641225 World Literature and Translation Issues - Imaginary alien perspectives.

winter semester 2016/2017 | Last update: 02.05.2017 Place course on memo list
641225
World Literature and Translation Issues - Imaginary alien perspectives.
UE 2
5
every 2 weeks
annually
German

This course has three aims: It offers an overview of the prolific genre of fictional letters of a stranger about the author’s own (European) culture, help students to develop a detailed understanding of some individual texts and explore systematic questions connected to this genre: Which opportunities of critique and self-reflection does the constellation of the imagined foreign view afford? How do the structure of the epistolary novel, fictitious translation, the imagination of another culture and the defamiliarization of one’s own culture interact? Which roles do the figure of the spy and the imagination of an (often oriental) country of origin as a basis for comparison play? The course aims to answer these and further questions.

Montesquieu’s Persian Letters (1721) are well-known for their critique of the Ancien régime from the perspective of two seemingly unbiased and “objective” Persian travelers to Paris.

 

Less well known is the fact that Montesquieu’s text is just one example for a multitude of such imagined foreign letters. Marana’s first volume (1684) of the Letters of a Turkish Spy creates a model of the critical foreign perspective that seems to meet a need of the time: Marana’s letters are immediately translated, re-translated and supplemented with sequels. Montesquieu’s Persian Letters are just one example for the genre of letters written by a foreign visitor to one’s own country that spans (not only) Europe.

 

This course explores historical, systematic and theoretical aspects of this exemplary comparative genre.

Individual work with specific examples with a focus on close reading, discussions in class about systematic and theoretical approaches to the genre.

Short written and oral contributions during term; final oral presentation.

Montesquieu: Die persischen Briefe / Lettres persanes

More reading will be assigned in class.

11.10.2016
Group 0
Date Time Location
Tue 2016-10-04
12.00 - 15.15 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-10-18
12.00 - 15.15 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-11-08
12.00 - 15.15 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-11-22
12.00 - 15.15 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-12-06
12.00 - 15.15 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2017-01-10
12.00 - 15.15 40123 40123 Barrier-free
Tue 2017-01-24
12.00 - 15.15 40123 40123 Barrier-free