Lifelong Learning New York City
The Magic Mountain and The Tin Drum (LLS 163NY)
Meets Thursdays, 6:45 to 9:15 p.m.
9/12 to 10/3 and 10/24 to 11/14
1095 6th Ave. (bet. 41st & 42nd), 28th floor, Dechert LLP
Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain (1924) and The Tin Drum (1957) by Günter Grass are arguably two of the greatest German novels of the twentieth century. Published after the catastrophes of the two World Wars, these works reflect the seismic social and cultural shifts resulting from the demise of enlightened bourgeois thought and illuminate the subsequent slide into totalitarianism. Subtly interrelating philosophical, psychological, and historical concerns, and full of irony and humor, the novels provide readers with unforgettable protagonists and invite them on an intellectual journey dealing with the most profound questions of human existence. The required texts are The Magic Mountain (Thomas Mann, translated by John E Woods) and The Tin Drum (Günter Grass, translated by Breon Mitchell).
- History and literature
- Literary history: “realist” modernism
- Geography as identity
- Music and the“polyphonic novel" (Wagner)
- The experience of time
- Illness, sensuality, death.
- Irony, humor, satire, the grotesque
- European magical realism
Hansjakob Werlen, who came to Swarthmore College in 1987, teaches German literature and language. His special interests are Goethe and the modern German novel. His current research focuses on literary representations of ecological upheavals and their ideological significance, from Goethe to Christa Wolf.