#6 (On Selected
C20 Literary Works)
1. Continuity and Change in Western World Literature
Interpretation of one assigned 20th-Century Literary Work
Choose one assigned 20th-century literary work and analyze relationships among the work’s *thematic content (i.e. what it says), *literary form (i.e. how it says it), and relevant *biographical-literary-historical background information about the literary work and/or its author. (Examples follow.) In your written prep. notes, be sure to illustrate and support your points by citing and analyzing specific passages from the literary work, as well as source/s of background information that you cite.
Part 3. 20th-Century
Literature: Choose one of the following topics:
Topic 3.a: Literary Responses to Human Crises and War. Interpret at least one of the following assigned literary works as responses to their historical/human contexts in times of crisis and war: Akhmatova’s Requiem, Wiesel’s "The Death of My Father," and/or Takenishi’s "The Rite." Establish the historical context/human crisis to which the work(s) respond(s). Then analyze the theme(s) and/or literary form(s) of the work(s) as creative responses to that context/crisis. Be sure to support your points with specific examples from the literary work(s), and be sure to cite the source/s of all quotation, paraphrase and summary.
Topic 3.b: Kafka and Garcia Marquez. Kafka has been acknowledged by Garcia Marquez as a major influence on his writing. Identify at least one aspect of Kafka’s story "The Metamorphosis" that you recognize as an literary influence at work in Garcia Marquez’ "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings." Be sure to explain and illustrate your comparative point(s) with relevant specific examples from the stories. You may also wish to apply relevant insights gained from “Critical Views” handouts on Kafka's and/or Garcia Marquez' short stories (properly cited of course!).
Topic 3.c: Women (Re)Writing Western World Literature. Choose two of the following assigned 20th-century literary works by women writers: Woolf’s "Shakespeare's Sister" excerpt from A Room of One’s Own, Akhmatova’s Requiem, Takenishi’s "The Rite." Identify and analyze some themes and/or perspectives representative of women’s experience in these literary works, and comment on what such women’s voices contribute to Western world literary traditions. As always be sure to illustrate and support your points by citing specific passages from the literary works.
Topic 3.d: Literary Genres. Choose two literary works of the same genre from the options given below. Identify one or more significant similarities of the two works to establish why they are both classified as "short story" or "autobiography/memoir" or "poetry." Also identify one or more significant differences in the two works which suggest the flexibility and diversity of the genre.
(1) Short Stories
Kafka’s "The Metamorphosis," Takenishi’s "The Rite," Garcia Marquez’ "A
Very Old Man with Enormous Wings."
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