This course name and description ONLY applies to academic year 2021-2022

GE 13186-1: Travel and Adventure in World Literature

Instructor: Vittorio Hosle

The course introduces into the way in which world literature has dealt with adventure over the millenia. We will read one text from antiquity, one from the Middle Ages, and one from the 20th century in order to pursue the evolution of topics as well as narrative techniques. We will begin with the Odyssey, the second oldest work of Western literature, which combines in a peculiar way a heroic theme (the return of the hero) with fantastic adventures inspired by folk tales. We will then read Kudrun, the second most important heroic epic of German medieval literature, whose main character is a strong woman, who is able to overcome war and create peace. Like in the Odyssey, mythical animals play an important role; and like the Odyssey, the epic is connected to the sea. We will end with Felix Krull, the last novel by the German Nobel laureate Thomas Mann dedicated to an ingenious conman. :