Course Description: Fall, 2000
GRC 327E: "The Nobel Prize, Politics, and Literature"


WEEK 1: 31 August

THURS: Introduction to the course

WEEK 2: 5 and 7 September

TUES: Introduction to the Nobel Prize

"The Stockholm syndrome: is the Nobel a curse?," Walter Kirn
"Stockholm syndrome" (humor--Editorial)
"May the Best Author Win- Fat Chance," David Lehman
"The Nobels that Some Felt Weren't so Dynamite," Thomac Vinciguerra
"Prize and Prejudice," James Gibbs
"The Nobel Prize for Literature," Renee Winegarten
"Letter from Stockholm: The Nobel Syndrome," Michael Specter
"The Swedish Academy and the Nobel Prize in Literature," Williams Riggan
"The Liberary Legacy of Alfred Nobel," Ingmar Björkstén


"The Nobel Foundation," Birgitta Lemmel
"Statues of the Nobel Foundation"
"Nobel Prize in Literature," Kjell Espmark
•READING ASSIGNMENT: Identify several differences in what insiders and outsiders think about the Prize

1. Nobel Writers and History

THURS: Günter Grass, Nobel statements
---, Cat and Mouse (in Danzig Trilogy)

WEEK 3: 12 and 14 September

TUES: The Tin Drum (1979). Director: Völker Schlöndorff

THURS: Günter Grass, The Tin Drum (in Danzig Trilogy), Book 1 (-p. 158)

WEEK 4: 19 and 21 September

TUES: Nadine Gordimer. Nobel statements

---. Burger's Daughter.

•PRECIS DUE: either Grass story

THURS: Nadine Gordimer. Burger's Daughter.

2. Confronting Mass Culture

WEEK 5: 26 and 28 September

TUES: Heinrich Böll, Nobel statements.

---, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum.

•PRECIS DUE: Gordimer

THURS: Heinrich Böll, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum.

WEEK 6: 3 and 5 October

TUES: Elias Canetti, Nobel statements

---. Auto-da-Fe., Part 1, 9-166, and "The Red Cock" (last chapter), 457-464(copy)


THURS:Canetti, Elias. Crowds & Power (excerpt; copy)

-"The Crowd," 15-90, and "The Pack," 93-124

WEEK 7: 10 and 12 October

TUES: Hermann Hesse, Nobel statements

---, Steppenwolf.

•PRECIS DUE: any Canetti text

THURS: Hermann Hesse, excerpt from The Glass Bead Game: Magister Ludi:

-"The Glass Bead Game: A General Introduction," -44

-Chapter 1: "The Call," 47-85

-Chapter 2: "Waldzell," 86-119

3. Ends of Worlds

WEEK 8: 17 and 19 October

TUES: Thomas Mann, Nobel statements

---, Death in Venice

•PRECIS DUE: either Steppenwolf or the "General Intro."


WEEK 9: 24 and 26 October

TUES: Thomas Mann, Death in Venice Dir. Luchino Visconti (film)


THURS: Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family.

WEEK 10: 31 October and 2 November

TUES: Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks, Parts 1-3, 3-166, and Part 11, 671-731

•PRECIS DUE: either Mann text ( one Part of Buddenbrooks), or film

4. Social Justice and Confronting Adversity

THURS: Selma Lagerlöf, Nobel statements

WEEK 11: 7 and 9 November

TUES: Selma Lagerlöf, Jerusalem. (all; copy)

---, The Holy City (Jerusalem II), 31-80 (copy)

THURS: Selma Lagerlöf, Jerusalem. Dir. Bille August (film)

WEEK 12: 14 and 16 November

TUES: Sigrid Undset, Nobel statements

---, Kristin Lavransdattar: The Wreath.

THURS: Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdattar: The Wreath.


WEEK 13: 21 and 23 November

TUES:Knut Hamsun, Nobel statements

---, Hunger.


THURS: Thanksgiving

WEEK 14: 28 and 30 November

TUES Knut Hamsun, Hunger

"How I Won the Nobel Prize (for Naguib Mahfouz)," Kennett Love

•DISCUSSION TOPIC: compare the two translations (sections in copy package), in light of Love

THURS Gerhart Hauptmann, Nobel statements

---, The Weavers

WEEK 15: 5 and 7 December

TUES: Gerhart Hauptmann, The Weavers

THURS: last class

•FINAL PAPER DUE: Saturday, 16 December, at 7 pm
(the official exam day and time for this course)

Turn into my office; place under the door.