How does a work become a literary masterpiece? What function do literary critics and readers play in this process? How do literary prizes such as the Nobel Prize influence the literary canon? This course employs a global perspective and consists of a study of prize-winning, German language works with an eye to considering both their significance as narratives and the cultural value surrounding them as prize-winners. Alongside examining the works as texts, we will also investigate the cultural values of the prizes and consider how those may be related to modern canonization processes. As part of this, we will approach a consideration of the possible relationships between literary critics and the reading public.
The course is divided into a short introductory module conducted in English followed by the main content module conducted in German.