Fachbereich 7

Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft

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Jane Austen´s Classics Today

DozentIn: Prof. Dr. Harald Husemann , Erika Grosse Beilage

Veranstaltungstyp: Seminar

Ort: 41/E08

Zeiten: Mi. 10:00 - 12:00 (wöchentlich)

Beschreibung: Jane Austen´s (1775-1817) Classics Today
According to “Jane Austen in Popular Culture” Wikipedia (27th April 2022):
“It is a truth universally accepted that women want to read about relationships” and that the USA are the most lucrative market for film adaptations of J.A.`s films which “have heroines with bared chests and swelling cleavage above Regency gown decolletage, perfectly coiled hair and looks of wide-eyed intensity that were meant both to arouse teenage boys and excite envy in teenage girls”.

I quote from "Cambridge Guide to Literature in English" (2006, p. 55):
In these works she chose deliberately to portray small groups of people in a limited, perhaps confining environment, and to mould the trivial incidents of their lives into a poised comedy of manners. Her characters are middle-class and provincial: their most urgent preoccupation is with courtship and their largest ambition is marriage."

We will explore the following questions:

1. Why are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813) and Northanger Abbey (1818) such classics that innumerable film adaptations and TV serials have been produced?
2. Of what interest can these “old chestnuts” have for modern readers? Does the introductory quotation also apply to YOU as readers of J.A.´s novels and popcorn-munching cinema goers?
3. Why do some American English Departments give them a “trigger warning” when they put them on their reading lists?
4. Can you turn one of the novels into a short fictional text, giving it a contemporary setting?
Trigger Warning
The reading list of this seminar contains literary classics, which were at one time banned or censored because they contain sexually explicit language with the description of naked bodies, the use of now unacceptable words, child abuse and descriptions of repressive conditions, which displease dictators in autocratic states.
Join the seminar if you want to be shocked and outraged by the list of novels to be read and discussed.
Missing seminar sessions on texts you disapprove of is NO option.
Consult www.doesthedogdie.com and put in the title of a book/film to see whether the contents will offend your sensibilities.

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