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Aspects of French and German Literature (FR109)

Aspects of Modern French and German Literature in Translation


The German literature section of the module is taught by Susan Beardmore, email

The French half of the module is taught by French Studies - information about the texts (beginning with Flaubert, Madame Bovary) may be found on the Aspects of French Literature page (link above).

Aims of the German half of the module:
  • to broaden students' experience of reading literature
  • to complement the more theoretical core module Modes of Reading with the practical reading of a range of literary texts
  • to enable students to read, interpret, appreciate and articulate their responses both orally and in writing to a range of German literary texts in translation, with some awareness of questions of genre, literary inventions, and the social, historical, political and philosophical contexts of literaryproduction and reception
  • to enable students to explore their own ideas about texts both individually and in co-operation with others
  • to provide some background to further study of European Cinema

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • show some familiarity with and understanding and appreciation of a range of modern German narrative and dramatic texts
  • write an informed and structured argument on thematic or formal aspects of the texts
  • write a detailed critical commentary on a passage taken from one of the set texts
  • show some understanding of recent German history and the moral, philosophical and political problems which have confronted Germany in this century

German Literature materials

(Word Document) German Literature Module Document 2017-18

Lecture: Wednesday 10am

Seminar: 11am - 12.30

Wednesday, Millburn House A1.28


(Word Document) Effi Briest Lecture outline week 2

 (Word Document) Effi Briest seminar worksheets 2017-18

(Powerpoint Presentation) The State of Germany -historical maps

(Powerpoint Presentation) Fontane's Germany

  Seminar ppt, with clips from start of Fassbinder film

(Word Document) Effi Briest - themes and analysis (lecture 2)

(Word Document) Chapters 1-4 Effi Briest

 (Word Document) Short review article on history of Prussia

 (Word Document) Chapter 3 Effi Briest: Ivy and Boecklin's paintings

(Word Document) Select bibliography - Fontane

(PDF Document) Effi Briest & the Crampas Letters:


(Word Document) Kafka lecture / discussion Week 4 -includes notes on Max Weber and bureaucracy

(Word Document) Kafka lecture Week 5

(Word Document) Kafka biography etc

(Word Document) Before the Law: text and context

(Word Document) Select bibliography - Kafka

(Word Document) Kafka Seminar Worksheets Weeks 4 & 5


(Word Document) Weeks 7 & 8 Brecht's Galileo: reviews of B'ham 2005 production See also RSC production 2012

(Word Document) Weeks 7 & 8 Brecht's Galileo: seminar worksheets

(Word Document) Week 7 Brecht lecture handout 7

(Word Document) Week 8 Brecht lecture

(Word Document) The Threepenny Opera

(Word Document) Genesis of play and revisions

(Word Document) Weeks 7 & 8 Brecht's Short Introduction to a New Technique of Acting

(Powerpoint Presentation) Epic Theatre staging: images

  Marx - extracts from The German Ideology


 (Word Document) Week 9 Lecture

(Powerpoint Presentation) Stammheim - documentary theatre film images

(Word Document) Week 10 Lecture

(Word Document) Week 9 seminar worksheets


Week 11 Timeline and context - Lecture handout plus links

Stephen Lamb lecture/article on The Reader

David Hare on The Reader as novel (and film):

The Reader Guardian article