Reading Across the Disciplines: Introduction to the Theoretical Humanities

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 376

How should we analyze what alcohol means for the modern novel? Our 'case study' will focus on two works published in New York in the 1940s. Malcolm Lowry's UNDER THE VOLCANO and Charles Jackson's THE LOST WEEKEND both track in detail the role alcohol plays in the spiritual and creative sufferings of their respective protagonists in Mexico and New York City. The approach we take will be interdisciplinary, grounded in the literary and psychosocial aspects of these texts. For example, we will ask whether it is an incidental matter that both novels are highly allusive. What the use and abuse of alcohol tells us about models of masculinity in the period will also be a major concern. Each novel inspired a significant film adaptation, and we will pay close attention to the interpretive strategies of directors John Huston and Billy Wilder. Supporting texts will be drawn from a wide range of sources including biography, literary criticism, and psychiatry. Meanwhile, our main task across the semester will be to balance the dark and the light of literary inspiration and intoxication. No prerequisites. All are welcome.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM

Section 01

Reading Across the Disciplines: Introduction to the Theoretical Humanities
INSTRUCTOR: Purchase
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