Scribner Seminar Program
Seduction of the Strange
Instructor(s): John Anzalone, Foreign Language and Literature
Fantastic Literature and its more contemporary analog Magical Realism emphasize strange and disturbing categories of experience in tales of abiding fascination. By leaving ambiguous whether an experience is real or imagined, Fantastic fiction raises questions about perception, sanity, narration itself, and finally about the very nature of the real. Students will examine the genre in relation to its history and evolution, particularly with regard to its status as a popular literature, and its cross-hybridization in the 20th Century with science, technology, and post-modernism. There will be a particular emphasis on psychology and theory, especially with reference to altered states of perception and to sanity as a "problematic" category. The materials studied will come from literature and art from a half dozen different cultures and languages over the two centuries of the genre's specific existence. Art and the films will provide a specific focus for discussion and debate during the course's fourth hour.