Almost Despicable Heroines, East and West

In this course, we will focus on issues of narratorial sympathy, narrative seduction, and manipulation of the implied reader (Iser/Booth) in a selection of the following narratives and dramas: Austen’s Emma, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, Ibsens’ Hedda Galber, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Tanizaki Jun'ichirô’s Fool’s Love (Naomi) and Arishima’s Aru Onna.


We will pay special attention to the narrative strategies that authors in specific historical and cultural contexts use to interpret these characters, and the ways in which the themes of authority and boredom help create the separation between these heroines and their fictional societies.