Course overview

This 10 week course will chart recent developments in European literature. We will explore 5 novels. These are: HhhH – Laurent Binet. Homeland - Walter Kempowski. Katalin Street - Magda Szabo. The Physics of Sorrow - Georgi Gospodinov. Rituals - Cees Nooteboom. Ranging widely from France to Bulgaria, the course will discover how the fallout from the Second World War exerts influence over issues such as: • How to define history. • How to reformulate moralities. • How to negotiate silence and guilt. • How to establish an identity in a mutable world or worlds. These novels are essential reads in order to understand the shape of modern European fiction, and will encourage you to read more deeply in non-British literature.

Course description

If you’re tired of the parochial quality of much British fiction in the last 50 years, often described as the Hampstead Divorce Novel, then this course offers you something different and intellectually stimulating, investigating as it does the very real issues of confronting historical memory in Europe, still negotiating with the displacement and terror of World War Two and the former Soviet Bloc.

This course will enable you to discover the complications of memory and how we tell stories to ourselves and others to arrive at provisional truths and uncertain identities. The majority of these texts are moving, while at the same time illustrating the persistence of the human spirit or what one will. We will encounter questions relating to the individual versus society, the binary conflict of good versus evil and the struggle for emancipation, especially regarding the position of women.

The course will also introduce you to the manner in which we construct history and determine our own existences, sometimes living comfortably with the false narratives we tell ourselves, which may be a means to survive in a time of shifting political philosophies. There is much to be enjoyed in these authors, many of whom may be new to you.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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