What is the course about?
The course is an introduction to the modern European short story – ranging from Russia, Germany and France to Poland, Italy and Britain. We’ll be reading and discussing such classic tales as Flaubert’s A Simple Heart, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Mann’s Death in Venice, the philosophical but deeply humane stories of Albert Camus and the dreamlike fictions of Italo Calvino and Bruno Sculz.
Julian Birkett is a teacher and writer specialising in modern literature. He previously worked in the Arts department at the BBC as a producer of series such as The Late Show, Modern Poets in their Own Words, The Victorians and The Culture Show. He has taught in London and at the University of Mumbai.
What will we cover?
We’ll be looking at a wide range of European short story writing in the modern age.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Recognise recurring themes in the modern European short story
• Relate these to the wider world of Western culture
• Feel confident enough to explore further study of related fiction on your own.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is introductory. An enthusiasm for reading and discussion is all that is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Each week we’ll read and discuss two or three stories by a single author.
The course is an interactive mixture of tutor exposition and class discussion. Videos and clips will also be shown and discussed. You will asked to read the texts before the class.
Julian Birkett is a teacher and writer specialising in modern literature. He previously worked in the Arts department at the BBC as a producer of series such as The Late Show, Modern Poets in their Own Words, The Victorians and The Culture Show. He has taught in inner London and at the University of Mumbai.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Online copies of most of the texts will be provided in advance. Students are however asked to buy/borrow the following editions:
Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness (Penguin Classics)
Gustave Flaubert: Three Tales (Penguin Classics)
Thomas Mann: Death in Venice (Vintage Classics)
Apart from the reading material, you should bring with you pens, notepaper and file in which to store handouts and other course materials.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please see our range of Literature courses under Humanities in the prospectus and under History, Culture and Writing on the website at bildutrapagaran.info.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details