What makes a novel so special that it ends up on the “10 Books I Must Have on a Desert Island” list of generations upon generations of readers across the world? We shall look at a few very special novels and at the relationship between their aesthetic excellence and their long-lasting popularity. Writers include Hemingway, Baldwin, Steinbeck, Hrabal, Krleža, Õnnepalu, and Szabó. While the course may briefly engage some major classic theories of the novel (e.g., by Frye or Bakhtin), it will chiefly be centered on an in-depth study and close reading of the literary works.
Ernest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
Miroslav Krleža: On the Edge of Reason
James Baldwin: Giovanni’s Room
John Steinbeck: The Winter of Our Discontent
Bohumil Hrabal: Too Loud a Solitude
Magda Szabó: The Door
Tõnu Õnnepalu: Border State nu Onnepalu: Border State