain literary texts – those that are deeply embedded in the socio-economic totality of the world they build – not only provide insight into the present world, but also anticipate the shape of things to come: the tendencies and trajectories of coming historical formations. The latent is already manifest so that, strangely, one of the proving grounds of literature is history. This idea is very pronounced in Georg Lukacs' 1930s writing on Realism, but also shared by his antagonists in the 'Expressionist Debates,' such as Ernst Bloch: the one point they agree on is literature's ability to 'anticipate' historical developments. This idea is expressed, in a different way, by Erich Auerbach's 1937 essay "On the Serious Imitation of the Everyday" and 1938 essay "figura". In this course we will look at these 1930s writings, constellating them with the 1830s texts that harken back to as anticipating the direction of capitalism (Balzac, but also Stendahl), alongside the early 1900s novels anticipating the rise of fascism (Heinrich Mann, but also Fallada), and finally juxtaposing them with science fiction since the 1960s, including theoretical reflections on them with respect to 'prediction', such as Philip K Dick, Octavia Butler, and Margaret Atwood. We are interested in moments when historical time seems to become 'concentrated,' hence the axes of 1830/1930/2030.
When Offered Fall.
Regular Academic Session. Combined with: COML 6730
Credits and Grading Basis
4 Credits Stdnt Opt(Letter or S/U grades)
Class Number & Section Details
- T A D White House 110
- Aug 22 - Dec 5, 2022
Instruction Mode: In Person
Enrollment limited to graduate students.
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