Fall 2019

Deutsche Fabeln: Fables in German Literature from Aesop to Zarathustra

Listed in: German, as GERM-320


Hannah E. Hunter-Parker (Section 01)


Short, sweet, and smart, fables are one of the oldest and most successful genres in Western literature, if not the world. Since the eighteenth century, fable collections were the most-read books in the German language after the Bible. Fanciful creatures and a simple moral work to educate and delight audiences. But with these stories’ long success, the question of who gets credit is anything but simple. What is a fable and what is not? Who writes fables, who reads them, and why? How do they reach their audience? Is there such a thing as German fable, or is it all just Aesop redux? Through readings in and on the genre, this course introduces students to key authors and movements in the history of German literature. Students will deepen interpretive skills through discussions of representative historical texts and contexts between the Enlightenment and early-Modernism. Authors include Martin Luther, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Sophie von la Roche, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Heinrich von Kleist, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Adalbert Stifter, Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Conducted in German.

Requisite: GERM 210 or equivalent. Fall semester. Professor Hunter-Parker.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Spring 2021