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Topics in Germanic Literatures: Literary Austria after 1945

GER 324

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This course explores the vibrant literary culture of postwar Austria. We will examine how literary works contributed to--and subverted--the construction of an Austrian national identity; what role texts like Thomas Bernhard's "Heldenplatz" played in Austria's belated confrontation with its Nazi past; and why Austria produced a distinctive form of avant-garde writing whose most prominent representative, Elfriede Jelinek, received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004. Our readings will also give us occasion to critically reflect on the stakes of categorizing literary works according to national, ethnic, or linguistic identity.
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Section S01