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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2009

E 379S • Moonlighters: Great American Authors go to Hollywood

Unique Days Time Location Instructor

Kornhaber, Donna

Course Description

The cinema has a storied history of attracting writers from other mediums into its ranks—for reasons both artistic and economic, sometimes to great and sometimes to little effect. In this seminar, we will consider both the well-known and the forgotten cinematic output of some of America's most canonical authors from the silent era to the mid-twentieth century, investigating what they brought to the cinema, how their technique and output differed from, borrowed from, or was changed by the work of the professional screenwriters around them and the studio system of which they were a part, and how their work in film might change the way we read the works for which they are most famous. Novelists, playwrights, and poets considered include John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Elmer Rice, Eugene O’Neill, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, W. H. Auden and T. S. Eliot.

Grading Policy

Attendance and Participation (15%); one 8-10-page essay (35%); one 12-15-page essay (50%)


Texts and Films: John Steinbeck, The Pearl (book), The Forgotten Village (film); Ernest Hemingway (book) / William Faulkner (film), To Have and Have Not; Raymond Chandler (book) / William Faulkner (film), The Big Sleep; F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Last Tycoon (book), Three Comrades (film); Elmer Rice, The Adding Machine (play), Doubling for Romeo (film); Eugene O'Neill (play and film), Anna Christie; George S. Kaufman, Dinner at Eight (play), A Night at the Opera (film); Thornton Wilder, Our Town (play and film), Shadow of a Doubt (film); Irwin Shaw, Bury the Dead (play), Commandos Strike at Dawn (film); Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie (play and film), A Streetcar Named Desire (play and film); W.H. Auden, On This Island (book), Night Mail (film); T.S. Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral (play and film)


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