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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Spring 2004


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33020 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
HRH 2.112

Course Description

The turn of the century brought about together with a world war the crisis of Positivism and its faith in scientific and social progress. Nietzsche's philosophical skepticism, Freud's study of the subconscious and Einstein's theory of relativity contributed to the collapse of all absolute certainties, those of religions, metaphysics, as well as those of sciences. Doubt and reflection supplanted certainty and action, and the anti-hero became the protagonist of the twentieth century novel-- a logical consequence of the new philosophical milieu where there was no longer any place for heroes. We will read and discuss four or five major novels by the most influential writers of the period, and connect them with the historical and social milieu that produced them. We will begin with Luigi Pirandello’s Il fu Mattia Pascal, and then continue with Italo Svevo’s La coscienza di Zeno. The more recent narrative will be represented by Leonardo Sciascia’s A ciascuno il suo, and Italo Calvino’s Palomar.

Grading Policy

Two Exams: 50% Two Papers: 30 % Class Partecipation: 20%


Luigi Pirandello’s Il fu Mattia Pascal Italo Svevo’s La coscienza di Zeno Leonardo Sciascia’s A ciascuno il suo Italo Calvino’s Palomar A Course packet at Speedway


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