GSOC125 - ADULTERY NOVEL

The object of the course is to analyze a series of 19C and 20C novels (and a few short stories) about adultery. Our reading will teach us about novelistic traditions of the period in question and about the relationship of Russian literature to the European models to which it responded. The course begins with a novel not about families falling apart, but about families coming together - Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. We then will turn to what is arguably the most well-known adultery novel ever written, Flaubert's Madame Bovary. Following this, we investigate a series of Russian revisions of the same thematic territory that range from "great literature" to pulp fiction, including Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and other works by Tolstoy, Chekhov, Leskov, and Nagrodskaia. As something of an epilogue to the course, we will read Milan Kundera's backward glance at this same tradition in nineteenth-century writing, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. In our coursework we will apply various critical approaches in order to place adultery into its social and cultural context, including: sociological descriptions of modernity, Marxist examinations of family as a social and economic institution, Freudian/Psychoanalytic interpretations of family life and transgressive sexuality, Feminist work on the construction of gender.
T 0530PM-0830PM
KERMAN, SARAH
WILLIAMS HALL 301
  • CINE125601
  • COML127601
  • RUSS125601

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The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania

The Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women

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