Problems in Cultural Interpretations

How do literature, philosophy, film and other arts respond to the profound changes in world view and lifestyle that mark the twentieth century? This course considers a broad range of works from different countries, different media, and different genres, in exploring the transition to a decentered “Einsteinian” universe in the early decades of the century as well as later on. We will examine works by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, the painter Paul Cézanne, the composer Arnold Schoenberg, the writers Kate Chopin, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, and Franz Kafka, the film directors Fritz Lang, Jean Cocteau, and Federico Fellini, and others.