EH Course Descriptions ETerm 2014 - page 2

Nabokov, Borges, and Imaginative Realism
Joseph Stitt
The course will explore the work of Vladimir Nabokov and Jorge Luis Borges, with a focus on
(1) the authors’ presentation of the independent reality of apparently imagined objects (artistic
and otherwise) and (2) the role of the imagination in providing insight into a reality that is
apparently not imagined. Nabokov texts will include the novel Invitation to a Beheading, the
novella Transparent Things, some short stories, and possibly some excerpts from the memoir
Speak, Memory. The Borges will include works from the collections Labyrinths and Ficciones,
including “The Library of Babel,” “Three Versions of Judas,” “The Circular Ruins,” “The
Garden of Forking Paths,” “Funes the Memorious,” “An Examination of the Work of Herbert
Quain,” “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius,” and “The South,” among other short fictions. Russian and
Spanish texts will be in English translation.
The Grimm Reader Märchen On: Exploring the
World of Fairy Tales
Dave Ullrich
This course explores the world of the fairy tales (or
Märchen) collected and edited by Jacob and Wilhelm
Grimm. The course begins with an intellectual orientation
explaining the complexity of the tales by readings from Jack
Zipes (“Two Brothers Named Grimm”) and Vladimir Propp
(
Morphology of the Folktale
). We then proceed to examine
and discuss the more popular fairy tales, including “Snow
White,” “Cinderella,” “Rapunzel,” and many more.
Contrary to a sentimental or popular understanding, these
fairy tales are complicated works of fiction, often politically
charged, sexually provocative, violent in nature, and, well,
grim. For each class the student is assigned a specific question to be answered in conjunction
with a particular fairy tale. These questions serve as the basis of our analysis of the fairy tale
generated through class discussion. A 10-15 page paper analyzing a fairy tale not covered in
class is due at the conclusion of the course.
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