En 109

Madness and Reason

9 units (3-0-6)    |  second term

Madness threatens to dissolve boundaries of the most various kinds: between the human and the inhumane, reality and fantasy, sickness and health. One of the tasks of a literary text is to subdue and contain madness through the construction of rational frameworks. How does a literary text accomplish this? Which strategies, such as the use of irony and humor, are the most effective? What role do insane characters play in literary texts? And when - if ever - should we consider an excess of reason as a kind of madness in its own right? Selected readings from Shakespeare, Voltaire, Goethe, Hoffmann, B├╝chner, Gogol, and Schnitzler, among others. Not offered 2022-23.

Instructor: Holland

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