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CMLT-C313 Narrative: “Stories within Stories”

Professor: Jeff Johnson
Credits: 3

For as long as humans have been telling stories, they have been telling stories of people telling stories. What is the point and appeal of telling stories with other stories embedded inside? What do literary artists achieve by wrapping tales inside larger tales? Do the narratives reinforce or undermine each other? Throughout the semester, we will investigate a wide range of time periods, cultures, and genres: ancient Greece and Rome, Renaissance Portugal, central Africa, the modern U.S., tragedy, epic, adventure novel, historical fiction, and philosophical dialogue. Our reading list includes Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer, Plato’s Symposium, Apuleius’ The Golden Ass, Camões’ Lusiads, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and Mahfouz’s Akhenaten.

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