This class is designed to analyse and interpret literary texts which represent children/adolescents and their mindsets, or elderly people. In detail, we will read two contemporary novels, Mark Haddon's Curious Incident with the Dog in the Night Time (for a youngster), and Alan Isler's The Prince of West Avenue (for an oldtimer).
However, representations of young and old aged protagonists reach far back in literary history. Therefore, we will begin by reading exerpts of works from earlier literary ages. First, we are going to take a look at William Shakespeare's melancholic figure Jaques and his views on the six stages of life (in As You Like It). We will then proceed into the 18th century with a look at Jonathan Swift's fictional tribe of the never dying, ever ageing Struldbruggs (in the Book III of Gulliver's Travels), and leap forward to Classical Modernism in the early 20th century: Joyce's young alter ego Stephen Dedalus (in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Eliot's J. Alfred Prufrock, the speaker in the "Love poem" bearing this name.
These preliminary representations will provide a fitting background to a reading of the two novels.
Teilnahmevoraussetzungen, notwendige Vorkenntnisse
Introduction to Literary Studies, BM 1
The two novels will have to be purchased by participants:
Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. London: Red Fox Definition (Random House) 2003 (repr.)
Isler, Alan. The Prince of West End Avenue. London: Vintage 1995 (repr.)
Other material will be made accessible in the Lernraum by the beginning of the new semester.